That Time I Went to a Paul McCartney Concert

This week I saw a freaking Beatle… Paul… The other good ones are dead. (Just kidding, obvs... I love Ringo.)

My dreams all came true that day… Well, almost.

When I was about 11 or 12 years old I “discovered*” the Beatles. I listened to their records** non-stop, watched any movie or documentary I could get my hands on, and dreamed of kissing Paul McCartney on the mouth.

As anyone who has ever had the privilege of listening to The Beatles knows… Whatever happened in Liverpool over 35 years ago was pure magic. There has never been anything like it, and there will never be anything like it again. So to have been in the presence of rock royalty, and to share three hours of the same time and space… was something else… Something I will never forget.

And here (in no particular order) are some of the things that I said to my husband at the concert:

“He can really pull off a mullet – not many men can.”

“He’s not really twisting, but he’s definitely shouting.”

“I should probably be a back-up singer for Paul McCartney.”

“How do you think one becomes a back-up singer for Paul McCartney?”

“He’s got such skinny legs.”

“Oh no… something from his latest album.”

(During the “Live and Let Die” fireworks display, which was insane and fiery) “We are all going to die tonight, aren’t we?”

“Do you think he wears diapers? Three hours is a long time for a geriatric to hold it.”

“This whole sitting at concerts thing is awesome.” (The majority of the crowd was as old as the hills and refused to stand.)

“I want to make a Paul McCartney Agreement.” (Perhaps something similar to the Eddie Vedder Agreement?)

The only possible way the concert could have been any better was if I was somehow able to kiss Paul on the mouth.

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* They were always there though, weren’t they?

** On a record.

The Oral Agreement

So my husband and I have an oral agreement, and by that I mean it’s a written agreement about what I am allowed to do “orally” with Eddie Vedder.

We lovingly refer to it as the “Ed Ved Agreement.”

I mean, it’s important to have such an oral agreement written out, agreed upon and notarized should I become his pen pal, should our paths cross one afternoon in a sleepy Seattle suburb while he walks his aging Labrador dog… Basically, the oral agreement means that should I “run into” Eddie at some point and the sexual tension be so potent that we cannot resist each other (orally) I can follow through.

And I should probably explain what I mean by “oral”… smooching, tongue-kissing, tonsil hockey, “making out,” some light canoodling, and other slobbery stuff with our mouths, lips, tongues, and teeth.

Obviously there would be no intercourse, no hands stuff, and no emotional intimacy.

Before we got married, I said to my husband, “Husband, I have strong feelings for Eddie Vedder. If I ever met him, would it be okay if I made out with him?”

And the husband (being very conciliatory) said, “Sure, as long as it doesn’t go any further than that.”

And then I said, “Mind if I get that in writing?”

You’re probably thinking, “Why on God’s green earth would you ever want to kiss anyone else when you have such a wonderful relationship with your loving and hunky husband?”

The answer is simple. Ed Ved was my first crush, and I still feel funny* in my body when I see him.

You’re probably also thinking, “Do you and your husband have an oral agreement about anyone else?”

Yes.

You’re probably also wondering, “Does it work both ways?”

If you’re referring to an oral agreement that my husband has had written up and notarized, then the answer is also yes.

Fair is fair. 

If Rhys ever meets Pat Beneath at a bar, or “run into her” while parking his car, or become her trusted advisor, he’s allowed to do whatever he wants with her, orally.

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And I get it.

 

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* not “ha ha” funny.

The Exact Place

Recently I had an article published in Darling Magazine* called “5 Things England Taught Me,” in which I discussed my long-time fascination with England, my desire to live there, and what I learned whilst residing there (aside from words like “whilst”).

As I reflected back on our time living in England, and began scrawling notes on a yellow lined pad, I turned to my husband and said, “Do you remember the moment when I first asked you if you’d move to England?” He nodded.

It’s funny how some memories are just ingrained in our psyches… Like a tattoo, or a birthmark, or (worse) a hereditary disease.

