Sunday, June 26, 2005

What if you were adopted?
Would you feel that you had the right to know who your birth parents were?
Would you feel that you had the right to know what your heritage was? What your medical history is?
Sandra Scarth of the Adoption Council of Canada feels you have the right to know.

On the other hand, although Jennifer Stoddart of the Privacy Commission of Canada agrees, she doesn't agree to the divulging of names and addresses of said biological parents. While she agrees that nationality, and medical information should be shared, she claims that biological parents all over Canada have begged for anonymity.

Do you think that children who have been adopted out should have the right to enter the lives of people who don't want to be found?
I don't know what it feels like to not know who my parents are, what my background is, medical or otherwise.
I'm certainly not qualified to speak for either side.
I have known adopted children in my life and even though those that I know love their parents, they long to know who their bio parents are. Every single last one of them feels that there is a missing puzzle piece to who they are.

So, say you're someone who put your baby up for adoption and then started a new life, not letting anyone know that you had ever had a child.
Then, twenty or thirty years later that child shows up.
How do you cope?

I personally think that you cannot run away from your past.
That eventually you must own up to what you have done, or didn't owe that child some sort of face to face explanation. Even if you don't maintain an ongoing relationship.
Things catch up.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Reecie recently wrote about girlfriends and how hard it is to make new friends as you get older. I agree that it's harder to maintain friendships as your time becomes less and your responsibilities become more. For me, it's distance and time that causes the problem.
I often don't get to see the girlfriends I've known and loved for years because of these two factors.
Because of the evil twins: Distance and Time it makes me stingy and picky with possible new friends.

I now have criteria.

Years ago, every female I knew was my "friend". I've done much weeding since then. My tolerance for being taken advantage of, dealing with high maintenance women, or dragged into drama is almost non-existent now.

I have compiled a list of types of women that I abhor, and cannot endure:

I once had a friend who brought out the worst in me. She was competitive and petty. I stayed friends with her for a long time because we had history. I had known her for a long time, but I had to cut her off. I don't have time for that kind of picayune nonsense.

Petty Patty

Everything bothers her. She's critical, and always negative. I once had a friend who couldn't stand it if anything good happened for me. I cut her off shortly after she met The Mister for the first time. We had all gone out and he was footing the bill for her drinks and food. When his pager went off and he went to make a phone call, she said, "Oh, I wouldn't like that at all. Anyone can be calling him and you wouldn't know. A man with a pager is suspect". Who needs someone like that around?
Exactly. That's why she isn't.

Can't share you with anyone. Is jealous of other friends and is always looking for ways to feel offended. Does not play well in group situations. I had a friend years ago who was jealous of The Mister. She accused me of putting him ahead of her.
I did.

Always asking for things. When she borrows things, you have to ask for them back, and makes you feel as though you're the one who is being petty and cheap when you do.
Famous for the old "I forgot my bankcard" trick when you go out together, or is always borrowing small amounts of money, nickel and diming you and never paying back. When you're short, she'll be broke.

The chick you can't leave alone with your man.
She wants what you have. She's got some complex about being better, prettier, more desirable. She's got no loyalty or morals, and won't think twice about you if she wants it.

I've had all of these kinds of women "friends" in the past.
I've got a shorter tether, and no tolerance for dramatic events .
Not anymore.

Life is good.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Eastern European Shenanigans

Yesterday, I was listening to Eleanor Wachtel on CBC Radio One talking with Jachym Topol, a writer from the Czech Republic, a prize-winning novelist, poet and journalist. From a famous literary dissident family.
He was humourous, in a very dry way...and then he mentioned that as a child, his family used to cross the border into Germany or Austria and smuggle in needed items.

My Tetka Ankica used to buy lots of packets of juice, with lots and lots of straws. Then she would employ me and my cousin Danica to roll up large denominations of Lira (don't ask me how she got Lira, I was a kid) two bills at a time, carefully cut open the paper the straws were encased in and stuff the Lira in the straws. Then she would pack all the cousins up for a day trip to Trieste to buy cheap womens sweaters and blouses to sell on the Pijaca.
Once she had all the blouses and sweaters, she would put them in the empty suitcases she had brought along.

Then, she would get her ass up at 4:00am to sit in the Pijaca to sell them.
I know she got up at 4:00am because, we went with her more than once.
In fact, she once left my 11 year old ass in charge for a few minutes to haggle the price of a red sweater with cherries embroidered around the scoop neck.
I failed miserablely and the would be customer walked away in disgust.

