Banana Head

Banana Head

Friday, 26 August 2016

Three Easy Strategies for Feeling Smug and On Top of Life

“I don’t know anybody who has lots of time who is happy,” Fern told me on the phone a couple weeks ago as I whined about my long angsty days, void of life purpose. The thing is I don’t know anybody who’s so busy they can’t think who is all that happy either. When I have too much to do, I feel violated and oppressed. Too little and I become self-loathing and miserable. How then, does one acquire a smug sense of being on top of life? I offer you the following three brilliant suggestions:

1.       Organize your Tupperware drawer.
 
I have a saying that goes, “Everyone loves a good Patrick.” My other saying is, “Most people’s Tupperware drawers are a total disaster.” It’s true. Very rarely have I ever belonged to a household whose Tupperware organization system did not lead me to fruitlessly search among melted and misshapen containers for equally ill-fated or non-existent lids. The quest typically generates more chaos in the designated Tupperware area and consequently, life seems far beyond the winning. Fortunately, you can make the decision to conquer your home’s receptacle mayhem.
 
In my life, I have had the enlightening experience of meeting at least two Tupperware Revolution Theorists. One woman, who also happened to give me my first Brazilian, recommends limiting yourself to three sizes, all of the same shape. The problem with this is that roommates and perhaps also partners generally come with a vast spectrum of Tupperware variation and they don’t usually like it when you chuck their things. Thus, this sort of Tupperware Revolution is not available to everyone. A second Tupperware Revolution Theorist suggests only storing your Tupperware with the lids in place. Sadly, this is close to impossible if your kitchen possesses any sort of space limitation which is almost inevitable. X-nay that, but thanks anyways.

You will have to discover the Perfect Tupperware Revolution that resonates with your soul and your kitchen. Everyone’s Tupperware Revolution is personal; however, certain universal principles apply. For example, throwing out mismatched, melted and/or super disgusting Tupperware is non-negotiable. So is wiping out any sort of crud or crumbs that have somehow made their way into your Tupperware drawer or cupboard. Don’t hold back. Trust me, it will be highly rewarding. Once you’ve decided which Tupperware continues to spark joy, it is time to arrange the plastic and/or glass vessels in the most logical fashion possible. I’m pretty certain that it’s better to keep lids and bottoms close together, but as I said, we are all responsible for our Personal Tupperware Revolution. For optimal smugness, be sure to take before and after shots.
 
The Waverly Household Tupperware Revolution
 

2.       Send Mail.

Sending mails requires extensive and empowering grown-up skills such as buying stamps, looking up postal codes on the internet and walking to the mailbox. The other selling point is, nobody ever died or cried from getting a postcard. I derive immense joy and satisfaction from sending people mail. This summer, I was delighted to come upon a man who sold vintage animal postcards in front of Metro Laurier. They were only fifty cents each. I bought dozens, mailed dozens, and it was so fun. Unlike Generic Married Men, whatever happens, animal postcards will always be there for you. 
 
 
 
Animal Postcard, Camel with Humps.
 
3.       Wash all your bedding and put your duvet back in its cover.
  
No need to get laid to wait until washing your sheets. The satisfaction of fresh clean bedding is everyone’s birthright. Having said that, the task of inserting your duvet into the appropriate corners can seem monumental. It’s almost worth settling for a mediocre partner just to have someone to help you with this. But believe me, if you persevere, you will succeed, and you’ll feel so smug and on top of life. Apparently, there are special tricks for flipping your duvet magically and effortlessly into the right corners. I don’t know much about this. You can’t be smug about everything.
 

Duvet-generated Smugness
 
The above activities are perfect examples of what you can put on your Ta-da List. A list that you make at the end of the day, the Ta-da List serves to officialise all of the day’s accomplishments, large or small. While to-do lists may generate pressure and performance anxiety, Ta-Da lists ensure smugness and fulfilment, even when your day was void of viral tweets and cervical orgasms. At the end of the day, do not let yourself hit the pillow in despair. Consider your commitment to Tupperware, personal correspondence, duvet covers or some other noble endeavour, and luxuriate in the truth that you are, indisputably, on top of life.

