SoCS: expectations

I recently had the experience of finding out how middle class I am. Working with young women in poverty we were taught at a seminar how we don’t understand why the poor do what they do. “Why don’t they just go get a job?” for instance.

I have been paired with a young woman with whom I will be a mentor, of sorts. Our group meets once a week for dinner and discussions but once a month the ‘leader’ (that’s the person ‘leading their family out of poverty) has to contact their ‘ally’ (that’s me) and make an appointment to meet somewhere else.

My girl had been missing from the group for 3 weeks so I hadn’t met her. She was supposed to get in touch to meet with me: I was expecting to hear from her and set up a meeting. She texted me and set up a time, then shortly before our meeting she said didn’t feel well and wanted to re-schedule. I said ‘ yes, how about tomorrow?”

She did not write back to schedule that day or the next until late afternoon when she wrote ‘she was ready now’. I was already very irritated after looking for her text for two days wondering what the hell she’s doing. It was really bugging me;  I wrote back I had been waiting for two days and I’m not coming into town on such short notice. She said let’s meet the next day, I said OK: never heard back.

I was pissed off. I had a little speech ready for her on how relationships of trust are built on honesty and integrity. . . but then I met her at the next weeks group meeting. She was late because she walked across town with a stroller and two terrible children. They are so badly behaved and walk all over her. She is beaten down, depressed and over-whelmed. She hardly has a voice.

She was responding the way she had been taught; just tell the person what they want to hear or don’t respond at all. That gets you through that uncomfortable moment. You don’t think of future repercussions; its a life of damage control. I realized I had the typical middle-class reaction: “why won’t she write back and make that commitment?”

I’m no expert in psychology so I’m taking this very slow; one step at a time. From now on when she sets a date then cancels, her session has expired. I do have to explain how important honestly is; she is so used to bullshitting, she has never been taught any other way.

We, middle class people, don’t realize how much we were taught by our parents example: they set their alarms and went off to work everyday whether they wanted to or not. We had meals everyday at the same times.  We have expectations that we can work and succeed in life; we can ‘get ahead’.  In poverty you don’t consider the future; you just get through today the best way you know how. They can’t see their future being any different from today. They have very low expectations.


Am I losing my marbles or is there no spell check here today? You may find some mistakes. Don’t expect it to be perfect!



Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “xp.” Use it as a word, or find a word with “xp”in it. As always, use any way you’d like.
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SoCS: ribs

Oh oh, ribs . .  here we go:

I shudder to think of rib-fests. I don’t usually bug people about eating meat but this is a prompt so I’ll say it . . . gross! Slabs and slabs of ribs piled up, thousands of beasts slaughtered for the ritual: people savagely ripping the meat off the bones in a gluttonous orgy, piles of bones stacking up . . . The horror, THE HORROR!!

I used to love them. Now I know it was the BBQ sauce and the texture that is so pleasing. And I guess the primal act of eating the meat off the bones with your hands is part of it.

Until one day, it may happen to you, you’re looking at somebody’s bone. You can see where it’s sawed. You look at a rack of ribs on a BBQ and see a part of an animal.

OK maybe it won’t happen to you but it happened to me. I would never usually talk about this but you don’t know me so tough titties . . . I’ll say it: eating meat is gross. I wouldn’t rib you about a thing like this!

I get it. I would love to have a BBQ rib meatless knock off. In fact I did try one;

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Yuck: terrible. Literally tofu in crappy BBQ sauce. I could do much better myself with tempeh and my own BBQ sauce. Perhaps use strips of fake chicken. That’s if I ever get the hankering for that.

I’m not pristine; I’m not vegan. I might use paneer but it doesn’t have that stringy texture that we remember so well, you know, that “fall off the bone” sensation.  Ha! I’m ribbing you. That’s means I’ll pretend it’s a joke but it’s really true.

My elbow to your ribs.

I got ribs,

you got ribs,

all God’s children got ribs!


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “rib.” Use it as a word, or find a word with “rib”in it. As always, use any way you’d like.

