snapshots of an idle mind

August 21, 2007

washing off

Filed under: bliss,dancing,dating,festivals,life,men,singlehood,Uncategorized — sassinak @ 11:14 pm


there is something about the shower at the end of a folk festival that is particularly fantastic. it’s almost like the festival enfolds you in different layers and you get to relive a weekend’s worth of experience in twenty minutes. thirty if you’re feeling decadent.

there is, of course, the moment you step into the shower and admire the rather gross black gunk that streams off your feet at the first touch of anything not covered in dust. okay this particular kind of dust is unique to owen sound… please consider this the summerfolk shower rather than the hillside one. *hee*

okay so the steam hits your hair and campfire smoke rises off it and you slowly step into the water and just feel the dust and the campfire coming off you in waves. the water is running black and you start to feel clean for the first time in three or four days and you hear music in your head. beautiful music that is always the medley of the best things you heard and this medley always accompanies a mental melange of the very nicest parts of the weekend in some surreal and perfectly edited video.

somehow this ritual shower is the time your brain puts the festival away into it’s various drawers. some drawers are opened often and some just once and some go into your regular memory and stay there as long as they can.

i had a particularly excellent festival last weekend that goes into that little space in my life where the truly priceless experiences go(i went onstage for the finale!) finally i know enough people that it’s actually fun to just bounce around to all my festival friends [defined as people you see annually for a weekend but are delighted to see EVERY time] and i met some really beautiful people to add to that already wonderful collection. (dudes have NO idea how many tries it took me to do the ful in wonderful. finally went climbing again after an injury break month off and the fingers no worky.)

but more than that i got… i got something i needed even more. something that will stay long after the campfire smell is really out of my hair (it isn’t) and the music is only on cds again. oh man if i could have a recording of that version of who do you love those crazy assholes did on sunday afternoon in the battle of the mixed up bands? i’d listen to it a LOT.

something that will save me a little bit.

i met a man this weekend. not the kind i can take home and introduce to my parents… er that’s not right because he’s totally that kind but not for me (sob!) since he’s already met his in-laws and i’m not related to them. so, i met this married guy who somehow gave me something i didn’t know i needed until i heard it. and i didn’t hear it until at least ten minutes after he said it.

i don’t know if i’ve told you guys about festival buddies. these are people that are rarely the same twice and are never who you expect to hang with on your way TO the festival. these are people that make your life better and share conversation and best friendship with you for the few days you know them.

some of them hit you harder than others.

nearly always they change you in a small but meaningful way and nearly always there are regretful hugs and repeated good byes and promises to hang out again. in this particular case i believe we would be festival buddies at any festival we were at AND that i will like his wife as much as he.

this one gave me a humdinger.

being thirty six and single i’ve had a lot of people presume to tell me what i’m doing wrong and right and what i should and shouldn’t do if i actually want to have a family. i’ve been told to change my personality and to lower my standards (which is ridiculous since NOBODY ASKS ME OUT!) and not to be so open and to basically make myself less. i’m intimidatingly self-sufficient says the FIREMAN! (i know it’s fire fighter but he’s a guy) i’m too challenging and difficult and and and and and!

and i keep saying ‘but wait… what the fuck?’ isn’t being yourself and loving yourself and being the best you you can be the most important thing you can do if you want to make a functional relationship? don’t you have to be happy and fulfilled within yourself so you can get out of your own way?

why am i supposed to make myself less while everyone else goes out there and finds their ‘best self?’

and this man? this beautiful, off the market, smart as anything, funny, considerate (i know, i don’t believe it either) man that i spent the weekend being best friends with? this guy i would cheerfully introduce to my parents and expect them to love? this person who gets me the way you need to get me if you want to make a go of it with me? this guy who laughs at the things i say that shock most other folks?

do you know what he says in the five seconds before he hugs me good bye?

he says “stay just the way you are especially the sarcasm, don’t change anything”

how did he even know i needed him to say that?

where did he come from that he knew i needed to hear that because it was starting to get really hard to have any faith? i can’t decide if the universe was being cruel or kind this time, i don’t meet many men that get me and lately all of them are previously claimed so it’s always a little sad to meet another one that’s just the same but at the same time?

it had to be a guy at that level saying that or i wouldn’t have HEARD it.

it had to be someone i wanted or i wouldn’t have listened. it had to be someone *i* get that way who finds me just as delicious or i wouldn’t have let it be said. it had to be just that combination of perfectly impossible.

how did he know how badly i needed to hear that to help myself wash off all the bullshit?


oh and john? you want to check out nathan rogers and dala and chucky danger from this weekend and that 1 guy and mother mother from hillside



  1. funny, i’ve just been thinking about this very subject of late, largely because of a TV show i’m totally hooked on — “confessions of a matchmaker.”

    the matchmaker is always coaching people to hold back parts of their true selves… when it seems to me all of that is going to come out eventually… and don’t you want someone who really loves YOU? the way you are?

    i don’t mean we should throw all our baggage at someone on a first date, but the woman who has a menagerie of pets at home (as on the show last week) is going to have a really hard time keeping that from the dude she’s dating.

    i’m just saying.

    i love this man you met. he’s fabulous.