The End.
 
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, self-help book by Erica J. Schmidt


Tips for Getting on Top of Life, with Gretchen Rubin

Business Ideas, on a Tuesday
Performative Crying in Alleys
The O's in the Toto have Hats
The Tidying Festival
 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Erin Ball, My Favourite Acrobat

Erin Ball is my favourite acrobat. If you have made the excellent choice of following her on Facebook, you will know that she posts the best selfies and videos on the Internet.  You might also have noticed that her legs end below her knees.

Exquisite photo by Gilles Gelinas!
I like acrobats, and I like to talk to people about their lives. I have been dying to interview Erin for almost a year. As fate would have it, she is extremely busy walking upside down and flying around in various shapes. Lucky for me, Erin generously squeezed me into her eventful life while I was in Onterrific in June. Erin picked me up at the Kingston train station. The back of her car was full of hula hoops, trapeze contraptions and one or two pairs of legs. We did the interview at the Kingston Circus Arts, where Erin teaches silks, trapeze, aerial hoop, partner acrobatics and conditioning.  
 
If you’re wondering how someone becomes such a versatile and talented acrobat and circus teacher, you need not worry, because I asked.  Surprisingly enough, Erin didn’t take up moving until her early twenties. Movement just wasn’t part of her thing. Then one day, a friend dragged her to a yoga class. She was 23.
 
As everyone else struggled through the poses, Erin really took to it: “I remember my first pigeon pose, and I was like, oh, I could really get into this.”
 
Years ago in Montreal, I saw Erin do a backbend in a yoga class. Before I knew what was going on, she had her face between her thighs. She certainly didn’t seem to be struggling all that much.
 
After that first class, although Erin didn’t get into yoga right away, she decided to go to college and become a personal trainer. Yoga came next, and then circus.
 
Erica: “Can you talk about falling in love with the circus?”
 
Erin: “I was living in Boston… Saw a poster for a hula hoop workshop and signed up to do that. And it was kind of a love-hate thing at the beginning, with hoop. Then maybe six months later, if that, I saw a busker’s fest here in Kingston and there was a couple there doing partner acrobatics and the flyer was on the base’s arm doing a handstand… It blew my mind and I said, that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, I need to learn how to do that.”
 
She found a circus school in Toronto and then Vermont at the New England Center for Circus Arts. There, she became particularly enamoured with the trapeze. Although Erin possesses a natural level of flexibility, strength was something she had to devote a great deal of time to. The process was exciting and empowering. Erin went on to complete teaching courses many disciplines including aerial silks and trapeze, acro yoga, hoopdance and pilates. Within four or five years, Erin started teaching aerial arts and other circus skills out of Kingston.
 
Erica: “Would you say that movement is now an integral part of your identity?”
 
Erin: “Yes, mentally, physically, emotionally, I need to move.”
 
Erin flies again.
Wonderful photo courtesy of SVPhotography
I am always super perplexed to hear stories of amazingly active people enduring ordeals such as amputations or spinal cord injuries. So often these things happen to the kinds of people who take full advantage of all their limbs and cells. I suppose legs and intact spinal cords come in handy for everyone, but this seems particularly true for acrobats, which is one of the reasons I find Erin’s story so compelling. Here’s what happened:
 
Erin: “I was upset and went for a drive to clear my head. Kept driving. Got out of the car, went for a walk. Sat down and my feet got wet right away which is where the problem happened. Went to get up, couldn’t feel my feet, so I couldn’t walk from that point on.”
 