SoCS: the flip side

My life was flipped upside down last week. I went from being a lonesome hermit to a hostess and gad-about-town gal.

It started when a friend I re-connected on Facebook with wanted to visit. I had told her I was free from the 5th to the 10th thinking she would pick two or three days out of that time. She assumed I meant come for all of that time so I didn’t say otherwise.

My sister was having my grandnephew for the weekend but she already had someone staying in her guest room so she asked if she and my grandnephew could stay at my place. I wanted to see him, too, and thought it would be fun to have them stay here. A lot of people, I know, but I can do this, I thought.

It was fun. . . (see that punctuation, Laura?) We went bowling, watched cartoons, hung out . . .

There were a few hours between when they left and my old friend showed up. It had been 50 years since we’ve seen each other. We talked and talked and talked. . . she is an extrovert, a singer, a witch (Wiccan) and very loud and dramatic. Don’t get me wrong, I love her, but I got worn down.

I was really struggling second day in. She slept in very late so I at least had most of my morning in silence.  I wrote to my sister telling her of my struggle and said I’m trying, I’m trying …… then I sent it to my friend who was here!

I saw it the next day when she was asleep and I went to my e-mails, OH God I sent her a letter complaining about her! I felt like the smallest, shittiest person in the world.

When she got up I got on my knees and said I did a horrible thing. She needed to go in the bathroom first then came out and said, “its OK if you smoked my pot”

“oh no, it’s so much worse”

Long story short; she was great about it and even laughed. She said it was a good lesson on how to treat an introvert. She wrote back, “Guilty as charged” and we are still writing.

Phew! I had a great time even though I was wearing thin; mustering up words to come out of my mouth. The day after she left (late afternoon) I taught my dance/exercise class and went to Circles. (Both my volunteer gigs are on Thursday) The girl I am paired with didn’t show up so I did child care; looking after a constipated baby.

Friday I had a doctor’s appointment; the last thing on this long week. I ran into a sick friend at the health centre; took her grocery shopping and then home to carry in her groceries. She was talking about stuff she’s told me before many times and I was dying to get home.

Sometime, in all this social flurry, I get a message on Facebook. It was from a native artist I met about 10 years ago and really liked but she moved to Manitoulin Island shortly after we met. She wrote me that she was back and living here now. Today would be a perfect day to invite her over but I just can’t. I cannot flap my lips one more day.

Today I don’t have to go anywhere or talk to anyone.  I am tired. I feel like I did edibles and ran a marathon. They say introverts need to be alone to re-charge and there could not be a better description.

The thing is, I really wanted to see all these people; I really love all these people! But why did they have to show up all at once?


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “lip.” Use it as a word, or find a word with “lip”in it. As always, use any way you’d like.


RDP: hungry

I am hungry for silence. I vant to be alone.

She’s sleeping now so I have some peaceful time but I have to wake her up soon.

A friend I haven’t seen in 50 years has come to visit me. We connected through Facebook, wrote back and forth all winter and now she’s visiting me! Its been really great to talk but….. it’s too much.  I am such a severe introvert and she is an extrovert.

She was going to go Thursday but the weather looks bad so she wants to stay until Friday.

Last Friday my sister and grandnephew came and stayed for the weekend. It was fun; we went bowling, played YardZee. They left Sunday morning and my visitor came Sunday afternoon.

I’m getting hungry to be alone. The rumblings are starting: yesterday I’m waiting and waiting to get outside and walk but I’m listening to the detailed account of a friend’s husband’s colonoscopy. I had to stop it and say ‘let’s go!’.

I realized yesterday she asks “why?” way more than my 6 yr. old grandnephew. Since I’m getting worn down, I now only answer, “because I want to”

I’m sorry to sound mean…. I am happy to see her. I just didn’t think it would be for so long. I’ve been living alone for 10 years and I really like it. I want to get up and have no one here.

Well, it’s time to wake her up. We are going to visit my sister today, thank God! A distraction.  Thank You for listening.