In December 2007, my husband and I went to England, France and Switzerland for about a month. The first leg of our trip was spent in England, where we stayed with some friends just outside a very small and very idyllic village in the English countryside called Sudbury. Sudbury is the kind of town that gets its own postcard – it’s that cute.

One day, my husband and I set off for a walk into the village. We were newly married, so it was a lot of talking about our feelings, canoodling, holding hands, cupping each other’s faces in each other’s hands, deep and meaningful glances, and stopping to share a passionate kiss or make sweet, sweet love in a lush meadow. I’m surprised we made any progress at all.

I remember the exact moment, the exact place where I said the words that changed our lives forever… It happened here:

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I know what you’re thinking: “Doesn’t look like much.” And, you’re right – it really doesn’t. It’s just your typical English road with a bit of pedestrian pavement – not the sort of place that changes people’s lives. And yet – it did…

Because I turned to my husband and said, “What if we lived in England?”

And those six words started the ball rolling on what would become a very exciting, sad, scary, merry, mirthful**, life-altering chapter of our lives. We quit our jobs, we sold our car, we gave away most of our stuff, we said our good-byes, and we went on a journey.

A journey that took us around the world, and then, after six years, back again.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I returned to Sudbury for a visit. One day we decided to take a walk into the village. As we approached that particular bit of pedestrian pavement, I pointed ahead and said, “That’s where it all started. That’s where I uttered those words.”

“Um, no.” My husband said, pointing further down the road. “It definitely happened over there.”

“There” being here:

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I gave my husband the look***. “I don’t think so.”

He turned to me, and said, “I know so.”

“You don’t know so.” My hands moved up to my hips.

“I do know so.”

Me: “I’m younger and have a better memory. Plus I take fish oil supplements.”

Him: “They are like 50 yards from each other, so it doesn’t actually matter, does it?”

Me: “Yeah, probably not.”

Me (in my head): “I’m obviously right and he’s obviously absolutely, unequivocally, wrong.”

And that’s how memories (and marriage) works.

 

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* A wonderfully affirmative magazine that aims to redefine beauty and empower women.

** I was looking for an excuse to use this word.

*** You know, the look.

The Phantom Hands

I could have been a hand model.

I have delicate hands, with thin wrists, elegant long fingers and silky skin. Some have said that my hands don’t suit my thick, “handsome,” matronly body, and to those people I say, “rude.”

If I had known how to go about being a hand model when I was younger*, I would have definitely pursued it, and I’m sure I would have made millions (if not billions, trillions, or zillions).

I always thought that it would just happen… I’d be spreading cream cheese on a bagel, or putting money in a parking meter, or squeezing an orange at the supermarket, when an aging bald man wearing a pin-striped suit and dark aviator sunglasses would approach me and say (with an Italian accent), “You have the most lovely hands I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Please, come with me to Milan, and become the next Delphine.” And I would have gone with him to Milan, and taken the jewelry and dishwashing detergent advertising world by storm. I would have been invited to all the best parties and events, and when I arrived the host would try to kiss my hand (as Italians do), but I’d pull my hand away, and offer my lips instead.

It would have been an amazing life, hob-nobbing with the crème de la crème…

But I guess there’s no use crying over spilled milk**. A life of luxury hand modeling around the world was not meant to be***.

My hands (which, as we have established – are extremely beautiful, delicate and definitely the embodiment of grace and dignity wrapped in soft, supple skin) have some issues.

They are phantom hands.

No matter how hard I try, no matter the situation, location, or scenario, I cannot get a hand dryer to work.

Yes, they appear normal (although obviously way, way nicer and more beautiful, graceful, etc. than “normal” people’s hands), but they are phantom hands when it comes to hand dryers.

I’ll go to a hand dryer, like this one…

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Just your typical hand dryer                       (that refuses to acknowledge my existence).

… And I’ll wave my hands like crazy, and then I’ll stand there for 15-30 seconds, doing a variety of gestures, motions, and actions, and… nothing.