Erin had driven about 45 minutes from her home in Bath, Ontario, which is almost 30 km outside of Kingston. Nobody knew where she was going and she’d left her phone in the car. It was March of 2014. Right away, her loved ones reported her as a missing person, but Erin remained lost in the woods for six days. Erin can’t remember much of this time. Given the harsh Canadian winter conditions, and a lack of food and water, she likely went unconscious early on.  
 
Erica: “Do you remember them finding you?”
 
Erin: “No. I was unconscious. My body temperature was 19. I was found by a police dog and I guess people came in and pulled me out to an area where a helicopter could get me and then I was flown to a hospital where I think I was out for a few days. They opened me up and put in warm blood and warm fluid. When I woke up I was massive and bloated and didn’t recognize my body.”
 
Erica: “Really? Because of all the weird fluids and stuff?”
 
Erin: “Yah, I have photos from the first few days when I was awake where they had to use a lift to get me out of the bed and to sit up. It was crazy.”
 
Erica: “You couldn’t really move at that point either, so you’re waking up and movement is so integral to your life and like, could you move your hands?”
 
Erin: “I don’t remember.”
 
The nurses showed Erin her feet a few days later.
 
Erin: “There was a very specific point where it all changed and was purple and bloated…”
 
Erica: “But the rest of your body, your hands were okay?”
 
While she was in the woods, Erin remembers putting her hands over her coat and crawling across the ground. She thinks the reason her feet were so damaged was because they got wet.
 
Erin: “I guess it was because my feet got wet, but I managed to keep my nose and my fingers. Super lucky.”
 
Absolutely, Erin was lucky to be alive. But parting with her feet was not such an easy transition. Erin spent three relatively horrific months in the hospital before consenting to the double amputation.
 
Erin: “Yah I was kind of in denial. I asked my mom recently to see photos… In the beginning they were purple and bloated with maybe a few patches where there was regular skin colour and then they just got progressively worse. Towards the end it was unbelievable. Like I can’t believe that that was on a human body. They were black. They looked like shrivelled up leather and they were starting to self-amputate. It was pretty intense.
 
And originally I had been told, yah you should keep walking on them and then I was told, no definitely don’t walk on them and I was kind of trying to walk on them but yah, they were starting to fall off and they were making really weird noises, like squishy. But I had this idea in my head that they were gonna grow back or I don’t know… So I just was not ready to accept that I needed to have them taken off. So woods was March 2014 and then the surgery was June 12, 2014. And eventually it was my family, they had tried to sign for me to have the surgery and the doctors couldn’t do it without my consent, so eventually they convinced me to go ahead with it.”
 
I asked Erin if finally making the decision provided her with some relief. Instead of wondering and vacillating over the unknown future, now she could go ahead and move forwards with the reality of having no feet.
 
Erin: “I wouldn’t say it was a relief. At that point I was kind of like well, I’ve had the high points of my life and that’s it, my life is over now.”
 
At the time, she was only 34. For the months following the amputation, Erin struggled to eat and do much besides lie in her bed, her arm covering her face.
 
Erin: “I had pretty much given up and decided I wanted to die.”
 
Depression was not something she’d ever dealt with before. Legs or no legs, there is never shame in being depressed. But I’m sure most of us can recognize what an enormous challenge it must have been to have to reconcile yourself with such massively life-changing events. Unless you are like me and have the twisted and unhelpful tendency to distress about the possibility of unlikely events, you probably assume that your legs are these highly useful things that you’ll get to keep.
 
Erica: “Did it ever occur to you that something like this would happen?”
 
Erin: “When I was eighteen I used to ride freight trains. So I travelled across Canada and the U.S. hitchhiking and riding trains and I fell off a train one time when I was trying to get on and I felt my legs go under the train and hit something and in that moment, it flashed through my head, oh my god, I’ve lost my legs and it was like wow, super powerful. And then somehow I got pushed from under and I scraped my knees on the rocks and that was it.
 
Other than that, I never never would have thought… My body and all parts of my body were so important to what I was doing.
 
