Wednesday, 11 November 2015
"Wide load coming through" one woman joked to me as she walked past me slowly.
I love anyone with a good sense of humour. She looked about 6 months pregnant and she was glowing (or if you asked her "sweating"). Her cheeky grin told me that she'd probably be a hilarious mom. So much so that I was tempted to offer to babysit her unborn child just to see if my predictions about her mothering style were correct.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Last weekend, I worked at the Baby Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It was cute, it was charming, there was a lot of soft toys to eye up, and comfy pillows around to tempt you into nap.
I doubt I'd get away with napping at work ESPECIALLY without the excuse of carrying around the miracle of life.
Oh No, I'm not pregnant. I'm just kind of lazy...I did eat a lot of pizza today. Does that count?
In short, I loved The Baby Show. Although the air at the convention centre is recycled and tends to smell a bit like a collection of all the combined booths and the inside of a plastic container, I love that place.
There were a lot of pregnant woman present. Obviously. It's called The Baby Show for a reason. Plump mothers-to-be, mothers of three, mothers who had done this before "too many times", and mothers who knew how to most effectively walk around to each of the booths, eye the deals, and still make it home in town to make dinner for their families. These women were heros.
A lot of mothers had no time to stop and chat. A fact I respected and admired of these life-carriers. By all means, walk right by me, you are sort of carrying around human life. You do you, my friend.
It made me appreciate the women who did stop to chat that much more and also made each one of them way more memorable. One woman in particular caught my eye. She was looking around with her mom and she looked really excited.
"Is this your first baby?" I asked with about as much authority as a child.
"Yes" she beamed.
"She's due in 14 days so we're just hopping she doesn't give birth today since she hasn't been feeling well" Her mother added anxiously.
I quickly eyed this women up and down and thanks to my vast medical knowledge (8 seasons of Greys Anatomy and countless episodes of E.R) I let out a confident sigh of relief. Based on my informed scan of her body she was, in my educated opinion, perfectly fine to me. And so I replied,
"Well I wouldn't worry about it. If you were going to give birth anywhere, this is a great place to do it."
She smiled happily at me as both her and her mother nodded their heads in agreement. This was The Baby show. The building was packed with mothers, health care workers, and birth specialist. This was like a mommy paradise.
After they left, I quickly put our conversation out of my mind and went about my day.
It wasn't until 3 hours later when I decided to go on my lunch break that I was reminded of our conversation. I started walking towards the small cafe' in the convention centre but changed my mind when I saw an area of chairs open for me to relax in. I sat down and started wolfing down my delicious salad. Another extremely pregnant women asked if she could sit beside me which I happily agreed in between bites of my meal. I remember I actually put a lot of effort into my lunch that day so it would have taken a lot for me to put my fork down.
But then I did put my fork down because of what I saw at the table across from me. The pregnant woman and the mother sat there looking concerned and sweaty. The pregnant woman who I had been talking at my booth was in LABOUR. YUP, that's right. The one I had so off-handedly soothed with words like, "This is a great place to give birth" WAS IN LABOUR.
Rationally, I know I do not have control over the universe. I am not Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic despite my ability to reenact all of her scenes in that movie, word for word. I am not Hermoine Granger even though I love books, telling people what to do, and hot mess redheads. I am not a witch (well...maybe).
But for a brief moment, I seriously considered that my words had caused this woman to go into labour. My callous brushing off of the pain of childbirth may have caused her to relax too much. Maybe this instinctively told her baby that this was the opportune time to release her/himself from the inside and come...well...out?
When the paramedics showed up and joked that they'd "scare that baby out of her," it was an oddly comforting to me. These were professionals whose advice actually had some weight to it. Greys Anatomy did not prepare me for this. I didn't even have the courage to do more then stare at this poor woman. My promotional t-shirt glaring in the sea of people, shinning like a beacon of my mistake. The careless words I had said to her repeated over and over in my head.
IF YOU WERE GOING TO GIVE BIRTH ANYWHERE, THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO DO IT.
Damn it, Laurel.
So no, I didn't bring a baby into the world per se but maybe the baby heard my words that today would be a great day to come out.
Regardless, it was scary and magical and I secretly hoped that this women would include me as a main character in her birthing anecdote. I imagine her fondly recounting the story to her family and friends and when she talked about me she'd say "The girl in the obnoxious yellow t-shirt who promised me I'd be fine."
I sincerely hope in her version that she'll include that I had " a heart of gold and comforting words."
Yup. Life goals.
And so last weekend, a baby was brought into this world. Did I have much to do with it? I guess not (despite the title of this blog). But now I have a secret fondness for this mystery baby. My own personal Baby Show Baby. I may not have a part in his or her life story but they definitely have a place in mine.
So Baby Show Baby, if you ever happen to read this blog just know that I'm so happy that you decided to come out when you did. I'm especially happy that you gave me this epic story to entertain people with. This is some A+ Material, my little friend. So Thank you! You're golden Baby.