The hand dryer refuses to acknowledge the existence of me, or my hands.

And it’s not just one kind of dryer, it’s all dryers, everywhere… in every bathroom, in every country, in every hemisphere. 

Recently, at the London Heathrow Airport (site of the unfortunate incident known as “The Shirt“), I went to the washroom, washed my hands, and then went over to the hand dryer – a Dyson air blade. I stuck my hands way down into the crevice, and nothing happened. I tried again. Nothing. I tried the air blade next to it. Nothing. I removed my hands, and watched as an elderly Japanese woman inserted her hands and had them dried within seconds. I had to dry my hands on my jeans.

There have been literally hundreds (if not, thousands or millions) of times when I couldn’t get a hand dryer to work.

This is my life now. I dry my extremely beautiful hands on my pants or my coat.

A curse? Maybe.

I was blessed with the hands of a Greek god, and so this is my fate in life… phantom hands.

You see? They are exquisite.

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* I’m obviously still extremely young and thriving, but the hand modeling world is a cruel, cruel microcosm of agist buffoons.

** Or, what your life could have been…

*** Instead, a life of writing stories like this one.

That Time That I Shopped For Danish Modern Furniture in Silver Lake with Thom Yorke

I could have definitely leaned over and grabbed his face and given him a big kiss on the forehead. I wanted to, and I should have, and it’s my number one regret in life.

By now, you might be wondering what my number two and number three regrets are in life, and I wouldn’t want you to go on wondering because wondering can cause headaches and other ailments.

Number 2: I didn’t save. I wanted to, I should have, and it’s my number two regret in life.

Number 3: I didn’t learn a second language. I wanted to, I should have, and it’s my number three regret in life.

Back to my number one regret in life… I should have kissed Thom Yorke on the forehead when I had my chance! (I should have also kissed him on the cheek and/or lips!)

You see, for me, forehead kissing is one of the nicest, most loving things you can do to someone – to show your appreciation and fondness for that person and/or their musical achievements.

When will I ever again casually run into Thom Yorke and be close enough to plant one on him?

There are almost 7 billion people on this earth, and Thom Yorke is only one of them (and I’m another one), so the likelihood of our paths crossing again seems quite slim.

In case you don’t know… Thom Yorke is the wispy, hip and extremely hunky (though not in an obvious way) lead singer of the English rock band, Radiohead. If you don’t know who Radiohead is, then I can’t help you. (Radiohead has sold over 30 million records worldwide, and I’m responsible for five of those records, including OK Computer, which is one of my favourite albums EVER.)

So I’m shopping for Danish modern furniture in the once hip, now probably cliché neighborhood of Silver Lake, because you need furniture – and you may as well get the kind that’s Danish and modern.

I’m looking around the store, and I’m seeing a lot of furniture that is both Danish and modern, and I’m considering what might suit my humble abode, and then I hear the little doorbell tinkle and in steps Thom Yorke.

And I know immediately it’s him.

I nudge my husband, and whisper, “its Thom Yorke.” My husband looks over at Thom Yorke, squints, and then nods his agreement in my general direction. My heart starts racing, my palms start sweating, and as Thom Yorke casually strolls through the store – looking super cool in a nonchalant man bun kind of way – I try to remain calm with some breathing techniques, and I think about what I should say to him…

“Hi Thom. Is it okay to call you Thom? Should I be pronouncing the “h” in your name? Is it Th-om? Anyway, I’m a fan. Not the kind that winnows grain, or the instrument used to produce a current of air, or even the movement of a peacock’s feathers to reveal his impressive plumage – I’m just a person that’s enthusiastic about a musician or group. Like, your band Radiohead for instance. Anyway, I like your band almost to the point of love, and I’d like to kiss your face. I was thinking your forehead but I’m open to suggestions…”

And then, right as I was about to summon the courage, I heard the doorbell tinkle, and he was gone. Just as quickly as he entered the door, the store, and my heart – he exited, out of the store, and out of my life.*

Thom, if you’re reading this (and why wouldn’t he read some 30-something Canadian woman’s comedic musings?), I love you, I love your music, and I owe you one.

