Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions

I used to wear red underwear every December 31.

It’s old wives tale that, if you wear red underwear on NYE, you will be engaged before the next year is out. When I admitted this to Spaz and MC last night over a bottle of red, they laughed their asses off and Spaz pulled a muscle in her neck. Rightfully so.

It’s hilarious for a few reasons, really. First, that I would subscribe to any kind of superstition. I don’t even believe in recycling, and I’m pretty sure that’s real. Second, that I wanted to be engaged at all. I mean…look at me. The idea right now of sharing my life with someone – forever – makes me break out in a stress rash. And I’m happy for my friends who are choosing this path, and jealous of their poufy dresses and shiny rings, but I have to admit that I laughed for approximately three days straight when one of my facebook friends posted a serious picture of her, her husband, and her newborn dressed up as Mary, Joseph and Jesus. I’m pretty sure that baby Spencer wasn’t a product of immaculate conception, honey. More likely a bottle of baby duck and an anniversary.

Ok.

But there was a while when I thought FauxHawk and I would get married. He was in his 30s, a doctor, serious about life, and I kept hoping that the day would come when he’d break out the bling and I’d start my jew conversion classes. And I loved him stupid amounts, and told myself that maybe someday he’d start acting like I was important to him, and so I wore the fucking red underwear every year and fantasized about our venue (outside tent, CapitalCity, late September) and first dance (In my Life – The Beatles).

Turns out I wasn’t the person FauxHawk wanted me to be, as I discovered just this week. That was a fun conversation. Sharing is caring. Keep me away from the knives and the shower rod.

But the person that I am, right now, isn’t so bad. And if you want to date someone who pays all their bills on time and cleans the toast crumbs off the counter every morning, then you need to keep looking because that is never going to be me. The only thing I pay consistently is the poutine delivery man, and I prefer to use my kitchen counter for rough sex (after which I do wipe it down, actually).

So, it’s safe to say that my goals are slightly different this year. And 2010 is going to be great, once I get past the soul-suck of my final semester of school. I’m moving to TheBigCity in June to start working at TheBigNewspaper. Yes, I have a bonafide job. And I’m going to travel, and I’m going meet new people, and I’m going to spend time with my old people who I love and who don’t base my worth on my ability to drive, and I’m going to maybe train to run a half marathon if I can get my lazy ass off the couch, and I’m going to fuck while I’m still limber enough to be contorted, and I’m going to leave crumbs EVERYWHERE because I just fucking love toast, ok? I love toast. Sue me.

So, I’m not sure what kind of underwear I should wear tonight to bring about this awesome life.

Probably crotchless.

Happy New Year, bitches!!

Love, love, love,

ThePeach

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I like Coffee, I like Tea.

The other morning I was making coffee in my sister’s French Press while she made some Chai tea at the other end of the counter.

I ground the coffee beans and shook them into the carafe. I poured in the boiling water and struggled with the press. The water pressure made it difficult. I sighed.

ThePeach: *pushes press* Do you ever feel like all the pressure in the world is against you?
TigerCat: *pours milk into tea* Well, you date a lot of really complicated guys, Peach.
ThePeach:…I was talking about the French Press.
TigerCat:…oh.

Just a little breakfast reality check.

ThePeach

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Milo visits Santa

For a class assignment I recently did something...awful. We had to write a participant observation piece about something we had never done before. Coming up with ideas our professor approved of was challenging.

Remember MC and the bus trip to Syracuse?

I was having the same problem. I had sent at least three brilliant (in my mind) ideas to my prof, all of which were rejected by her. Finally, as a desperate joke, I suggested I take my cat to get his photo taken with Santa and write about crazy cat ladies.

She loved it and told me to do it.

Joke's on me.

So, that's how I wound up bringing Milo to a PetSmart a few Saturdays ago to get his photo taken with Santa. It was godawful. I spent four hours hanging out with Santa, who kept staring at my tits and asking if I had a boyfriend. Milo still hasn't forgiven me for bringing him to the land of dogs.

If I made another factual error and get another B I will lose my shit.

Anyway, I decided to post the results for your Christmas viewing pleasure. All proper names have been removed.

Merry Fucking Christmas from ThePeach and angry Milo!

***

Santa looks friendly enough, but my little guy is having none of it.

Milo grips at my shoulders and then looks at me with scared eyes as I pass him over to the elf and she places him on Santa’s lap. He squirms and buries his face in Santa’s curly beard.

“Hey, buddy! Look over here!” the elf says from behind the camera.

But Milo just stares wildly at the door, his arms sticking out stiffly from Santa’s tight grip around his waist.

