Tuesday, November 8, 2011

13 years Ago

13 years ago I had horrid brassy-blonde hair from excessively using Sun-In. I sat at the front of my IB English class and my teacher, Mr. Armstrong eventually realized it wasn't just because I loved Chaucer. Our school was right across from the rink, and on Fridays during tournament season I got to watch out the window, as ALL the high school boys headed into the rink dressed in ridiculous ties and either too big or too small dress pants.

I loved cheerleading, watching movies with my friends, and was still mad at my parents for moving our family to Regina. My best friend and I made lists of boys we thought were the best looking, couldn't wait to get our license’s, and thought our parents were the biggest idiots ever.
My best friend had a boy on her list I had never seen. One day in between classes she pointed him out. I can still see it. A group of boys circled at the end of the hallway, laughing, and said, "That's him, Mike Klassen". He was smiling and I agreed, he was definitely one of the best looking boys on our list.

After heading to a party with a few of those boys, I phoned her and told her we needed to talk. I liked her crush. We made a trade. The next thing I knew, Mr.Charles, our fantastic French teacher with his ear to the high school gossip channel, teased me about this boy hanging around outside my 4th period class.

Pretty soon he was watching me cheerlead, which eventually caused a problem when the coach noticed his linebacker paying more attention to the cheerleaders than the playing field.
Before I knew it I was picking out a dress to go with him to Grad.
And then I was helping him proofread his University papers, and taking the fan bus to watch him play away games on the weekend.

I watched him study for his RCMP entrance exam while I was sun tanning on my parent's deck.
Then we got our own place.



So much life.

Crazy, 13 years ago he was just that boy with the perfect smile standing with the other boys at the end of the hallway.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"I Want it That Way..."

So far no one I have told hasn’t laughed, or at least smirked.

Yes it happened, and it was beautiful.

Standing next to my sister, and two cousins we relived out pre-pubescence all over again. They sold us our memories, all set to the soundtrack of two iconic boy-bands. And judging from the reaction of the crowd, we weren’t the only ones that bought it.

When I think about it outside of the vacuum of twenty and thirty something women shrieking like teenagers, it’s downright cheesy. I read a review in the Calgary Journal by a forty year old music critic. He was most certainly not abusing his Facebook posting privileges with “OH MY GOOOODDD” “It was sooooo amazing” comments. He saw it for what it was for, grown men, singing songs made famous when they had much higher voices. He scoffed at the serenading of girls young enough to be their daughters on stage, and kitschy dance moves that were hardly synchronized. But, as they say, everything in this world is perspective.

Through the eyes of a girl who used to sit slowly flipping through Tiger Beat magazine, snapping hubba bubba, with a massive side pony-tailed meticulously crimped, it was magic. They didn’t disappoint her one bit. They played the songs that she loved, pulled out the 80’s choreography (I wasn’t the only one doing “Hanging Tough” in the crowd, rest assured) and had her turning to her cousin freaking out that “He looooked at me!!”. And that’s what we went there for. To forget for a split second about work, husbands, kids, mortgages, LIFE.

There were some obvious changes since many of us went to our first New Kids on the Block or Backstreet Boys concert though. In the bathroom I overheard someone telling their friend “They were trying”. And, it was blatantly obvious some of the trying was working, because pregnant women were in abundance. But it was perhaps the new found, um, appreciation for some of the older men in the bands that resonated with us now that we had grown up. As my cousin remarked, “He used to look sorta old and creepy… he’s HOT now”.

So thank you NKOTBSB. You gave me an evening I won’t soon forget. The laughs (ok, downright giddiness) shared between myself, my sister and cousins, was something I think we all needed. And if it wasn’t for the EPIC ( I do not use this word lightly people) NKOTBSB tour, we may have been forced to wait for the Spice Girls.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What I learned at the Barn

I'm not uncommon. In fact, I think I'm in the majority. I've always been fascinated with horses. At 10 I thought husbands to be completely unnecessary, as long as I could one day have a barn, with miles of white fence, with rolling green hills and a sunset to die for, and a herd of the most breyer-esk horses I could find.

Well, life moves on, and with boys, and high school, and life smacking you right in the face, there was one thing I couldn't seem to find myself moving away from, horses.
No matter where I found myself in life, I also managed to find myself in a barn. Whether just to groom, and touch a horse, or to agree to some of the scariest rides of my life (note to all horse lovers out there: all equine Canada coaches are NOT created equal. Despite the paperwork they can show you to say there are!!) I needed to be tested and affirmed by those four legged creatures we both admire, and despise!

They are frustrating, and exhilarating, and exactly what you ask them to be when you ask them to do it. Despite our best effort, and excuses that "YES, I am asking him to move forward" and "NO I am not giving mixed signals!!", both lessons in the arena, and lessons in life are eerily the same.
We might very well think we are asking what we want out of life, but until someone on the rail notices your mixed signals, we can't see it for ourselves. In fact, we will argue to that person on the rail that we are doing everything right. And it's not until we take a step back, or in the arena, hop off the horses back, that we see what it is we were doing the whole time. Mixed signals.
So there is something so therapeutic to riding a horse when you feel like your life is upside down, because no matter what is happening in you brain at that moment, unless you are fully committed, and willing to be in the moment, sending only the right message, you will lose. Your horse will not do what you ask, and as all the frustration wells up, you can only remind yourself, "He just did what I told him to do".

And isn't it funny that when you have a moment of clarity in the eye of the storm, you look around and say "my life is just where I told it to be"
And men wonder why we love horses??