It was something that I definitely never thought would happen to me. I remember in teacher training for aerial arts they were like, do you want to work with amputees or whatever and it was so far out of my brain, I was like, I have no idea, I have nothing, like no. Cause I don’t know anything.”
 
Erica: “So that’s not a world that you were ever familiar with.”
 
Erin: “No.”
 
A good fifteen years after falling off the freight train in Calgary, Erin woke up from the surgery and found that she really had lost her legs. Depression reigned for several months. With movement and physical achievement so fundamental to her sense of who she was, Erin felt totally devastated and lost. Plus life at the stark, soulless hospital, with its airplane food trays and sterile vital checks is enough to get anyone down. I wondered if Erin had experienced some sort of breakthrough or epiphany when the depression lifted. She said that there was one point in September when she tried prosthetics and for a moment, she snapped out of it.
 
Erin: “It was like, okay, I’m gonna live.”
 
I remember the video she posted during that time. With tentative confidence, Erin walked back and forth along the prostheticist’s room’s walkway. You could almost hear the people in the background holding their breath.
 
“I am so freakin happy right now,” Erin had written on Facebook. But soon afterwards, she went back to not getting out of bed. Finally in January, things started to shift. By February of 2015, Erin was committed to using prosthetics every day.
 
Erica: “What shifted?”
 
Erin: “Time, I think and just being sick of the hospital, and I just made the decision, I have to get out of here and live, so it’s time to walk and do circus.”
 
Surprisingly, walking turned out to be somewhat more difficult than circus. From inspirational Ted talks and the cutting edge prosthetics you see in the Paralympics or on Nike commercials, I always thought that the technology available for amputees was quite excellent. It turns out that wearing prosthetics is often extremely uncomfortable.  
 
Erin: “My legs are in sockets, so normally the tibia and fibula are joined at the ankle but now they’re not joined at all, so now when I walk they’re being pushed apart and there’s a big nerve that runs along in there and so it really bothers me. It’s like a lot of nerve pain just from walking in the sockets. And there’s been a big adjustment period and a lot of pain just having the bone at the front in contact with the socket with every step.”

Erin in cool stripey pants, with her socket-prosthetics.
Thank you to Bryce Murdoch Photography for the stunning photo!
 
So basically Erin has to walk on her calf muscles which are not really designed for this. And yet, Erin has been amazed at how her body has adapted. When she walks, her calves can actually detect a rock or change of surface from above her prosthetic legs. Despite the pain and discomfort that has come with prosthetics, Erin is already accomplishing far more than most of us could pull off with three to seventeen legs.
 
Erica: “Do you think you’re more driven than you were before? Do you feel like, ‘I need to be super active?’ ”

Another stunning photo by Bryce Murdoch Photography!
Erin: “It’s different now. Let me think about that a little bit. Yah, I don’t know how to put into words what the difference is… I think before my accident, you know, I was at work and interacting with people but in my personal life outside of that I had started kind of isolating and I think since the accident I’ve realized how important it is to stay connected. Before I spent a lot of time training on my own and I do that now too but I really try to get people around whenever I can.” 

Erin has created a lovely community at the Kingston Circus Arts. Although I used to think of circus as this elite and impossible thing that was limited to the Cirque du Soleil people, it actually turns out to quite inclusive. With so many mediums and adaptations, there is something for everyone, especially when you have an excellent teacher like Erin. I got a chance to try the silks and aerial hoops while I was visiting. Erin struck a perfect balance between helping me feel both challenged and safe, despite my mild fear of breaking my neck. It was beautiful to see all the different bodies joyfully executing so many beautiful and exciting feats. One of the bodies belonged to Erin’s mother Kathy who blew me away with both her grace and her biceps. Erin’s family has been a significant source of love and support during her recovery. It was Erin’s dad who first suggested that Erin take off her legwarmers during a performance. 
 