    Comment by terry — August 22, 2007 @ 12:38 am | Reply

  2. Wonderful, beautiful, well-written and thoughtful post. These things are happening to you for a reason. Part of the reason is that it seems like you’re open to possibilities.

    Keep that openness with you. Let go of the fear and despair around men. You’re just fine-tuning your life right now, and figuring out exactly what sort of man you want. You will attract him just by being you. And if you don’t–well, I’m sure you will be fine without him, too. You don’t need anyone to complete your life.

    And for the record: If I was 10 years younger and in Toronto, I’d be knocking on your door right now.


    Comment by balloon pirate — August 22, 2007 @ 8:31 am | Reply

  3. terry: i’ve heard of that show and i’ve been meaning to catch it. is this the lady from buffalo? cause the thing i heard about that sounded really fun and useful was the part where you get date critiqued… like ‘maybe don’t mention your std until the second date okay?’ lol

    i’m big with the be yourself but yeah, keep your baggage on the plane and stick to what’s in your purse!

    i love this man i met too terry and fabulous is a mild word. thank god for him, i have this little piece of me that just let go somehow. what’s funny about this is i think he pulled a me on me. i think he made one of those throwaway comments i’m always making and never remembering that change the lives of the people around me. i really wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that he doesn’t even remember saying that you know?

    pirate: thank you sir. i have another one percolating around from this weekend as well that i’m hoping comes out well. and yes, i’ve been attracting really positive things to myself lately and i’m trying and trying to just surf that but it’s hard because you know, i want to date but it has to be someone worth the bother… i guess i’m open yes, i strive to be anyway :)

    i’m not so much afraid or despairing as sort of… examining my methods. i think i might try speed dating or or something more active … what i’m doing isn’t working right? and maybe it’s not about me but about where i’m fishing instead…

    i will in fact be fine you’re right… and i think i may have solved the parenthood dilemma… we’ll see.

    if you knocked? i would answer.

    Comment by sassinak — August 22, 2007 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  4. I hear you on the shower thing. I totally dig a good cleansing, especially right after a camping trip, a long hike, working outside, or any other time when I’m just totally gross and grimy. It doesn’t just wash off the 20 layers of dirt and sweat on you, but it just makes you feel better all around.

    And I agree with your earlier comment. It’s not you, it’s probably the pond you’re fishing in. As you said a while back, there’s over 6 billion people in this world. Chances are you’re going to connect with at least one of them…

    Thanks for the music recommendations! I will for sure check them out and let you know what I think.

    Comment by John — August 22, 2007 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  5. Nothing wrong in asking for what you want. Just make sure that 1) You know what you want, and 2) You’re asking the right people.


    Comment by balloon pirate — August 22, 2007 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  6. yes, sass, that’s the show. it’s really entertaining. and yeah, the people who have terrible manners or are hooked on porn or can’t carry a conversation should probably do something about that…

    but if you’re kinda goofy, how do you keep that under wraps? and should you? i don’t know.

    good show, though.

    and yay, for you!

    Comment by terry — August 22, 2007 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  7. You are sarcastic? O.k. fine. I’m not sure I’ve noticed. Maybe you save it for other people.

    Ok. Sasserooniebimbibbles, listen up girl: read ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ by Norman Doidge, M.D. So much information distilled in one location. There’s no way you’ll read this and not find stuff that you can apply to what you do for a passion (aka living). You’ll be inspired. It will make a difference in how you view what you do and what your clients get out of what you teach them. Get the damn book. Have I ever ever suggested anything without really really good reason?

    Comment by gabi — August 22, 2007 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

  8. john: yeah dude, after camping showers and long hike showers are the best… after working all day it’s the swim that wins :)

    but see, i was trying and trying to tell myself that it wasn’t me and that it was the pond but it was getting really hard to hear because all the other voices were saying something else you know? i connect with lots of them you know… they’re just either women or married or… ;>

    you’re welcome, i look forward to your opinions!

    pirate: it’s true. and as for 1 and 2 let’s see. i can’t describe what i want but i know it when i see it… and yeah, i think it’s the right people thing that’s been harder for me. my sister gave me that advice too but i haven’t managed to take it yet.

    terry: i’ll have to watch it, you’re the second person to tell me how awesome it is. and yes, they really should… but you aren’t going to get me NOT to talk about my std by the third date and long before genitalia no matter what you say right?

    dude do NOT.WRAP.THE.GOOF!

    yeah yay for me is right.