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* Obviously I chased him down the road, but couldn’t find him.

The Shirt

Without a doubt, the most important thing in a marriage is trust… You’ve committed yourself to this person, and you hope that they will also cherish, honour, and love you right back. You trust that your marriage is a priority, and you trust that they hold the sacred bond of marriage above all else.

You also trust that when you ask them to hold a John Lewis bag, they’ll hold the John Lewis bag. Am I right or am I right?

I should explain.

We just got back from Europe two weeks ago. We spent four days in Sweden and ten days in England. Our trip was definitely up there in the top 10 trips of all time: we visited an archipelago on the South coast of Sweden,  we went to a ukulele jam in the basement of a grungy London pub, I sat on Sting’s sofa. All in all: it was a great trip.

So, needless to say – we  were pretty sad to head home. We headed to Heathrow Terminal 2 older, wiser, and with swollen fingers from the ukulele jam. We were excited at what awaited us at T2, and when I say, “we” I really mean, “me,” because T2 is basically a mall* with some planes coming and going.

I didn’t spend a lot of time shopping while we were in London (I was too busy sitting on Sting’s sofa), because I knew that Heathrow Terminal 2 would give me what I needed: souvenirs and some additions to my wardrobe.

Long story short – I bought a new blue and white stripy shirt at John Lewis. My wonderful and usually very trustworthy husband took the bag from the salesperson.

Just to be clear: he was definitely carrying the bag.

Fast-forward 12 hours. We’re home, we’re jet-lagged, and we’re unpacking because we’d rather get it over with, and I’m like, “where’s the John Lewis bag?”

The it all comes back to me. Heathrow Terminal 2. The husband was definitely carrying the John Lewis bag. We had lunch at Leon. And two glasses of wine. Suddenly, the husband tells me we have to get to the gate. We get on the plane. We travel through time and space. We land. My parents pick us up. We get home. We start unpacking. Which brings us back to:

“You definitely had the bag.”

“Are you sure?”

“Oh, I’m sure.”

This goes back and forth for about 10-60 minutes, before we agree that we should try to do something about it. The husband tries calling the airport, and the restaurant. I email the restaurant and then the airport. Then we realise that its night time in England, and that we are much too tired to be having this conversation.

Around 2am I wake up, and I look at my phone. There’s an email from a man that claims to work at the very restaurant that we lunched in. He said that he received my email, and he asks for a description of the shirt. I’m thinking, “if he has the shirt, shouldn’t he know what the shirt looks like?” I write a brief description anyway, and fall back asleep.

Around 8am I wake up, and I look at my phone. There’s another email from the man that my description matches the shirt he found, and he says he’d be happy to send it to me**.

And I was torn, because while I was happy that my shirt was found, and I was happy that it was on its way back to me, I hadn’t quite managed to make my husband feel bad enough for losing it in the first place.

I was kind of hoping that he’d more than make up for it – with foot rubs, and washing all the dishes several nights in a row, and letting me have the last ice cream bar.

So I didn’t exactly tell him.

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* Heathrow Terminal 2 has been revamped, and now features some of my favourite shops: Cath Kidson, Hamley’s Toy Store, and John Lewis.

** Well, actually he’s happy to send it somewhere in the UK. So I had him send it to my friend Jam, who has since posted it to me. How kind!

The Auction (and Viewing)

So I was in London last week.

I was on a train, reading a newspaper, and in that newpaper was an article about Sting and Trudie having an auction at Christie’s… “Queen Anne’s Gate: Works from the Art Collection of Sting & Trudie Styler.”

Apparently Sting and Trudie Styler wanted to “have a refresh of their London flat” and were selling 200 lots, which included tables, chairs, lamps, coffee tables, and assorted works of art, including a Picasso plate expected to “fetch” between £1200-1400.

