February 03, 2010

Decisions, mistakes, and what’s in between

It has to be said – or maybe not – that I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life.

Here’s an incomplete list of bad decisions:

  • Took the advice of an aspiring make-up artist and ended up looking like a Geisha girl wearing a lipstick that was wrong. Very wrong.
  • Once, on a whim in Montreal, had my hair cut and spent the rest of the trip eating take-out in my room and watching the real estate channel.
  • As a child, wondering if my arm would flatten out, I put it in a washing machine wringer. This was a common childhood injury, but I remember – clearly – thinking “Uh-oh. If I don’t do something, my head’s going to flatten out”.
  • Said no to a request for a Morningside* interview. Why? Peter Gwsoski was away on vacation, I would have been interviewed by someone else, and I wanted to wait until he returned. Of course, by the time he did return, the moment was gone, as was the the request.
  • Being gullible, spent far too much money in hiring people who “just want to get the music out there” only to have them be unreliable, incompetent, of the vanishing variety, nagging or just too darn nice. Of course, I was the problem, or so they told me.
  • Didn’t wear my suit jacket at a recent public event thereby revealing a waist so short that I looked like a bowling ball on stilts. To be fair, it was 95 degrees in the room. Also, my stilts aren’t bad for my age.
  • Once, when opening for someone at the Chan Centre in Vancouver, (only after I sang the first song) discovered my guitar was unplugged, so I plugged it back in and did the whole song over again. This looked stupid which is not surprising because it actually was stupid.
  • Didn’t turn on the individual translator at an opera and spent the whole evening wondering how so many people in the same room could understand Italian because they all seemed to laugh at the same time.
  • Loaned my car to a neighbour who ran red light, wrecked three cars and destroyed my insurance rating.
  • Let the same neighbour make it up to me by doing the repair work on my car.
  • Out of courtesy, did not mention to him that he had wrecked my car twice: once the crash, again in the repair. And it wasn’t just the duct tape.
  • Worked with a person who talked to animals and saw ghosts.  Yet, although I did not believe this to be true, I believed what the animals had said.
  • Called a music industry type an idiot to his face. Well, who’s the idiot now! Hah!
  • Wore rubber boots in Holt Renfrew in Toronto.
  • Bought something in Holt Renfrew in Toronto.
  • Had someone else return the something I bought in Holt Renfrew in Toronto.
  • Did not take medication on time and paid the consequences, as mother might say – and in italics, too. As she might also say, I had no one to blame but myself.
  • ….and too, too often, slept on the wrong side of the bed. On purpose.

But, I made no mistakes. Because (and here’s the Oprah moment!) I learned so much from these experiences. Here is what I learned from each of these experiences:

  • You can aspire all you want but it won’t make you a make-up artist nor a Geisha girl.
  • The real estate channel can be fun, especially in French.
  • You arm will not flatten out in a wringer but it will hurt like hell for a long time and if you’re four years old you will need help in the bathroom.
  • Say yes to CBC. It might not come again. It may not come again because it’s gone.
  • When someone says it’s your fault, don’t always believe it. Unless you’re me. Then you’ll always believe it.
  • Wear something long if you have a short waist. You may not think you have a short waist. But, try this. Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Place your hands, palms down, on the floor at your sides. If your arms are bent at a 90 degree angle, you have a short waist. However, you may not, after this exercise, have to wear a longish top because you will be stuck there forever. Or, you can call a good yoga instructor to help get you off the floor.
  • Make sure your guitar is plugged in. This goes for most electric appliances, but apparently some of us need to be reminded.
  • If everyone suddenly understands Italian, you are at an opera,  and you too can understand Italian of you just read the program you’re twisting in ignorant frustration.
  • Don’t loan your car to a loud-mouth neighbour.
  • Don’t let him fix your car.
  • Blackmail him.
  • Don’t believe that someone can talk to animals unless the animals themselves confirm this.
  • Lie.
  • Wear rubber boots to Canadian Tire, not Holt Renfrew.
  • Buy something at Canadian Tire, of only for nostalgia’s sake. Remember that they once had good service and knowledgeable staff, and sigh.
  • Return something to Canadian Tire, just to p*** them off.
  • Take your pills and shut up about it. No one cares.
  • Don’t sleep.

Oh, and this just in…I drive a Prius. Too early to determine what the lesson in this, except perhaps that smugness has a shelf life.

Well, that’s about it for today. Unless I’m mistaken.


2 Responses to “Decisions, mistakes, and what’s in between”
  1. suzo

    I don’t mean to comment so much, but I have to say one more thing. If you return something to Canadian Tire, make sure you return the f***** Canadian Tire “money” as well or they will deduct it from your refund. No amount of swearing at the cashier will change this.

  2. Jane Greening

    Man, did I need that laugh this morning. Very, very funny.