    gabi: you haven’t seen me with the kind of man that i like and that likes me. generally poking snarky fun is de rigeur.

    and our conversations don’t really lead to that either. and okay, that’s twice you’ve mentioned it, the name is starting to stick…

    i like the sounds of this book. i just spent my last ten bucks after rent on a plane ticket so i have to do it after i get some cash…

    Comment by sassinak — August 23, 2007 @ 10:18 am | Reply

  9. Something occurred to me while reading this post— and considering previous conversations about family/relationship/dating choices. This is just food for thought and not meant to ruffle feathers or whatnot… it seems like when you receive validation for your reproductive/relationship choices from a man, it’s, like, FINALLY! Someone in the world gets me! But what about the women in your life who have been saying the same thing? Does their validation not count? Or count less? Because I know there’s women in your life who totally have your back and aren’t telling you there’s something wrong with you that has to be changed.

    And if the answer is yes, male validation does hold more weight, I get it. Getting told I look hot is more validating for me coming from a man, seeing as how I’m straight and rarely hear these things coming from men. But outside of attraction issues, I tend to afford equal weight to everyone’s positive comments. It’s just too bad you can’t hear the validation of your life choices unless it’s coming from a particular source (male, straight, of a certain age). It might significantly reduce some of the angst you’re experiencing. Just sayin’…

    Comment by Princess Valium — August 23, 2007 @ 11:57 am | Reply

  10. PV: i’m not ruffled, in fact i agree with you. the thing is that the scales were about even. there were a pile of people on one side saying ‘change change you’re not doing it right’ and an equally weighty pile on the other side saying ‘no you’re good, keep being you’ and then me in the middle going ‘but nobody asks me out!!’

    so it was nice to meet a man i would actually want who would actually want me back. sort of confirmation that i was picking the right side of the scale.

    but yeah, being man hot is a lot nicer than being woman hot. but then i suspect that’s true for everyone… we all want our selected gender to want us back right? i think that other than fine points of dating i’m pretty egalitarian mself…

    Comment by sassinak — August 23, 2007 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  11. The vibe I got reading was that you feel like you’re being pushed around by people who all want you to change, am I getting it?

    I’ve given you advice when you’ve asked for it, and only when you’ve asked. In fact, it often makes me really nervous because the subject of a person’s behaviour is really serious and not to be treated lightly! I have given the question you’ve posed me (“Why don’t guys ask me out?”) considerable thought, not because I want you to change, but because you are expressing deep pain, and because I love you, I feel compelled to help you when you ask.

    So I wonder if you are getting a lot of pushy advice because people are scrambling, like I do, to find ways to help when you ask for it. Last time I saw you, you repeatedly brought up your clothes and general appearance, your datelessness, etc, and directly asked for advice on these things and your general situation. I don’t want you to change at all. But I have lots of advice because, well, you’re evidently unsatisfied with your present self so changing something seems the only option.

    Sooooo maybe you’re reading people wrong is what I’m saying. I don’t know. I just know I don’t fit this profile you’re describing of people who are pushing you around with their bullshit. But I don’t know your other friends well – they could in fact all be assholes, it’s true ;)

    MY advice to you is to be yourself, even more yourself than ever. You often act tough, when you’re actually incredibly gentle. You act vulgar sometimes, when you actually have very delicate sensibilities. You act rude to people, when you have more respect for others than almost anyone I’ve met!

    I think you are one of the most amazing people I have ever known. Deeply courageous, open, defiant, sweet, loving, generous, etc etc. You’re very interesting, a very interesting study I’ve been lucky to have.

    So I think you should change only by being more yourself, by honouring yourself more and lashing out or covering up less.

    So. That’s my advice. And if it hurts, too bad, your post hurt me, too, so there!


    Comment by lia — August 24, 2007 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  12. Ah, it’s about people telling you what or who they think you should be? How you should be? Should that be appropriate activity? I don’t think so. It’s no body’s business. Don’t give people an opening to giving you advice about personal stuff like that.

    Someone somewhere said that you give people permission to treat you the way they do. Somehow along the line you must be telling people that you are open to them criticizing you, your choices, your attitude, your behaviour, your whatever.

    The solution to the problem is very simple. Do not ever imply, suggest, tell anyone ever that you are in any way open to any suggestions whatsoever. Or criticism.

    I think there’s a sort of something that people need to develop so they are not targets of the ‘well meaning’. Quite frankly it doesn’t friggin’ matter what other people think this way or that. If you want help, go to a shrink. Get your brain re-wired through psychoanalysis. Don’t let rank amateurs bother you. I suppose if you make sure you are not interested in personal comments, then eventually you get better at preventing them.

    Read The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge M.D. (See? I’m not telling you who you should be or how you should be. I’m telling you to expand your intellectual horizons, your knowledge base so you can be better at what you do.)

    Comment by gabi — August 24, 2007 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: