I have to confess:  A couple of weeks ago I swore at a shoe saleslady because I thought we were just joking around.  Apparently I was wrong.  Awkwardness ensued.


I went to the running shoe store and explained to the saleslady that I buy runners based only on comfort.  Style is irrelevant, as long as my feet are happy.

“Oh,” she said snarkily.  “It’s my lucky day.  You’re going to make me drag out every pair of shoes in the store, aren’t you?”

I was slightly taken aback, but I decided she must be joking.  After all, dragging out shoes is her job.  So I laughed and said, “Yep, probably.  Sorry about that.”

She brought out a couple of pairs and I tried them on.  She immediately pointed to one pair.  “Those are the ones.  I like the way they look on your feet.”

“They’re nice,” I agreed.  “But they don’t fit.  Do you have any others?”

She made another remark about how I was inconveniencing her, and I dutifully laughed.  She returned with a couple more pairs, and again pointed out the ones she liked; and again I explained that their appearance was irrelevant.

“Wait, I have the perfect shoes for you!”  She scurried off and returned with another box.  “Here!  These are beautiful!”

She triumphantly displayed the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen.  I mean, we’re talking about some unholy union between a giant marshmallow and neon bedroom slippers; and if you’re having difficulty visualizing that, you’re lucky.  The reality was retina-scarring.

I burst out laughing and exclaimed, “Those are hideous!”

“They’re beautiful,” she insisted.  “Just put them on.  You’ll love them.”

So I put them on, because if they had fit well I would’ve bought them no matter how ugly they were.  To my everlasting relief, they weren’t comfortable.

“Nope, sorry,” I said.

“But they look so lovely on your feet!  Just walk around in them a bit more.  They’re so beautiful!  These are absolutely the right shoes for you!”

And that’s where I screwed up.  I was sure she was joking.  Why else would she hard-sell the shoes when I’d already clearly said I hated them and they weren’t comfortable?

“Oh, stop with the bullshit!” I said with a grin.  “I’m up to my neck in it!”

A chilly silence ensued.

I did buy a pair of runners (not the hideous ones), but it was awkward.

I feel vaguely guilty.  One might argue that if she wasn’t joking, then she deserved a verbal slapdown; but that’s not how I roll.  If I had known she was serious, I would have politely deflected her like any other annoying salesperson.

This ‘social interaction’ stuff is ’way too complicated.  Maybe I’ll just order everything online from now on.  And if that limits my contact with other human beings to once or twice a year, well, what could possibly go wrong?

At least if I really offend somebody and have to run away, I’ve got a snazzy new pair of runners…

Book 15 update:  A productive writing week!  Chapter 7 ended with a bang, and Aydan and the gang are off and running (literally).


A(nother) Sticky Situation

Unlike my sticky situation a few years ago, my latest debacle involved fashion, not glue.  And I’m here to tell you that when the words ‘sticky’ and ‘fashion’ get used in the same sentence the result is, um… undesirable.

As you may recall, I hate dressing up.  I haven’t bought new clothes in nearly ten years and I don’t have a clue what’s stylish now; but I’m pretty sure the wide-legged pants and bell-bottoms in my closet are passé.  (Or maybe not; what do I know?)

Anyway, I had a few panicky moments when I consulted my closet an hour before I was due to present my talk last week; but I did manage to get dressed.  From deep in the archives of my plastic shoe boxes I dug out my two pairs of comfortable dress shoes, and I was halfway out the door when I realized there was something sticky on one of the soles.

I rushed back, stuffed my feet into the other pair, and hurried off to the Civic Centre… only to discover that we were locked out.

When we finally got inside with only fifteen minutes to spare before the presentation, I rushed around setting up my projector and laptop.  Then I retired to the bathroom, hoping to dry the sweat that was rolling off me in the stuffy atmosphere.

That’s when I realized that, in my trauma over dress clothes, I’d forgotten to re-apply my deodorant. And I’d worn a sleeveless top. Every time I raised my arms, the pit-stink nearly knocked me over.

Okay; fine. The front rows were at least six feet away. The air conditioning was kicking in. I could carry this off.

So I dove into my presentation, getting totally immersed as I always do… until I realized that my damn shoe was sticking to the floor and un-sticking itself with an audible snap each time I moved.

For shit’s sake, what had I stepped in this time?!?

I ignored it as best I could and finished the talk; and everybody eventually trickled out.

That’s when I discovered that I hadn’t stepped in anything.  During their long contact with the plastic shoeboxes, the synthetic parts of the shoes had undergone some kind of chemical reaction.  The leather upper was fine, but the sole had turned into a gooey mess.

There were sticky black marks on the floor where I had stood; and a big piece of one sole had torn loose to flop around like a clown shoe with every step.

As I skulked out of the Civic Centre, Hubby helpfully remarked, “You left a piece of your shoe back there.”

I’m proud to report that there was only a smidgen of vulgarity in my response as I squelched my sticky way across the parking lot.

So the vindictive fashion gods have won another round. I’m afraid to even speculate what they’ll do for an encore; but if I’m lucky it’ll be another ten years down the road.

Maybe I’ll wait until then to buy new dress clothes…

Book 15 is under way!  I had a great plotting week — the subplot is mostly done and I’m working on the details of the main story.  Hope to start putting words on the page this week!