The elf shrugs and presses the shutter on the camera, capturing the moment.

You can’t hope for much more from a cat.

Twenty minutes earlier, my cheeks are flaming as I push a shopping cart into the CapitalCity PetSmart, my 3-year-old black cat howling from inside his little cage, which is jammed into the children’s seat.

PetSmart stores across Canada and the U.S. offer a “Santa Claws” in-store photo event the last three weekends before Christmas. Pet-owners can bring their animals into the store for a picture with Santa and a festive photo frame for $10, half of which goes to PetSmart pet charities.

I’ve spent three Christmases with Milo, but I’d never been tempted to bring him to get his photo taken with Santa. I’d often tried and failed to make him wear a miniature Santa hat, but cats – at least, my cat – are usually uncooperative in these matters. Once the hat was strapped on his head, Milo would flail his front paws spastically, batting at the offending item until he knocked it off. Then, he would grab it in his teeth, lie on his side, and kick at it with his back legs, a flurry of red velour and claws.

I always did this in the privacy of my own home, where my pet obsession could remain a secret indulgence.

Now, as I wheel Milo toward Santa in a store full of people, I’m on full display.

The average Canadian household spends more on pet expenses than they do on childcare, according to 2007 census data. The pet industry is a $4.5 billion business, with marketers and stores trying to appeal to the parental nature of pet-owners. The trend is known as the humanization of pets.

As a single woman in my twenties without kids, I’ve tried not to think of my cat as a child. Milo doesn’t wear clothing, he doesn’t eat off a plate and I have never called myself his “mom.”

But Santa photos seem like the first misstep.

The operations manager assures me I’m not alone, boasting that last weekend the store sold 55 photos.

“We’ll have lines, and dogs everywhere,” he says with a grin.

There are already dogs everywhere. Behind me, in the grooming studio, four large dogs howl as they get haircuts. I can hear barking from the training class at the back of the store. The yapping of two small Chihuahuas in matching Christmas sweaters cuts through the air.

Milo cowers in the back of his cage. He’s outnumbered.

Santa informs me that, in his experience, about 70 per cent of the animals who get photos taken with him are dogs. Santa usually works in the cat adoption centre, but today the middle-aged employee has donned a red suit, black boots and a bushy beard.

“Santa, your gloves!” says his elf Samantha, 19, as she throws a pair at him.

Often, larger stores will hire professional photographers, elves and Santas for the yearly “Santa Claws” event. But this CapitalCity PetSmart gets less traffic than some of the other five locations, so they assign their own employees to the job.

Samantha and Santa say they don’t mind playing the part.

“I’ve been hanging around animals my whole life,” Samantha says from beneath a pointy green hat. She gestures to her striped tights, her curled felt shoes, and her green jumper.

“I’m really friendly, and I’m willing to dress up in costumes like this.”

Santa adjusts his beard and shrugs.

“It’s something new to do,” he says earnestly, his eyes wide behind his wire-rimmed glasses.

“The animals mostly behave.”

But Luna the German shepherd isn’t cooperating. The friendly dog keeps turning around to sniff Santa, ruining the shot.

“Sit, Luna!” her owner pleads.

She grabs a squeak toy and holds it behind Samantha, who has the camera. She squeezes it.

Luna turns, her ears perked.

Samantha presses the shutter.

“You only get a few shots where they don’t look terrified,” Samantha admits later, as she rests her feet at the printing station.

“The parents love it, but you can tell the animals are hating life.”

Later, after I’ve sent my enraged cat home with a friend, I explore the rest of the store. There are aisles of Christmas gift ideas for pets. I’m seriously tempted by a set of strap-on antlers for cats or small dogs, but decide Milo had been through enough that day.

As I pass display after display of festive stockings and Christmas-coloured stuffed mice, I wonder if I’ve neglected Milo by assuming he didn’t care about presents.

After all, he’s just a cat, not a child.

Tell that to the mother of Oscar.

“He’s my little boy. He’s like my son,” she says of her yellow Labrador retriever.

Oscar is a model of obedience. He sits demurely by Santa’s feet and looks straight at the camera. His ears perk up when she offers him a treat.

“There we go,” she says proudly as Samantha snaps the perfect picture.

Oscar wags his tail as his owner shows me a wallet full of photos of the dog. She says she has commissioned three oil paintings of Oscar from a professional artist in Toronto.

“Let’s go and see what you want to ask Santa for Christmas!” she says to Oscar as they head toward the dog section, Oscar sniffing at the bags of food they pass on the way.

An hour later I see her beaming as she pushes a cart full of bags past the cashier.