Erin's Mom, Kathy, next to Erin. Erin grew quite a few inches when she got new legs and now she gets to be taller than her Mom. Lovely pipes, Ladies!
Erin: “It was really hard, at first I didn’t want to show my legs. That took a lot of getting used to. I was in the middle of a performance and my dad said, you should take those leg warmers off and I was like, I can’t, I just can’t and I did and I never put them back on, but it was like I’m not going to be able to wake up every single day and go out like this and face the world and I have been able to. And I totally do not want to put the legwarmers back on now, but I kind of wanted to make a video of all of the reactions and things that I get in a day. Now I’m totally fine with it but in the beginning it was like, woo, this is a lot.”
 
The best reactions come from kids, who always ask Erin if she’s a robot. Adults are a little more awkward. They stare and look away, or pretend to ignore the fact that Erin has metal legs. Hearing Erin talk about this reminded me of this lifeguarding training I went to years ago, led by a man who was missing an arm. I felt like me and all the other lifeguards were dying to know what had happened. I asked Erin what the best kind of reaction was.
 
Erin: “If people are open about it. Ask about it… I can’t speak for other people but I guess for me, I’m putting this out there by choice and so definitely come ask me, it’s here. But yah. I can’t speak for everybody, if that’s what they feel as well.”
 
I wanted to get a sense of the least helpful thing people could say. Like what has been the worst part, besides the physical challenges and pain.
 
Erin: “Sometimes people making excuses for me, like you can’t do this because of your legs.”

Another terrible thing to say is, “Well, everything happens for a reason.” Ick. 
 
Erica: “It’s kind of bullshit that everything happened for a reason. I don’t know if you’re into that, but it’s kind of like, it happened-”
 
Erin: “Exactly. My mom started getting so pissed off. People would say that to her and she’d be like no, you can’t say that. And I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, but it happened and there are good things that have come out of it.”
 
One of the good things is the encouraging online community of people who follow Erin’s posts. As I’ve mentioned, Erin’s selfies and videos are the best and they inspire tons of people.
 
Erica: “A couple weeks ago you posted that you were feeling sad and missing your feet… do you let yourself grieve and have many regrets, do you have time for regrets or is it more like, I gotta move forward, I gotta get over this.”
 
Erin: “So I would say in general I am pretty happy, I feel like that’s one thing that’s really come out of this. Like before I would go through periods or days where I would be like uh, none of my clothes work, or I’m freaking out about all this stuff, you know low self-esteem days and stuff, and I find now it’s just like fuck it, like you know what, I have metal legs and who cares. So yah, it’s helped a lot with that.  And yah in general, it’s just like I’m enjoying life and whatever I can get out of it. But I definitely do have times when I feel sad, especially watching old videos where it’s like oh, like I’m so used to this now that I forget and then I see a video and it’s like oh wow, that’s what I was able to do… And it’s like whew. But it’s been really enjoyable finding all the new things, and just discovering and being creative. So that’s been great.


Regrets? I don’t really have regrets about it. But I do allow myself to be sad. For sure. The day of the two-year anniversary of the amputation I spent a period of the day in bed crying. Totally.” 
 
Erica: “Hard day?”
 
Erin: “Good day for most of the day, but totally allowed an hour of just crying in bed.
 
Erica: “But it doesn’t consume you like in the hospital.”
 
Erin: “Yah I don’t stay there. It never lasts. It’s just a short period of time and then boom I’m back to normal.”
 
Erica: “And in general, some things are definitely better.”
 
Erin: “Totally.”
 
Erica: “Sometimes people go through events like this and they say, I am a totally new person, or other people will say that about you, like oh, you’re a totally different person? How do you feel?”
 
Erin: “I feel like I’ve grown a lot. I’m the same person, but I’ve grown a lot. I’ve learned a lot. I mean, I don’t know. In some ways I feel different… Yah, I guess I’ve just grown and learned a lot and I’m trying to just make the most of this.”
 
Making the most of this is a massive understatement. Erin, you are rocking this. What a joy it has been to witness you grow on this unbelievable journey.
 