Beautiful, Sunshiny, Versatile… And Lazy

Update:  Many thanks to all those who have nominated me for various blog awards.  I’ve done a couple of posts of obscure facts about myself (here’s another one).  To do more posts like this would require me to go beyond “obscure” and into “too much information”, so I think I’ll quit while we’re all ahead.  Here you go…

Versatile Blogger Award Beautiful Blogger Award Sunshine Award

Several of my readers have been kind enough to nominate me for the Versatile Blogger award in the past few months.  Many thanks to my blogging buddies, Chris9911, How The Cookie Crumbles, and RVingGirl (who unfortunately seems to have stopped blogging).

And just a couple of days ago, Fear No Weebles kindly offered me the Sunshine Award and/or the Beautiful Blogger Award.  I modestly chose both.  ‘Cause I like getting awards – I tuck them into my file of nice things people have said about me and take them out to enjoy them later.  It’s a small file, granted, but it’s great for when I need a warm fuzzy or two.

At the time I was offered the Versatile Blogger awards, I was busy travelling back and forth to Manitoba while my step-mom underwent cancer treatments (many thanks to everyone for their good wishes – she’s finished treatment now and doing fine).  But I didn’t have time to fulfill the obligations of the award.  Instead, I linked to this post, with a promise to uphold my end of the bargain when I did have time… which is now.   The awards all have similar requirements:

  1. Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post.
  2. List 7 – 10 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award to 7- 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.

For the sake of efficiency (which I prefer to the probably-more-accurate descriptor: “laziness”), I’m rolling all my obligations into this post – hope the blogging police don’t catch me.

Seven Things About Me (that weren’t included in the last post):

    1. The photo in my blog header is a 2010 Harley-Davidson Crossbones.  Sadly, I don’t actually own a Harley – they’re a little too rich for my budget.  The only ride I have available right now is an ’85 Honda VF1100 Magna.  But hey, if my books hit the bestseller list, maybe I’ll buy a Harley.  (I can hope, can’t I?)
    2. In my last post I showed you one of my oil paintings, so this time, I’m going to inflict my piano-playing on you.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Here it is.
    3. I’ve worked as a church organist, gas jockey, camp counsellor, teacher, receptionist, bookkeeper, interior designer, draftsperson, construction project manager, computer geek, tech writer, Microsoft Office instructor, and author, in that order.  I’ve been an entrepreneur for so long (23 years), I’m pretty much unemployable.
    4. In various adventures, I’ve been kicked, punched, cut, burned, and run over by a motorcycle.  A strong man has crushed my skin with pliers, and I have scars on my hand from the time I tangled with a 250-lb steroid-fuelled bodybuilder.  This might make you think I’ve led a dangerous, violent life.  I haven’t.  All those things were done unintentionally, most of them by my friends during sporting events or back-yard car tinkering.  But it makes me sound like a badass if I don’t mention that part, right?
    5. I’m just under 5’-10” barefoot.  Sometimes for giggles, I go into the shoe store and walk around in six-inch platform stilettos just to see the expressions on people’s faces.  Voila.  Yes, that shelf beside my elbow is about four and a half feet tall.

  1. Which leads me to:  I am not photogenic (obviously).  I have a gift for twisting my face into an utterly asinine expression at the precise instant the camera clicks.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  I prefer to think I don’t look like that all the time.
  2. I always swore I’d never write fiction.  Oops.  My bad.  My excuse is under “Are you writing about yourself, you pathetic narcissist?” on the FAQ page.

And now for the fun part.  I follow tons of blogs.  My all-time favourites are in the Blogroll to the right, and I’m always adding more.

I don’t take orders very well, so I’m going play fast and loose with requirement #3.  I’d like to name a few bloggers I’ve discovered recently and offer them any or all of the above awards (I’ll let them choose).  Recipients, if you’ve already received these or if you don’t feel like playing, please accept this as a compliment and feel free to ignore the conditions of the award(s).

Nigel Blackwell usually blogs about anything that drives, flies and/or crashes, in witty posts full of fascinating behind-the-scenes detail.  And every now and then he goes off the reservation with hilarious essays about such disparate topics as socks or “write-only” memory.  You just can’t lose with Nigel.

If you love blues (and music in general) as much as I do, Longshot’s Blog has wonderful retro classics.

Harper Faulkner is always funny and/or thought-provoking.  Don’t miss him – it’s worth the visit.

Carrie Rubin’s off-the-wall blog, The Write Transition, makes me laugh.  She’s an author with a book being released this fall, so I hope you’ll go and give her some blog love.

Pat Bean is a wandering blogger who’s been on the road in an RV for the last 5 years with a pooch for a companion.  It’s a fascinating chronicle if you’re into travelling the back roads.

Lisa Clark writes The Big Sheep Blog, “Where Imagination, Business and Life Collide”, and an online magazine for 50+ women called The Ripe Report.  Lisa’s always got something interesting to say, so check her out.

And of course, don’t forget to visit my generous award-givers:  Chris9911, How The Cookie Crumbles, and Fear No Weebles (love that name!).

Note to all my blogging buddies:  If it looks like I unsubscribed from your blog this week, I didn’t – at least not intentionally.  WordPress changed their defaults to automatically subscribe to comments every time I comment on a blog, and I got buried under email.  When I unsubscribed from comments, I did it wrong, and unsubscribed from the blogs, too.  Grrr.  Have no fear, I’m still following you – I aggregate everything via RSS feed.  But you might see me doing some weird stuff with follows/subscriptions for a while.  Sorry about that.