It was on that hot day in July that I knew my future was not going to be in the Retail Business.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Quote of the Day

Me: "I'm so sorry to hear about your divorce...after 12 years..."

Her: "He was never a family man"

I think those six words say everything it might have taken two or three hours to explain. Excellent resourcefulness on her part.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ever wonder what happens if you try to cross the US/Canada border with no ID?

Well, wonder no more!
The Mister and I have had the experience so that you don't have to!

When we ponied up in line at The Queenston-Lewiston Bridge border, with almost no gas in the car for good measure, The Mister reached for his wallet, only to find it AWOL.
"I can't believe this!" he exclaimed, as he proceeded to malign himself, remembering that it was tucked safely at home in his briefcase.
To which I responded, "It's no big deal! So we'll go back home. We don't NEED to go accross". He continued to drag himself through the mud, and I continued to tell him it was no big deal.
With no way to turn around, we just continued to the head of the que.
Mr. US Customsman asked for ID. I produced my Drivers License and The Mister proceeded to tell the "I left my wallet at home" story, and that we just wanted to turn back.
Mr. US Customsman asked each of us where we were born, and then asked for my Citizenship Card. I have a ready for framing, big ass document for a citizenship. Not a card, tucked way in a safe place at home.
With that, he put my Drivers License in one of those vacuum tubes, and stuck it in the hose where it was quickly sucked up, and gave us a pink slip directing us to the terminal with a cryptic, "With some luck, they'll let you back into Canada".

The Mister turned to me and said, "No big deal, eh. ('cause he's Canadian, eh) Bet you're pissed now!" as we were directed where to park.

When we got into the terminal with less than sufficient air conditioning due to the number of people filing in and out, many of which had suspect personal hygiene habits.
We quickly figured out that that there was no check in. We would have to wait to hear my name called.

What an interesting collection of people for a people watcher like myself to watch!
There was a young couple ahead of us, of which the girl half was dressed in a frilled jean skirt that barely covered her ass, a tight white top from which her breasts were desperately straining to escape, and a pair of 5 inch wooden hooker heels.
When they were called up, The Mister commented, "I hope for her sake, she brought her Strippers License with her..".
Shortly thereafter, one of the female Customs Officer came out snapping her rubber gloves on and telling them to follow her.
"THAT can't be good", says I.

Two hours later, my name was called, and we told our story to a friendly Customs Officer who after hearing asked, "How much of your and our time did you waste today?", and then he made a reference to the movie, "The Terminal" in which the main character is stuck in "no mans land" between countries with no proof of which country he belonged in.

Ha Ha

We had a short advice session from him on what we should carry next time, The Mister had his fingerprints and photo taken, and we were given complicated instructions on where to meet him once we retrieved our vehicle.
When we met him, he informed us that he would have to watch us drive over the bridge to the Canadian side, telling us "Hope you get through!" as he returned my Drivers License.
The Canadian Customs Officer (after hearing our story) dismissed us with a wave of her hand and a "see ya".


Thank goodness we weren't born in the Middle East is all I can say.

Friday, June 10, 2005

I am Blessed

There are people who come into our lives, sometimes for a brief period of time, who make an impact.
Children have the profound gift of bringing people together who might never cross paths otherwise, and teach us something about ourselves and the little corner of the world we live in.

People we think back on and remember.

This evening, I had the opportunity to reconnect with a family who did just that for me. I had The Jegathesan boys in kindergarten. Pranavan first, and then Pravin a year later. Two sensitive and loving boys. The North York neighbourhood I worked in for a number of years had a large Tamil community, and in my experience, Tamil people are some of the most respectful, and giving people I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with.

I planned a Multicultural Unit every year, asking parents to contribute in order to celebrate every child in my cares' heritage. Pranavan and Pravins mother, despite her limited English, provided me with so much that year. Saris for girls to try on, books, knick knacks, Putus or Bindis, religious symbols, and lots and lots of food. She pulled out all the stops to help me and Pravins classmates understand a culture that was foreign to us. She introduced me to a long standing love for a dessert called "Kesri", which she brought for me regularly when she found out that I loved it.
Such a kind, generous and sincere woman struggling with language to communicate to me all the beauty that her culture had to offer.

In November of that year, she suffered a brain aneurysm.
She survived, but had to relearn everything. How to walk, talk, eat...all of the things that you and I take for granted.
Mr Jegathesan kept me up to date on her recovery, and the children often expressed their fear and sadness about their mothers condition. Mr.Jegathesan told me that the Doctors warned him that she would not be the same person, and may never recover fully.