Before I go any futher, I should tell you a little bit about Sting and Trudie Styler… But to be honest, I don’t know a lot about them. I do know that Sting is/was a singer, and he possibly plays an instrument (piano? guitar?), and that Trudie is his wife. I also know that Trudie was on an episode of Friends where Phoebe pretended to be Ross’ son’s other mom in order to meet Sting and attend his concert (it didn’t work), and I also know that they engage in tantric love-making sessions that last up to 12 hours (don’t ask me how I know that).

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12 hours…

So I’m reading about Sting and Trudie Styler’s auction, and I’m thinking to myself… “I should go to that auction” because when else would I ever have an opportunity to buy a Picasso plate for between £1200-1400 that once belonged to Sting and Trudie Styler?

A little more about the Picasso plate… it was one of an edition of 25, and it was a plate (that pretty much covers it).

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The infamous Picasso plate

I nudged my husband, showed him the article and asked him if I could go to the auction and buy a Picasso plate. My husband, who is nearly always very agreeable, said “yeah, sure.”

It makes a lot of sense (and it takes a lot of cents… zing) to buy a Picasso plate… Picasso is a fairly well-known artist, and so I figured it was probably a pretty good investment. But then again, it’s just a plate, isn’t it? And I’ve broken at least 10-15 of those washing up.

I told my husband I’d be careful with it (I wouldn’t use it in the microwave) and I would put it in a cupboard for safe keeping, and we’d just sit and wait for the value to increase.

You know in cartoons how a light bulb shows up over a character’s head when they have a good idea… That’s how I felt… This Picasso plate was an opportunity… To own a Picasso plate.

The auction was on a Wednesday, and there was a “viewing” at Christie’s the Sunday through Tuesday, so I’m thinking to myself… “I should go to that viewing.”

So I went to the viewing.

I decided to take along a friend (“Jam”) because I wanted to pretend that I had “people”… because people who go to viewings at Christie’s have “people.”

As we strode into Christie’s, we walked with purpose, our heads held high* because that’s how a person who obviously doesn’t belong somewhere gets through security. I spotted the signs for Sting and Trudie Styler’s auction upstairs and quickly climbed the stairs to the second floor.

As Jam and I entered the room, we immediately began doing the things that people do when they are looking at things like art or modern furniture – folding your arms across your chest, furrowing your brow, tapping your lip with your forefinger and saying “interesting,” when it obviously isn’t.

We looked around the room, and noticed something… We were surrounded by old, white snobs. In fact, they were some of the oldest, whitest, snobs I had ever encountered in my whole life… All Barbour and noses in the air.

We began poking our heads in the various rooms, occasionally breaking into spontaneous fits of laughter about the absurdity of it all. I mean, who would have ever thought that a woman named “Jam” and I would be rummaging through Sting and Trudie Styler’s old tat on a Monday morning half-cut on breakfast cocktails? (To be fair this is not far off most Mondays.)

Anyway, I was surveying a room when I saw it… the Picasso plate.

I went over to get a better look at the plate, and a Christie’s representative sidled up beside me. I thought we were going to be chastised and asked to leave (Jam is half-Indian and this crowd was as white as they come), but instead she asked if I wanted to see the “condition report.” I shook my head “no,” not wanting to speak and give my stock away.

We then watched as an old, white, snob sat her fat, white butt on a gray, velvet sofa (lot #46). I gasped, waiting for security to swoop in to remove her and her butt… But they didn’t swoop. I leaned over to Jam and whispered, “here’s where I sit on Sting and Trudie Styler’s sofa.” And that’s when I dared to sit my own fat, white butt on Sting and Trudie Styler’s sofa… And you know what? It felt like sitting on a marshmallow wrapped up in heaven.

Jam and I left that viewing older, wiser, whiter, snobbier… having sat on Sting and Trudie Styler’s sofa.

When Wednesday finally rolled around (two days later, as Wednesday’s tend to do), I didn’t attend the auction.