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Notes from this past Sunday:
I wasn't sure if I was going to write about this because...well...it's not super professional. I contemplated the idea that both strangers and potential employers might be looking at my blog and get the wrong impression about me. My initial instinct was to think "maybe this is not the best choice to write about."
But like any good blogger, I did not give-in to my inner critic or police my life experience. No sirree, not me! I am an artist and I believe that part of my job as an artist is to write about what I know and be honest about it. At least that's what I tell myself as I put this experience onto my blog for whoever to look at. If you plan on hiring me, well...at least you can say I am honest, right?
So here I am lying in my bed on a Sunday afternoon (almost evening) and I feel like I am going to die. Why, you may ask, do you feel like you're going to die? Do I have the flu? Did I experience an intense emotional experience that I am attempting to deal with?
No. The answer is no. The sad truth is that I went out last night and drank 3 glasses of wine and stayed up late and now I am paying for it. Badly.
See it's not so much embarrassing except for how much of a light-weight I am.
It's not as if I went to ragger or spent my night in a crack den. I drank three glasses of wine at a Halloween party...how very...vanilla. Sigh. How very sad.
As of today, I have finally come to terms with is the fact that I'm not 19 anymore. I get tired at 12. I like my bed a lot more than I like going out. Nights-in seem to be my constant while my formerly beloved nights-out have taken a back seat.
Except when pizza is involved. I love pizza.
I drink Bengal spice tea like it's going out of style and I own far more knitted clothes then a person my age should.
The sad truth is that I do not have the capacity to drink alcohol anymore without paying the price.
I am, dare I say it, getting old?
Not old as in arthritic way but old in a way that I hear myself saying phrases like "When I was in University" and realise that it was, in fact, a while ago now. A kind stranger asked me the other day if I was in school and when I told her I graduated she just assumed that it was recently and sweetly told me "I pray that you find yourself a good Job."
Her kind words both comforted and stung me as I realised that I am now balancing a combination of freelancing work that I am grateful for but that doesn't necessarily fit into our societies expectations of "success." I think about how in some people's opinions I suppose I've "missed the mark" on finding myself "a good job"-no matter how intentional that choice was. And how everyday I am coming to terms that my lifestyle is quite different than a 9-5 job that I formerly occupied.
Normally this fact is a great comfort to me since I celebrate the chance to live an authentic life. I relish my rehearsals, my passion, my zest for life except for today when I lie in my bed, my head and stomach aching, feeling like a total loser if I'm being honest.
Since, for all my creative energy and potential, I had before me a whole Sunday with nothing to occupy my time, and yet all I want to do is eat mash potatoes in my bed while watching Netflix. But alas, the stove is too far away and I'm truly terrified that I wouldn't be able to stomach those mash potatoes that I'm craving and so I lie here and feel sorry for myself.
And I'm still hungry.
So while I temporarily indulge in the post-drinking depression mixed with a slight existential crisis, I think about my blog and how much I enjoy writing it. Then my thoughts move to last night and all the people I walked by in their various costumes. How many of those 20-somethings were dressed like video game characters, trees, minions, and a large variety of cats with a sliding scale of sexuality, and how they have probably woken up to the same sort of feeling.
Perhaps they are also stuck in a post late night haze, and have tried to remedy their sorry state by filling their stomachs with bitter coffee and over-priced brunch. All the while declaring that they were too old for this shit. Maybe they also vowed to never drink again, half-hearted and conflicted because of their love of ale and red wine.
I get it.
And although I feel sorry for these fellow sufferers, this thought fills me with a new sense of ownership over my hang-over. I'm not alone in this. I'm not as sad and pathetic as I feel right now. I'm sure there is a few characters from Star Wars or Star Trek or even someone really behind the times in a Heath Ledger inspired joker costume puking their guts out right this minute.
Oh Boy! At least I'm not puking in my joker costume!
Compared to that, I'm not doing too bad. Hey! Look at that. The Silver lining. There is no trace of eye make-up or Wednesday Adams Braids on my body. For all intents and purposes, you could even say I'm winning this hang-over? Yeah sure I am.
So what if I currently feel like a sad pathetic human being instead of the driven and positive person that I feel like I am most of the time? That's just today. Hang-overs don't last forever. That's the beauty of this temporary pain. And sure, perhaps I wish the party would forget me rapping along to the Beyonce tracks but we all have our faults.
So that's the beauty of writing out your blog for the world to see. You can start it off feeling really sad for yourself and then by the end you can really turn it around. And people wonder what the point of the arts is? Huh. This has been most therapeutic. Although you won't see this blog until Wednesday, I hope that if you were suffering from the post-Halloween blues, I was sending you good vibes.
And as for me I'm going to spend the rest of my evening watching Scandal and imagining that I have the "fixing" capabilities of Miss Olivia Pope. I'm a gladiator in...not a suit...my pyjamas.
And to all, a good night.