After a lull in action, I check in on Santa. It’s been almost an hour since anyone came in for a photo.

As I round the corner toward the photo area, Santa’s head sinks lower toward his chest. His eyes are closed and his beard is crooked. Swathed in sagging red velour, he is dwarfed by the large green bench under him.

A tiny poodle in an argyle sweater trots by. The snap of the dog’s nails on the linoleum jerks Santa back to attention, and just in time.

Max the “skinny pig” is here for a photo.

Skinny pigs are a breed of hairless Guinea pigs. They’re smaller and more delicate than the furrier variety. Max is almost a year old and he looks like a miniature hippo, grey and folded. He’s wrapped up in a blanket.

“It’s his first Christmas,” his owner, 21, explains to Samantha, cradling Max like a newborn.

Santa holds Max gently as Samantha moves in for a close-up.

“Well, don’t you have a lot to say!” Santa coos to the chirping critter.

Later, Santa talks happily about his three cats at home and tells me Milo is very handsome. I’m doubtful as I look at the photo of the two of them together, Milo staring like a stunned deer into a headlight as Santa holds his bulky black body tight to stop him from running away.

I tell him I love my cat but that I was embarrassed to bring Milo to the store.

“I don’t want to look obsessed with my pet,” I tell Santa.

He laughs and tells me I’m in the right place for it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ThePeach hits rock bottom; regrets all those holiday Lattes

Today my credit card was declined in a No Frills grocery store.

No Frills, people. That’s literally the lowest grocery store in the food chain, just barely above the food bank and a squeak below Walmart.

Declined, trying to buy no-name eggnog and breakfast sausages for my sister.

Thank god I went to dollarama before No Frills, or Cockdoc wouldn’t be getting his Christmas present.

Tis the season to lie in the dark wondering what happened to your life.

Falalalala lalala la.

ThePeach

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Confessions of a failed yuppie

I’m in Universitytown for the holidays, staying with TigerCat and CockDoc.

I have really needed this vacation. If you’re wondering why I haven’t updated my blog in the past 3 weeks, it’s because I’ve been in the dark place again (it’s dark). All I do is work and lie on the couch thinking about my work and how poor I am. Throw in some instant noodles, microwave popcorn and cat vomit removal and that’s pretty much how I spent the last month.

TigerCat’s apartment is a beacon of festive hope in my dark place. It looks like someone put Martha Stewart in a small box, threw in some speed, shook the box vigorously for 15 minutes, and then set her free in the apartment with some garland.

TigerCat is currently unemployed and has directed all of her time and energy into Christmasing the shit out of life. She has baked over 500 Christmas cookies. She has handcrafted home-made ornaments for the tree. She has had the menu for Christmas dinner planned since October.

Enter ThePeach.

I rolled into Universitytown with a suitcase full of dirty clothes and mismatched socks with holes in them, zero dollars in the bank, and an apartment back home where the power is likely to be turned off before the New Year.

I’d forgotten how grownup all of my Universitytown friends are, what with their houses and their marriages and their sweater vests. I’m trying to fit in, but the results are…discouraging.

Knitting FAIL:
I have zero dollars and at least 5 people to buy Christmas gifts for. I got it in my head that a solution might be to purchase cheap yarn, learn to knit using youtube videos, and knit everyone a scarf in the one week before Christmas.

TigerCat took me to a craft store, I explained my situation to a store clerk, and she assured me I could knit a scarf in like six hours once I got the hang of it. Then she showed me how to knit, and I tried to pay attention but realized that knitting is boring, so TigerCat paid attention while I thought about writing, sushi, and the last episode of Glee.

Then I bought 6 spools of yarn and some knitting needles. Total price: $60.

The price of a scarf at Old Navy: $2

Not a promising start. No matter, I would knit the shit out of the scarves and gift everyone with a homemade token of my love!

TigerCat and I had an idea in our minds of how this would go. We would sit on the couch by the Christmas tree, sip tea, maybe bake some scones, and chat about niceties while we quickly knit perfect scarves. Just like old ladies in the movies, or old age homes.

This is how it actually went:

TigerCat: This is actually pretty easy!
ThePeach: FUCK.
TigerCat: Look, my first row.
ThePeach: FUCK YOUR MOTHER.
TigerCat: Look how tidy my stitches are.
ThePeach: *throws knitting at wall*
TigerCat: This scarf is going to be beautiful!
ThePeach: *tries to stab own heart with knitting needle*
TigerCat: And yours is…oh…it’s…do you want help?
ThePeach: I’ll kill you.