Yes, buying a Picasso plate would have probably been a great investment, and I could tell people I have a Picasso plate without lying about having a Picasso plate**, but to be honest I did not relish (mmmm relish) hanging out with a gaggle of old, white snobs for one more of my mere five days in London.

Turns out the plate went for £5600.

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Marshmellowy goodness

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* I always walk into buildings with purpose and with my head held high.

** I’ve only done this four times before.

The “Miss”

I’m back in London this week, tagging along on my husband’s work trIp, seeing old friends, and taking in the sights (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey) and the smells (pollution, wee) that has made London famous.

It’s weird returning to a place you once lived. We lived in England for three years, but looking back – it feels foggy – it almost feels like someone else lived that life. (Maybe it’s because I drank 3-4 units of alcohol per week while we lived in the UK, and my short term memory has suffered because of it?)

Anyway, I digress (as usual).

I’m back in London, visiting my old haunts… John Lewis being one of them.

For those of you who don’t know John Lewis is “a chain of upmarket department stores operating throughout Great Britain.” John Lewis has everything! Housewares, clothing, arts & crafts supplies, shoes, linens, electronics, and even a haberdashery – whatever that is.

So, yesterday I was super excited to venture out to John Lewis. I set aside several hours to really “ferret out” (comb through) the Oxford Street location, which is six levels!

As I wandered through the housewares, I heard “You alright there miss?” I turned and saw a young man, smiling in my direction. He repeated himself, “You alright there miss?” I nodded my thanks, blushing.

I immediately thought to myself, “Yep, you’ve still got it! You may be in your mid-30s but that young man just mistook you for a ‘miss,’ so you definitely still have the illusion of being young. Whatever you’re doing… moisturizers, serums, night creams, nine hours of sleep every night, vitamins, yogurt, kombucha, fermented foods and beverages, omega 3-6-9, coconut water, SPF 30, red wine, white wine, vegetarianism (aside from bacon)… keep doing it, because it’s obviously working!

I continued on through housewares, strutting down the aisle with a new, sassy confidence, tossing my hair, beaming at everyone who passed, and thinking to myself: People think that you’re spritely and youthful, and worthy of the title ‘miss!

I picked up an Emma Bridgewater mug.

“You alright miss?” I turned around, assuming the young man wanted to assist with my purchase.

“I’m fine, th–” I started, but I didn’t finish my sentence. Because as I turned, I realized that the young man wasn’t speaking to me… He speaking to someone else…

He was speaking to an elderly woman with blue hair, wearing house slippers and pushing a walker.

It felt like someone had popped my ego balloon.

“You alright miss?” He said again, louder this time. The elderly woman reached up to her ear, and adjusted her hearing aid. “You alright miss?” The young man repeated… adding insult to my injury.

The woman smiled, waved him away, and continued to push her walker toward the incontinence supplies.

I left John Lewis sad and deflated… but with an Emma Bridgewater mug.

The They Sayers

They say that time is money.

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day.

They say, “a midget standing on a giant’s shoulders can see much further than the giant.” (That one was actually Jay-Z.)

They say that money can’t buy happiness.

They say that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Who are they?

Who are these people who keep saying things?

And why don’t they try and take credit for the things that they say? These wonderful phrases are a part of our vernacular, and they float around the internet with the tag “unknown.”

“They” (whoever they are) could be reveling in their notoriety.

I’m all about taking credit for the things that I say, and the words and phrases that I have invented.

Wacky bat nuts? That’s mine.

Barf bag ripper? Me. And it’s trademarked.

(I can’t think of a third example.)

I would love to become famous for the phrases I came up with. In fact, I should try to think of more phrases that might earn me a reputation for being intelligent, thoughtful, and witty.

Here goes…

Time is not necessarily money, but effort can equal dollars. (Hmmm.)

Rome was probably built in a few years. (It makes sense.)

A midget shouldn’t stand on a giant’s shoulders, even if he wants to. (It’s dangerous.)

Money can buy you lots of things, which might make you happy. (It’s worth a try.)

They are all kinds of mammals in the sea. (This is what I’ve heard.)

