Category Archives: Places

Why Danes Are Rude Part Deux

By far, the most-viewed post on my blog is Danish People Are Rude. This is funny for me because people have specifically searched for that phrase. Which means that although several people commented saying that, in fact, Danes are lovely, the truth is that they are not known for it. And I think we have scientifically proven that through my blog.

Oh Danes, don’t worry, you are much-loved (if acknowledged at all) throughout the world because of the things I mentioned (good looks, social sophistication, the bright, avant-garde colours painted on your living room walls that you must consider forward-thinking but are, in truth, gaudy). Yes, most people veer to the Swedes. Danes don’t really register on anybody’s radar. Danes are associated with Scandinavia, and therefore also with all the above-mentioned things, but no one really takes notice of them.

My paternal and maternal combination is Canadian and Danish. And those two sources have many things in common. Canadians are to the Americans like the French-Immersion do-gooder is to the cocky, self-assured jock. Everyone knows they’re all kind of one in the same, but nobody pays any attention to the dork. Even if the jock is a jerk, everyone still wants to be his friend. Danes face the same status; official nobodies to the world at large, respected, sure, but ultimately not taken into anyone’s account. Kind of…ignored.

Maybe for good reason? And for good consequence? Personally, I like succeeding in the sidelines. You get most of the same benefits, without anyone laughing at your expense every time you fall. Danes have it pretty good, even if they haven’t succeeded in making much of a mark on the world.

So…rude? I said Danes are rude because they are. And maybe that’s because they have a chip on their shoulder due to being considered the less-polished Scandinavian sibling. They’re just a different breed, and if you live with them long enough you realize they need to be taken with a grain of salt. There. Don’t get mad, my friends. For our part, even if Canadians are thought to be enlightened, inclusive, gentle creatures we are more likely stifled, passive-aggressive, disingenuous martyrs who talk out of two sides of our mouth because we have issues about being overshadowed by our much louder, cooler, popular neighbours. Who knows? We all have our things.

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My Book & Show-Offs

I’m not much of a show-offy person. This is something most hold as an endearing trait, and few have much patience for the opposite. Especially in Canada, we kind of feel like nobody should stand out. And if you bring attention to something you do well, you run the risk of rubbing people the wrong way.

I’m not sure why we hate show-offs so much. Maybe it’s linked to not being truly happy for other people’s successes. Because if we’re not happy for someone it means we’re mad we don’t have something ourselves.

When I was in Grade 8 we did a gymnastics rotation in gym. Each girl had to come up with a floor routine. I had done gymnastics for years and although I wasn’t fantastic, I was probably better than everyone in my class. I could do flips and walkovers and I was really bendy. But you know what I did? I performed a lame-ass routine that didn’t showcase any skills at all. I didn’t want to bring attention to myself. How pathetic.

A friend of mine is always saying what a disservice it is to not bring attention to your strengths. And he’s right. We don’t have to be arrogant about it, we just have to be appropriately proud of our accomplishments.

I have written a book. It is very hard for me to put it out there for everyone to see like this. Not only does it give readers a glimpse into my mind, but it opens me up to be hugely criticized. Some people will like my book, some people will dislike it. I just hope people understand how much work it takes to finish a book, and how embarrassing it is to put something subjective like this out there.

Enjoy.

To buy the book, click here (for Kindle users) or here (for other ereaders).

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The Problem With The Toilet

I have great distaste for public bathrooms. I try to avoid them wherever possible, but with my small bladder that’s not often possible. As such, I have some requests for whomever is responsible for terrible bathrooms the world over.

Request #1: Make Stalls Bigger. Not long ago, I stepped into a bathroom stall at the mall. It was a tight stall; so tight the door brushed my backside as I closed it behind me – meanwhile I had to move too close to the toilet to shut the door, which made my pant leg touch the toilet’s front edge. Heavy-set folk, with much less room than me, must have to straddle the bowl to avoid this.

Request #2: Provide Two-Ply Tissue. I know they think they’re saving money, but it just makes you USE MORE PAPER. I might as well be wiping with my hand. I grabbed my first squares of toilet paper to prepare the area. I covered the seat with it, one patch on each side to absorb splashage and a bunch of it on the water to reduce backsplash. I hovered. (I don’t sit on public toilets. In fact, I don’t sit on anyone’s toilet but a select few friends’, family’s and my own.) 

Request #3: Choose Deep Toilets. Commodes that are shallow have more incidents of bowl water hitting one’s rear. This does NOT feel like a cleansing shower for your bum, and you never know what’s lingering in that water from previous strangers’ business. 

Request #4: Get Rid of Automatic Flushes. I stood slightly after finishing and proceeded to wipe, at which point the automatic flush whooshed! all my contents into the nether regions of the mall sump. This, before I had the chance to make the paper contribution. Annoyed, I finished wiping and threw the tissue in. I looked around the top of the toilet and leaned over to hit the manual flush button. Before I could stand upright again, the forceful vacuum sucked my paper down, spraying water droplets upwards in its exuberance – AND RIGHT INTO MY FACE. I’M NOT KIDDING.

Most Important Request #5: Ensure Toilets Are Cleaned More Often. At that point, to really drive the nastiness home, I noticed a smear of something dark marking the side of the toilet rim. There are only two possibilities for what that substance was and it’s not necessary to mention them.

Now, I know I’m squeamish about bodily excretions, germs and overall filthiness, but y’all have to agree that I was not overboard in washing my face and spitting repeatedly into the sink, was I?

Come on. What would you have done?

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Our House Is Bland

My husband and I have only ever bought two things together that are nice and costly. Those are the couch (a ten-footer!) and the plasma TV. He didn’t have anything before I met him, and I only had hand-me-downs. Like, literally, everything I had ever had living on my own for ten years was given to me second-hand. Except the old 27” TV and VCR my sister and I bought when we were saving loads of money living for cheap in the ghetto.

It’s just that now with a mortgage it’s easier to justify not spending money on superfluous items that only serve to make a home pretty. But this lack of furnishings still bugs me because I want pretty. Pretty means comfortable, and that’s because what pleases the eye settles the soul. That’s what my grandma used to say. No, I’m lying. She never said that.

But seriously, at what point do you just buck up and spend the cash on things that you don’t exactly need but are really nice to have? Like bookshelves? Our books aren’t hurting anyone heaped in piles in our closets. Or artwork? How many of my husband’s old Britney and Pearl Jam posters can one hang before the place looks like a dorm room? Are we, in fact, twenty-year-old male college students from the 90’s? It’s time the place we live in looked more like the home of a couple of established, mature adults – with a child no less! That’s IT. I am going to make a list of everything we want and every other month we’ll buy something.

Starting with the thing me and the Mister both want – a PVR. That’ll make the house pretty, right?

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