The Canadian version of monsoon season is upon us – drizzly, dismal days so depressing the leaves throw themselves off the trees before turning any colour at all leaving the sidewalks slick as glass with their not-yet decomposed little forms.
Well, that sentence alone should give readers an indication of my mood but I’ll try to lighten it up before the sky falls altogether…
After monsoon season, we launch directly into “Holiday Season,” with all of it’s attendant shopping frenzies, fattening foods, and obligatory get-togethers. So, in some preparation for same, I’ve started compiling lists. I do this until the first panic attack strikes (which it already has). Rule #1: don’t look too far ahead. I started freaking out about Christmas when it’s not even Halloween yet. However, retailers make it very hard not to. As I ambled into our neighbourhood Canadian Tire the other day (the day before Canadian Thanksgiving), my progress was impeded by boxes piled high to the ceiling down one aisle after another. You guessed it: Christmas decorations. Employees scurried around, their arms laden with artificial wreaths, inflatable Santas, and grapevine reindeer. Crikey, I haven’t even planted my fall bulbs yet!
Today, in anticipation of a few holiday get-togethers already on my monstrous wall calendar, I went shopping for a nice, cozy sweater dress. Rule #2: Never shop for clothes when you are cold. I left the store with an armful of cozy sweaters of every possible description, most with either a Nordic theme or a snowflake theme and all so cozy I will likely faint dead away as soon as the furnace comes on. I also bought tights. I hate tights. It was everything I could do not to buy the three pack of slipper socks. Like I said, I was cold. Hey, at least I put back the sweater with the large reindeer pattern (I already have one, thank you).
Feeling a bit guilty about my shopping spree, I came straight home, following at least one important rule. Rule #3: Never walk into a grocery store when you are both hungry and cold. Can you just imagine the things I would’ve walked out with? Boxes of hot chocolate mix, can upon can of soup, loaf after loaf of French baguette…I came home like a good banshee and had leftovers for lunch. Places like Shopper’s Drug Mart (or London Drugs or any equivalent location that is 30% drugstore and 70% Wal-Mart) are equally dangerous. Things like bubble bath in tropical scents, Oprah magazine, heating pads, and cheap hair accessories seem to fly into my shopping cart on days like today. Oh, and those cheap fleecy gloves that everyone sells at this time of year but that never last past November.
Of course, I should be following other rules that involve sitting at my desk and writing copious amounts of fiction (in fairness, I’ve done that for the last 2 days until my eyes crossed and I might need a chiropractor). I should stick to hot cups of tea as opposed to fattening hot chocolate. I should leave Mad Alyss alone as she’s scratched me to bits. Rule #4: Never stick your face within clawing range of a playful kitten (applies to all days, not just rainy ones).
It’s hard to stay focused when all I can think about is burrowing into a down duvet and hibernating until the sun comes out again – sometime in April. Weather like this makes me wonder about my Celtic roots and why my forebears didn’t relocate to someplace tropical. Daydreaming about warm locales is risky when the American Express is just an arm’s length away. Recipe browsing is fine as long as not too much pre-holiday baking is begun. Exchanging all those sweaters for a larger size would be no fun.
Rule #5: Sit at the desk, keep the fingers warm by making them fly across the keyboard, bundle up in ugly socks and a warm sweater. I need to write while I can; after all, monsoon season will end and the holidays are right around the corner.