“Life is weird and difficult and wonderful.” –Erin Ball, my favourite acrobat


 The End.

Check out the CBC's beautiful video about Erin!
Check out Erin's blog socksandsockets!
Check out Erin's classes at Kingston Circus Arts!

Follow Erin on Facebook! 

Me and Erin. Dream come true!
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, self-help book by Erica J. Schmidt

This interview is an example of a blog feature I started called, "Asking People About Their Lives," in which I do just that.
I love asking people about their lives.
Here are my other interviews so far:

Asking Matt Wiviott About His Life

Guillaume Part One
Guillaume Part Two

Shelley Fillipoff: Where is Emma Fillipoff, Part One of Nine.
 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Mythological Unconditional Love

Some people say that happy romantic relationships depend on the beautiful lies couples say to each other.

“You are unbelievably perfect for me.”
“No one could ever be as wonderful as you.”
“I was miserable before I met you. I’m so glad the moon told me to kiss you. You’re the best kisser of life.”
Etc.

Yesterday, I felt deprived of such beautiful lies. And I wrote this Haiku:

Haiku: M.U.L.
 
Mythological
Unconditional Love is
Something I’m missing.

Some of the 12-step people invented something called Sexual Addiction. S.A. I did not feel like researching all that much about this condition, but my understanding is that Sex Addicts (also referred to as S.A.’s) seek out sex and love to remedy their low self-esteem. Or maybe they are lonely.
 
I did the twelve steps a couple of times for my eating disorder. For step three or four or five, I had to compile all of my character defects. I wrote each character defect on a little slip of paper. The first time I compiled my character defects, I threw them all into the Lachine Canal, near Griffintown. That was in 2009. I imagine that the Lachine Canal must be full of character defects. In 2011, I wrote out my character defects again. This time, I put them in my homemade God Box. Before I moved to Halifax, I gave the God Box to Simon, my ex-ex boyfriend who I wrote a mediocre epistolary novel with. The novel was called, The Little Savage and the Hermit. Simon was the Hermit. I am trying to refrain from referring to Simon as my ex-ex boyfriend who jumped off a building on January 4, 2015, and this is going not that well.   
 
I don’t know what happened to the God Box. It was covered with splatters of paint. I used to be quite artistic.
 
Beautiful lies are the best cure for character defects.
 
“I love you even though you get peanut butter all over the walls.”
“I love you more than spelt bread.”
“Your vagina makes up for your obnoxious meltdowns, even though you have questionable groin welts from misguided attempts at pubic hair removal.”

As I mentioned, I am missing the Beautiful Lies. Perhaps I am an S.A.
 
R.S.A. equals Recovering Sex Addicts and such people do not seek out sex and love as remedies for low self-esteem and loneliness. I wonder what they do instead.
 
I think it is a bit dumb to pathologize loneliness into a vague disease or unflattering label. Probably the S.A.’s and R.S.A.’s are the same as everyone else. They’re just bad liars. I can relate:
 
“Everyone wishes they were my duvet.”
“My crooked do-it-yourself haircut is spectacular.”
“I am the funniest writer in the world.”

The End.

 
Selfies are the ultimate beautiful lie.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook.
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, a self-help book by Erica J. Schmidt

Why I am like Jane Fonda
God Box

Memoirs of a Brief Affair
Performative Crying in Alleys
Performative Text Messages

Still Me

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Prozac Made Me A Better Dancer

Prozac made me a better dancer.
It also did wonders for my fashion sense.
Some might say the same about my haiku writing capacities.
And haircutting skills.
Prozac did wonders for my fashion sense.
So glad I decided this outfit sparked joy. A Winners Special.

Also, I clean like a madwoman
Which is excellent for Roommate Relations. I think.
Although this morning I got molasses on the floor.
Besides that, my closet radiates order
Filled with clothes that rejoice in their origami folds.