I had to restart approximately six times, and each time I cried and swore like I had tourettes. It took me two days to realize I was making the wrong kind of knots.

My first attempt at a scarf for my grandpa turned into a heap of frayed yarn unraveled in a pile beside the bed.

My second attempt looked like something you pull out of the bottom of a bathtub drain.

My third attempt had a hole you could fit your fist through.

Etc.

My final attempt had a five-foot long dangler hanging from the middle of one of my rows for no apparent reason. I knew I would actually kill myself if I started over again, so I just cut the dangler and pretended I never saw it. I hope it wasn’t a load-baring dangler.

It’s been three days, countless shit-fits, and 60 dollars. I have successfully knit approximately one inch of scarf. It’s the equivalent skill of the hand-print mosaic a five year old makes in kindergarten and gives as a mother’s day present, except I’m 27 years old.

I’ll give it to my grandpa on his death-bed.

Guitar Hero FAIL:
So, it turns out that when you’re a yuppie you spend your nights playing Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Band Hero, or some equivalent. This is what people do after the bar, before the bar, or in lieu of the bar. It looks like fun, and I've been anxious to try it.

Trying to hone my skill, I decided to play Guitar Hero World Tour with TigerCat and CockDoc one night. They put me on the drums to start, figuring it was a good place for me since I played the actual drums for like 13 years.

We lost within the first 7 seconds of the song. TigerCat smiled encouragingly as she held the microphone and said we should try again, maybe on beginner instead of easy. CockDoc strummed the guitar and said nothing.

We lost in 9 seconds.

I blamed the drums, saying it’s hardest instrument. So they put me on vocals, and TigerCat immediately picked up the drums with the skill of Phil Colins while I stumbled and cracked my way through Michael Jackson’s “Beat it.”

CockDoc strummed the guitar and said nothing.

The band still wasn’t up to par, so then they tried me on guitar while CockDoc deftly aced the drums and TigerCat sang like Gwen Stefani.

I wasn’t as bad on guitar, but I was still not up to the same level of skill as my other band members. What is this star power you speak of? What is this solo? Why is your tv bigger than my bathroom?

I went to bed discouraged, tripping on my knitting on the way.

Shopping FAIL:
Yuppies also like to shop in big-box stores like Walmart and CostCo. It might be for the prices, or it might be to laugh at the mulleted fatasses buying icing in bulk. I can get on board with that, so we went to Walmart on my first day in UniversityTown.

TigerCat bought all of the ingredients for our Christmas dinner at a quarter of the normal retail price. I got over-stimulated by the low prices and bought a pair of boots that don’t really fit and make me look like a cowboy. I also bought a club-pack of socks and some Halls throat lozenges. Then I got so overwhelmed that TigerCat had to take me outside and we left.

Today we’re trying CostCo. I’ll probably try to buy an 800-pack of tampons and then faint from excitement.

I’m scared.

Life FAIL:
Last night we got high and watched the movie “You, Me and Dupree.” It’s about a nice, young, middle-class couple and their hobo friend who comes to stay with them and winds up destroying their lives.

TigerCat and CockDoc kept looking at me throughout the movie. Like when Dupree admits he doesn’t have a license, when he can’t pay his rent and is living on a cot in a bar, and when he burns down part of their living room from lighting too many candles during sex.

I’m not sure what they’re hinting at.

Tonight they’re taking me to a holiday party for married people.

Maybe I’ll bring my knitting.

ThePeach

Sunday, December 06, 2009

ThePeach enjoys LittleBird's bluntness; pain

“ThePeach, do you enjoy pain?”

My friend LittleBird asked me this over a drink at the corner bar. I looked at her blankly.

“Seriously. Do you enjoy pain?”

She took a sip of her beer.

Why would she ask me that?

Is it because I’m planning on spending my Christmas holidays in UniversityTown, living across the street from FauxHawk, allowing him to cat-sit, and having platonic semi-romantic dinners with him?

Is it because I’m currently playing online scrabble with FauxHawk’s mother, because she won’t stop facebook stalking me, and she decided she wants to tutor me in the ways of the triple word score?

Or is it because I’m debating adopting my ex-ex-boyfriend’s cat, because he’s a stoner and neglects the cat we adopted as a kitten in the weeks before I left him for FauxHawk, and I can’t bear to see the cat suffer so why not add to my baggage and vet bills and live in a constant state of kitten wars as Milo and Potter duke it out for king of the litter mountain?

“Do you enjoy pain?”

I enjoy drinking. And gravy on top of anything. And lesbian sitcoms. And loose-fitting pants.

Pain? Feck.

ThePeach