So, there… I’ve done it. I’ve come up with several new phrases that I’m sure will catch on like nobody’s business… I’m sure they will trend, or go viral, or whatever it is that things do.

Admittedly, they may not be quite as good as the phrases on which I based them, but they are phrases nevertheless.

Come to think of it, I’m sure it’s very upsetting for people to look up those phrases, and have it say “unknown.” I’m sure it’s very similar to not knowing the reason for our existence on this planet, why pigs can’t look up to the sky, or not knowing whether something contains “gluten.”

No one is taking credit for the original phrases – so, perhaps I should just go ahead and take credit for those phrases? (Except the Jay-Z one, obvs.)

People want to know! They want to put a name to a face, and a name to a phrase or quote.

So, if anyone asks… those are mine.

You’re welcome.

The Glaciated Andesitic Stratovolcano

Mount Baker (if you don’t already know) is a prominent outline in the landscape of greater Vancouver. It is, quite simply, a spectacular geological jewel that reminds us that we are mere humans in a world that is undeniably supernatural.

Having said that, it’s also just a mountain, isn’t it?

And (if you don’t already know), there are plenty of mountains in beautiful British Columbia, so it’s not necessary to get too excited about one particular active, glaciated andesitic stratovolcano, located in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.

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This is a picture I took whilst driving, and it really does not do this glaciated andestitic stratovolcano justice. Although it is rather magnificent – as far as big heaps of rock go.

Although very occasionally, I do get quite excited about Mount Baker, because it has a been a source of banter and merriment in my marriage for the last 10 years.

And now, for some context…

Approximately 10 years ago, the Lloydster and I made a plan to get married. In order to have a fighting chance of staying married*, we decided to partake in a marriage preparation course, which we thought would fully prepare us for a lifetime together as husband and wife.

We chose the wrong course.

I should clarify, after 10 years of wedded bliss, we still get along like nobody’s business. In fact, we like each other so much that it is probably very nauseating for people to be around us. We are constantly holding hands, making eye contact, rubbing noses, and engaging in intercourse** in public places.

We chose the wrong course because it was a terrible class led by two ill-prepared, inept, self-righteous buffoons that called themselves “marriage counsellors.”

We had hoped the course would teach us about communication, commitment, values, and resolving conflict… But no.

At the start of the day, our “leaders” directed all participants (about a dozen couples) to create a large circle with our chairs. They then went around to each member of the group, asking about the challenges of their relationship, and then began analyzing each couple’s issues… in front of a live studio audience.

It was awkward. 

We heard about infidelity, drug use, abuse, and outstanding warrants. There was yelling, name-calling, crying, and the occasional absconder. In some situations, it was very obvious that the couple should definitely not get married. When it came time for the Lloydster and I to share, we didn’t. The Lloydster was messy sometimes, and I bought expensive peanut butter sometimes. We had nothing to say.

As we neared the end of the day, the Lloydster whispered in my ear that the course had been “a giant waste of time.” I nodded my agreement, but then… The leaders told us a story about a “challenge” in their own marriage…

The wife said that when they were driving, her husband would often point out Mount Baker. He’d say something like, “Look at Mount Baker!” The wife said this really annoyed her, because he would insist that she look at Mount Baker, and he’d just go on and on about how beautiful it was, until she eventually looked at it, and agreed with him. She said one day she turned to her husband angrily and said (I’m paraphrasing), “Stop telling me to look at Mount Baker! I don’t have to look at Mount Baker. I can look at whatever I want!” She said he stopped telling her to look at Mount Baker.

Of course, the next time that the Lloydster and I set eyes on Mount Baker, it was game on… Both of us requesting, then insisting, then demanding that the other look at Mount Baker, and going on and on and on about how beautiful, majestic, impressive, and massive it is.

And after 10 years, we still do it***.

 

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* According to a 2010 study, 40% of first marriages end in divorce!

** I meant “verbal” intercourse. Get your mind out of the gutter, you gutter-minded fiend.

*** “It.”