The Tidying Festival Never Ends.
All the Prozac induced bouncing
Stimulates my lymphatic system.
Surely this prevents cancer. And ulcers. And back pain.

Here is a haiku I wrote about Prozac:

Prozac is like a
Big orgasm all the time.
It’s a fucking blast.

(In case you were worried about the sexual side effects.)

If you work for Prozac, and need a poster girl, I am not beyond this.
Prozac, Probiotics, Kumbucha.
I can advocate all of these things.

Prozac gives me an open mind.

The End.

Fun Drug Combinations, by the Exuberant Bodhisattva

Prozac + Caffeine:  this goes without saying.
Prozac + Caffeine + High School Reunion:  You will say the most surprising things.
Prozac + Caffeine + Neon Shorts + Daybreaker Morning Dance Party:  Oh Boy!
Here I am post-Daybreaker. Glistening.
What a delightful and outstanding event.
Stay tuned for the next one!
#Daybreaker
Prozac + Caffeine + Glute Camp Montreal:  The Butt Ledge has never looked better.
Family Glute Camp on Lakewood Road, with Sister and Dog-Niece.
 You and your Butt Ledge are welcome to join me this evening at 6 PM in Parc Laurier
Over the Hump Glute Camp: Tomorrow (Tomorrow = Today) 
Prozac + Summer in Montreal: One of the best combos ever.

Hope to see you soon!
 
My Grandma and I practicing our Interpretive Dance Moves. She just turned 90. We have generously offered to perform at my cousin's wedding. Prozac made me more generous. Grandma comes by her generosity and spectacular-ness naturally.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, a self-help book by Erica J. Schmidt

Prozac Made Me A Better Person
High School Reunion
Deep Unyielding Depression, Part One
Deep Unyielding Depression, Part Two
Memoirs of a Brief Affair
 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

High School Reunion, Part One: Small Talk

Ten Conversation Starters for Transcending Small Talk at Your High School Reunion
 
1.       So good to see you. Are you married? Do you think you married the wrong person?

2.       You have children? Congratulations! How many? What has been your biggest parenting mistake so far?

3.       Wow! Your job sounds really boring! (Insert vibrant smile.)

4.       Who out of high school do you regret not hooking up with? Who do you regret hooking up with? Let’s discuss the circumstances that led to both outcomes.

5.       Are you estranged from any family members? How’d that go down?

6.       What issue tortures your brain at 3 o’clock in the morning when you can’t sleep?

7.       Describe your level of sexual fulfillment. Would you say you are very well fucked, sort of well fucked, underfucked, or not fucked at all?

8.       Have you uncovered any childhood trauma that causes you to repeatedly sabotage your romantic and/or professional life?

9.       What major health challenges have you encountered over the past ten years?

10.   Have you ever tried a threesome? Do you swing?

Bonus Haikus: Raising the Devil.

High School Reunion.
Prozac Reverberation.
I plucked my chin hairs.

I’m glad my roommate
Gave me this lovely blue dress.
Ready for small talk.

My mother worries
About my dress's sweat stains.
This is exciting.

Bonus Letter from my Grade Nine Boyfriend of Three Weeks

We both had braces and on a picnic when he tried to make out with me, I shoved a bun in his mouth.  Today, this boyfriend is exceedingly handsome and possibly rich. His letter is written inside one of the hundreds of handmade cards I used to give to just about everyone in high school in honour of any holiday I could think of.  I was especially good at drawing blue and purple elephants.
Grade Nine Boyfriend of Three Weeks: Erica UR cool. You shouldn't do all that crap for others. Doing some stuff is okay but you shouldn't do all that stuff you do or people will depend on you too much. Keep it real. And be a little selfish.
Grade Nine Boyfriend of Three Weeks just might be in this photo.
Thanks for the wonderful advice!
Bonus Haikus, Part Two

Preamble - I am in search a new haiku/texting boyfriend to replace and/or supplement the Married Man. Here are some thoughts on this matter:

I need a new muse.
The guy who tied me up last
Summer wrote to me.

