Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Three Times #KidsintheHall Helped Me Through Shitty Stuff

1) Hotel LaRut

I was married, once. At 20, I was probably not ready to be married. My erstwhile ex-husband was definitely not ready to be married. All in all, marriage was a mistake.  I got a couple of pretty amazing kids out of the deal, so it ain't all bad, though.

I usually don't like to use identifiers here, because privacy, but this joke may not make a lot of sense if you don't know his name was Tony.

After we split up, whenever I was down and listless and complaining and crying, my best friend would put on a fake French accent and ask "What's wrong, my Michelle?" (Full disclosure: My name is not Michelle.  But you probably already knew that).

At this point I would slowly start to smile, and put on my own fake french accent..

"Oh, Silvee.. I can't help thinking about Tony..."



2) But Do You Love *Me*

I dated a dude once.  A dude, who although he professed to like an awful lot of things about me, always came back to how he just didn't quite feel *that way* about me.  Me, being the sucker I was, let him come back into my life numerous times, only to have the same conversation again, until I finally had to say "Enough!"



I'm not so sure this was one of those times where laughter is the actually the best medicine but those nights of drinking wine straight from the bottle while sobbing "I'm an icky, icky tree!" sure helped me work through some stuff.

"ICKY ICKY TREE"


3) The Cause of Cancer

Shitty things happen in life. Sometimes terrible, horrible things happen to good people.  Or, at the very least, to well-meaning people.

But, I digress.

When horrible things happen, sometimes it is comforting to have some kind of faith that everything happens for a reason.

We call those reasons 'Scapegoats'.

So when I was diagnosed with Stage 1 colon cancer, I had the perfect scapegoat in Bruce McCulloch. It helped that Bruce was always my least favourite Kid, so in a twisted part of my mind, it made sense that in his vengeance, out of spite for being my least favorite, that he would maliciously grow a tumour in my colon.




Dave's right. He doesn't even sound sorry.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Why Should Some Kid Get a Medal for "Just Showing Up?"

Why?

"Why," you ask, "should a kid get an award for just showing up?"

Because sometimes just showing up takes a lot of guts.  Sometimes gearing yourself up for the possibility of defeat takes everything in you.

Speaking as someone who was a shy, fat, uncoordinated child who heard my share of moaning and groaning from my classmates when my name was called during Phys. Ed, just showing up can be fraught.

Speaking also as someone who deals with anxiety, as many people do, putting yourself into new situations is some scary shit, for children and adults alike.

In Grade 8, I made the decision to try out for the school's volleyball team. I tell you, it took every ounce of courage for me to go into that gym.

I went and I tried my hardest. Not even halfway through the tryouts I could feel tears of frustration welling up in my eyes, with every ball that I instinctively ducked instead of passed.  My face went red with the effort of trying not to cry.

Unsurprisingly, I didn't make the team.  I don't think I was even remotely close because I was really, really, bad at volleyball.  I also kind of hated it.  But I wanted to be involved in something.

I felt like a spectacular failure, and it was many years before I tried out or participated in anything remotely competitive again.

I kind of wish, at that time, that someone had given me something to acknowledge that even though I sucked, I tried, which was more than some had done.  That my effort was worth something.  That just showing up, when I was so afraid of falling and failing, that THAT was worth something in and of itself.


Listen.

I get that kids need to learn how to win and lose graciously.

Taking scores out of games so there are no 'winners' or 'losers' doesn't help kids. Kids need to learn that sometimes they are going to win, and sometimes they are going to lose and regardless, they need to not be an ass about it.

However, hyper-competitiveness doesn't help kids, either.  Over-emphasizing the value of winning over all other things teaches that if you can't be the best, don't even try.

There is value in effort.  There is value in trying, and fucking up.  There is value in just kind of being okay at something.  There is value in trying.

And I think that's worth recognizing.

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