Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 7, 2004
I Wonder If It Could Be True?
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 7, 2004 – When I attended the University of Waterloo – I lived at Renison College the Anglican college on campus for four years. This wasn’t due to any overwhelming adherence to all things Anglican, but rather to a desire to live on the university grounds. Fortunately my lapsed Anglicanism was never called into question.
Father Bill – our live-in man of the cloth was quite liberal and never one to encourage us to don our hair shirts or walk great distances on our knees. I spent the last two years as one of four floor dons in the women’s residence. That entitled me to a private room, and if I remember correctly, a reduction in residence fees and maybe a stipend of a few dollars.
It was the sixties and costs to attend university were nothing like they are today. Although, everything is relative. Nonetheless, I left university with a considerable student debt to pay back to the government. One of the reasons why I’ll never bank at C.I.B.C. is related to that debt, but that’s a story for another day (or not). I wouldn’t want to do anything to draw attention to that particular banking institution.
During the first year of my tenure as a don, some of the gals on my floor got together and made a sign for my door. It said – “Home of the psychotic, neurotic, schizophrenic, paranoid, bony, angular bitch – but we still love you”. That sign hung on my door for two years and I still have it. One of these days, I’m going to have it framed so I can hang it in my office, to remind myself of how far I’ve come in the intervening thirty-three years. It’s nice to know I was loved, certainly not by all, but at least by some of the charges under my watchful eye.
This was another busy Monday, but I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I’d hoped I would. I’m feeling really, really “blah” today. And after my successful bell hunt of yesterday I don’t know why. This malaise is not related to the death of Ronald Reagan or the possibility that the Calgary Flames may not win the Stanley Cup tonight. Regardless, I woke up with a case of them. Full fledged, nasty and over-powering.
It’s a head-twisting off sort of day (my own), not that of anyone else. I think that a day spent in the grip of self-pity or boredom is a terrible waste. I know nothing of hard times. Not to say that I haven’t survived my share of tragedy, sorrow, disappointment and distress, because I have. But in comparison to people living in poverty and deprivation, my life has been and continues to be a good ride. Even though I recognize my good fortune, unfortunately, it doesn’t allay these irksome feelings.
During my bleak poor spell today, I thought of that sign from my university door, and started to wonder if one or more of those labels might be quite close to home – psychotic, neurotic, schizophrenic, paranoid, bony, angular bitch. By process of elimination I can rule out psychotic – schizophrenic, paranoid and angular. So that leaves me with the distinct possibility that I am a neurotic, bony bitch. Well, I can cop to neurotic and bony (although these days only my wrists and ankles are bony – the rest of me is nicely padded with menopausal pounds) – so this leaves “bitch” up for grabs. I’ve just looked it up in Webster’s and the definition is highly unappealing – ” a lewd or immoral woman or a malicious, spiteful and domineering woman – someone that is highly objectionable or unpleasant”.
My friend Big constantly refers to me as a bitch, which reminds me of the funny line “You say I’m a bitch like it’s a bad thing”. I wonder if bitchiness is directly related to the blahs. I undoubtedly shouldn’t spend an inordinate amount of time analysing this dull day. Neuroses, boniness and bitchiness aside – it was simply a sluggish day and my spirits are a little damp.
The blues have a way of evaporating, the sun rises again and tomorrow will be another day, during which I can steer a more positive course. Now the whole question of me being a bitch is another matter completely, and as to my neuroses and my tendency to being a tad obsessive, compulsive and anxious – that is still to come, and will provide some funny stories. Phobias and anxiety are a wellspring of humour – so stay tuned.