He said he would not
Make much of a haiku friend
At least he’s honest.

The End.
 
Happy High School Reunion, PDCI! It was wonderful to see you all!
 
Bonus Photo from Mr. Wilson's 1992 Grade Three Class:
Guess who?!?



Drama Club Peeps!
I see glitter.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
Erica's Self-Help Book: I Let Go

Mother's Bunion
Prozac Made Me a Better Person
Memoirs of a Brief Affair

The Kiss Test
What a Beautiful Face
Performative Crying in Alleys

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Memoirs of a Brief Affair

RH stands for Radical Honesty and might make you think of the hemorrhoid cream. Hemorrhoid is one of those ridiculously difficult words to spell. A lack of hemorrhoids is a source of gratitude. Some people make a case for lukewarm honesty. Instead of the radical kind. I am not that kind of people.

A couple of friends suggested I start a new Haiku or poetry blog. Marriedman.com.

Haiku One. Memoirs of a Brief Affair.

In meditation,
I heard your wife say please stop
texting my husband.

I'd rather not stop.

It is super addictive.
What should we do now.

My dream was about
You guys getting a divorce.
She told your family.

I sat there, listened
as Susie crawled on my lap.
Jeremy said nothing.

I wanted to text
"You didn't try therapy."
Like you said you would.

"It's too expensive."
That was your excuse. But it's
cheaper than divorce.

End of Haiku one.

Seeking redemption,
I fold all my underwear
To look like a rose.


If you’re wondering how Facebook Rehab is going, well, between haikus to the Married Man, I am now posting selfies of myself wearing plush elephant masks and talking to owl puppets. They get tons of likes.

 

Plush Performances
My deepest fear is
I’ll still be sending haikus
To you in ten years.

Tonight at 6 p.m., I get to spark joy in the house of some banker/kundalini yoga instructor. Yesterday, on my way to Butt Club, I texted my most darling friend and mentor (MMDFAM) who generously invited me to my first threesome last spring in Toronto.   

Yesterday, 5:12 PM:  MMDFAM! How’s it going? I tried to get closure with the married man in person, since the haikus did not work. But nor did seeing him. We didn’t make out but I could not can it. I like him. He will never make me a well-fucked woman. What am I doing? Why can’t I channel all this energy into something useful? I feel addicted to the drama and the constant affirmation. It is so hard to focus on life. The Facebook Rehab is a bust. Soon it will be Butt Club. I love you. I’m sure your butt looks phenomenal. XO.

MMDFAM suggested that we raise a toast to INCREMENTALLY BETTER and the Baby StepsTM method. But having said that, sometimes closure is overrated. Like folding your underwear into the shape of a rose. Butt Club was an enormous success. Four Participants. World record. The Married Man sent his congratulations. He remains in massive haiku debt.

When are we gonna
Bother with integrity
This just needs to end.

I finished translating the novel excerpt about terrorists on a luxury cruise ship. Several sentences needed to die. For example,

“Each of their faces displayed a victorious smile and the entire group exuded a nearly infantile excitement.”

Nobody got to exude a nearly infantile excitement or display a victorious smile. Also the vanishing box did not get to bid farewell with a foamy bluish whirlpool. I am giving the sentences closure.

“Though the men appeared curious at the time, their interest quickly faded as the vanishing box bid farewell with a foamy bluish whirlpool.”

And the love affair between the ex-marine and the captivating cruise ship acrobat didn’t seem to work out either. It died in chapter eight.

“Instead of answering, Charles stopped walking and sadly watched Bella’s figure gradually disappear, like a dream that tortures the heart as it fades into the distance, beyond reach.”

There’s no narrative
Closure is overrated.

The End.
 

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Crackbook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor

I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt

Prozac Made Me A Better Person
Performative Crying in Alleys
The Tidying Festival