I had a soft spot for this family.
The first time Mrs. Jegathesan came with her husband to pick up their children at school after she had been home for a while, I was overcome with emotion.
She didn't even look like the same person...It was not so much physical as in her her eyes.
I hugged this bewildered woman who probably didn't even remember this peripheral person, as this peripheral person cried with relief for her children, for her family.

Tonight, I saw them again.
The children big, but still expressing the same connection to me that I had for them.
I loved those kids.
Mrs. Jegathesan told me that she thinks of me when she makes Kesri, because I loved it so, and truth be told...I think of them when I think of Kesri.
This detail sounds silly and simple, but it's a connection still.

This evening I was wearing a dress that I had made many years ago. A dress with a pattern I love. The Jegathesans told me that the pattern on my dress is an important symbol meaning many different things in their culture.

Coincidence is sometimes just perfect.
The Jegathesans invited my family to their home for a "proper Indian dinner".
If Mrs. Jegathesan hasn't fully recovered, her spirit certainly has.

I am so fortunate to have had some peoples lives touch mine, to help me be reminded of the beauty and worth of mine.

I am blessed.
And so are you.
Even if you don't think you are.

I saw it in her eyes

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Image: Very Important Things

The Mister and I were out in the garden last night chatting after dinner, when the subject turned to our childhood memories.

Good and bad.

He got me talking about my Father, who was a real piece of work. We had a right laugh about him.
I won’t go through the long, boring story.

But, I thought I’d put in point form some of his qualities:

First vivid memory of Father/Daughter day out, I was taken to a friend of my Fathers Bakery in Hamilton, where I was introduced to a pretty lady by my father, and dumped on the proprietor for many hours. I wasn’t allowed to tell my Mother.

Gambled away a down payment on a house in one card game. (this was the deal breaker for Mama). Spent my child support money at the racetrack weekly. I know, my second stepmother told me all about how SHE gave him money to send to my mother every week. We never saw a penny.

Married 3 other women while still married to my mother – Divorcing someone is such a hastle. Why bother? A word of advice to budding bigamists…marry outside of the country that the last marriage took place in (wink), the government isn’t organized enough to cross reference marriages.

Ability to call you a kurva (whore) a minimum of 3 times in one sentence.

Handsome and convincing, would explain how he found such good women to marry.

The best defense is an offense, and he could make an argument out of thin air. You wouldn’t even know what hit you and you’d be defending yourself against outrageous accusations on deaf ears.

Hiding shots of Canadian Club in coffee was fooling no one.

Great Sense of humour
Worked well with the above in snaring good women to put up with his bullshit for long periods of time.

Creative thinker
When I was forced to live with him when I was 19 years old, he hated me leaving the house.
At all.
For any reason.
If I went out after 8:00pm, I was forced to take DeeDee (a 4 year old Doberman) with me.

Control Freak
Made me lose my job by accusing my boss of wanting to have an affair with me when my boss asked me to work a late shift once. Who needs an employee with a crazy father, who throws around outrageous accusations that could cost you your career?

Which is the master trait that cannot be achieved without the above mentioned qualities.
When I was 21 he took me to dinner, just him and I. He let people think I was his date, while I almost broke a blood vessel in my brain repeating “I’M HIS DAUGHTER” while he stood by with a smirk on his face.

No really.
Some people are just better left out of your life, even if they are your parents.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Mama Answers Your Questions:

Mama, should I go home to Ottawa to visit the family I can't stand because I haven't been home in 1.5 years even though I don't feel guilty about that I never call home anymore?

Gravatar I like that quote. Your Mama and I are in complete agreement. :D

love the accent. your mama is groovy! love it!

Gravatar your mama clearly knows what she is talking're lucky to have her around to set you straight....

Gravatar Mama, cats or dogs?

I totaly agree with mama. You wanna by a gift-- buy flowers or if you have flower garden, better yet. It also depends what the occasion is and who is it for.
The best gift one can give is the kind words and ISKRENO prijateljstvo.

i love your mama

Please advise me on how to cope with ungrateful yutzes who are ´´apparent´´ friends .....

Should I take the job I'm not sure I'll like but has a great salary or should I take the job I think I'll love with the not-so-hot salary (I still have student loans to pay off)?

Gravatar Mama,
My sister moved in with me. I don't want her to feel unloved or unwelcomed - but I'm getting more and more depressed. She keeps changing everthing in my house.

How do I not kill her?

Gravatar Mama,
If you were in the Mos Eisly Cantina, on Tatooine, instead of Ben Kenobi, how would you have handled the argument between Luke and the poorly dubed dude with the death sentance on 12 systems?