When I missed the Canada Post deadline to send out Christmas cards for the sixth year in a row, I decided to call it a passive boycott to make it seem less lazy. I had no reason not to send them other than something had to go to preserve my sanity in this overly busy season and that was the first on the list, followed closely by anything resembling a craft, and door-to-door caroling. (Gift-wrapping was in the running.)
If it’s been years in a row that you don’t do a thing, at what point does one scratch it off one’s list permanently? Christmas is so weird like that. It’s a hopeful, overly nostalgic season, and so I retain hope. (If I send you a card next year, please frame it.)
But I sure did love receiving the cards and newsletters from friends. Now newsletters are vintage, aren’t they? Those who send them are preserving a bit of our past that we’re often so quick to dismiss – good, old-fashioned communication. A piece of paper to grab onto with whole sentences put together to form paragraphs. Those paragraphs give us an overview of the lives of our friends – many parts of which we may have witnessed or experienced with them and it gives context and a sense of continuum. We humans are in the process of building, moving forward, journeying, progressing. Sometimes our understanding is so present- and future-tense. Looking back, even at the not-too-distant past can have the effect of grounding us.
This is why I thought I’d try my hand at an e-newsletter. There’s no fancy or festive border here, no stamp on the envelope, no searching for your address, nothing but a synopsis of the Cockrams’ 2014. Here are the headlines.
Man turns 40, throws vanity concert, 150 friends indulge him
“You only turn 40 once,” he says
She tosses the permission form at me across the table. She’s filled the form out completely, except for the signature line. I figure out quickly, that part is for me.
“What’s this all about?” I ask, even though I could see clearly that her Grade 11 law class is going for a visit to the court house. Hey, I work in law! This is my scene! Maybe I could tell her about the ins and outs of starting a lawsuit, some of the behind-the-scenes details they surely will leave out of the official tour. Who wouldn’t want extra information – she could use it to impress her friends!
“Trip,” she mumbles.
“One word?? You can only squeak out A word?”
“A trip,” she enunciates. Oh, and I get it as quickly as spotted that signature line. She’s avoiding the conversation I want to unleash on her.
“Good. Two words, much better. Just for that, I am so blogging about you.”
And since my threat made a compact laugh escape her mouth, in addition to her two wordlets, I’m following through, which is a parenting essential, even in these silent teen years.
So tempted right now to mark YES to volunteer for this trip.
As of today, it has been six months since my last colour appointment. Six months since I made that fateful decision to grow out my grey. As an experiment, I said. It’ll be worthwhile, I said. Oh, if I could talk to the six-months-younger me now.
I’d say, listen, you young, innocent thing. Enjoy those breezy ponytail days when you could toss your hair in the wind without a care and your biggest worry was whether you should get highlights or lowlights, cut your bangs on an angle or straight across. What you think are “bad hair days” are really just “hair different days” – no one says your hair should have body every day! Drink in the compliments about your colour and highlights, even if that colour doesn’t really belong to you. You still wear it well! (And that summer tan helps too!) Straighten that hair, curl it, braid it, pin it, scrunchy it, but promise me, six months younger self, that you will EMBRACE your colourful locks. Fear not what’s ahead (but don’t look forward to it either). Continue reading