Can we stop lying, please?

Lately, I’ve been trying to eat better and exercise a bit more. Some days I’ve required more motivation than others and found myself on pages on Facebook that are meant to inspire you to be healthy and fit.

For the most part, they’ve been helpful. But a particular quote has been posted more than once and it’s starting to annoy me. All kinds of pictures with buff women and men or a photo of someone exercising have this message attached to it, apparently coined by Kate Moss:

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. 

Um, BS. And easy for you to say, Kate. Not all of us have the metabolism of a 16-year-old.

Anyway, while I can imagine the feeling of being skinny may be great for some people, there are at least six things I can think of off the top of my head that taste better than feeling skinny ever will:

– Home-made guacamole
Cupcake VIneyards’ Pinot Grigio
– Peanut buster parfait from Dairy Queen
– The first cup of coffee in the morning
– Cilantro on anything
– Chocolate – white, dark, milk, I don’t discriminate

Those are without even thinking. I haven’t even touched cantonese chow mien, spicy mango salad, mushroom omelettes or champagne. I’m sure you can come up with your own list.

So, let’s stop saying nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, ok? We all know it’s a load of crap.


Mid-week rant: elevator etiquette

While I was at work today, I noticed something that really irked me – and it’s not unique to my work place. If you work in a building with more than one level, you probably witness this on a daily basis too.
My frustration this morning (I’ll get to it, I promise) inspired my idea to have an ongoing mid-week rant.
This week’s gripe: elevator etiquette – or lack thereof.
Here’s how it materialized: I walked towards the elevator bank this morning and found myself standing beside another employee who was feverishly typing on her phone.
After a few seconds, the bell chimed, the doors opened and the employee standing beside me – head still down and fully submersed in BlackBerry zone – walked right onto the elevator without looking. She was so oblivious she bumped right into a gentleman who was waiting to get off. She barely looked up to mutter ‘sorry’ before she turned her attention back to her phone. She actually looked a bit annoyed I was holding her up as I waited for the surprised man to get exit.
I wish I could say this was a one-off, but I see it all the time. Even when people aren’t distracted by phones or an iPod, they still rush onto the elevator before waiting to see if someone might be getting off. Where the hell is the fire?
But this isn’t the only thing that irks me about elevator passengers. I’ve witnessed many annoying and downright rude behaviours during my time as a nine-to-fiver in an multi-level office building.
I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and have come to the conclusion that perhaps they just don’t know how to behave politely on an elevator. So, I’ve compiled a few pet peeves along with helpful suggestions that will ensure the comfort and safety of all elevator patrons – only if they’re executed:

  • When the elevator arrives and the doors open, take two seconds and check if anyone is getting off before you bulldoze your way on.

Think of it as right-of-way for elevator travels. You wouldn’t make a left turn in front of a vehicle coming straight towards you (at least, I hope not), so don’t cut in front of someone who has the right to exit before you get on. By having a quick glance, you’ll save yourself the embarrassment of knocking someone on their rear end or having to help them pick up whatever they dropped all over. By this point, the elevator will have continued on its journey – without you – and you’ll have to wait for the next one anyway. While it may like I’m exaggerating, you’re saving yourself time by taking the extra two seconds – trust me.

  • Hold the “open door” button for passengers who may be slower getting on or off.

Pretending to be on your phone is no excuse for letting the doors close on another passenger.I know this may be shocking to some, but not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to stroll on and off an elevator as they please. I’m sure the older woman with a walker or the young adult on crutches would really appreciate being able to get on the elevator without being squashed like a pancake by the doors while you pretend to look at your Facebook profile. Besides, we’ll all know you’re just being rude – most elevators don’t have reception.

  • Elevator placement. 

Sometimes we’re fortunate that we get to stand where we want to in the elevator car. Personally, I prefer leaning on a railing on the right side –it’s a comfort thing. While it’s great to have selection, it’s important to know that the location you choose may come with additional responsibilities. Standing in front of the control panel is like sitting in the emergency exit on a plane. You get the luxury of not having someone directly in front of you, but you also have to be mindful of other passengers’ needs.

  • If someone is getting on the elevator, it’s proper etiquette to ask which floor they’re going to instead of forcing them to awkwardly reach around you to press the button.

It’s even more important if someone has their hands full. Don’t force them to do a juggling act with their belongings if you have your hands free. Likewise, if someone is getting on or off and needs an extra second, hold the doors open. (See above). Finally, if you choose to stand in front of the doors like an eager beaver, make sure you step aside to let people on or off. Nothing says inconsiderate jerk like the person who forces passengers to bounce around like a pin ball between other riders and the door frame as they squeeze around you to get off at their floor. 

  • Unless you’re in a dire emergency, there’s no harm in waiting for the next elevator if the first one is full.

I don’t care how cutely you ask, no, we can’t just “squeeze you in”. Riding in an elevator is terrifying enough for some people without having the worry that the car is going to be over capacity because you don’t have any patience. The idea of being packed like sardines with strangers in a confined space isn’t enough to convince you? Throw bad hygiene and hot weather into the mix and you’ve got yourself an elevator ride from hell. See, isn’t it much better to wait?

What bad elevator behaviour have you noticed? What advice would you give to people?

Back To The Basics: Father’s Day

This time of year is bittersweet for my siblings and I.
After losing our Dad three years ago, Father’s Day has become somewhat of a sad holiday instead of one we looked forward to. Dad loved spending time with us on Father’s Day, even if it meant just sitting in his backyard with a couple of beers and reciting lines from Ace Ventura.
The ‘first’ Father’s Day was hard, the second was a little less painful. I’m sure this one will be a little less again, but it’ll never reach a point where it passes and I don’t feel a twinge in my heart.
The first year he was gone, I chose to run in a Father’s Day race in support of prostate cancer research. Two years before, my father-in-law had been diagnosed with – and beat – the disease so I was motivated to support the cause that had given us more time with him in hopes of helping others. Plus, running helped expend the energy I would have inevitably spent crying balled up on the couch feeling sorry for myself.
At the race, I was envious of the girls young and old who were either running with their Dads or finished the race with an embrace as their proud Pops waited at the finish line. I distinctly remember watching a girl a few years older than I speed towards the finish line and into the arms of her Dad. With tears in his eyes, he kissed her cheek and thanked her. The back of her shirt said he was a survivor of the disease. I was sure this was a moment they’d remember forever.
My father-in-law remarked how proud he was I had taken the time to run in the race in his honour and raise awareness for the disease. I didn’t buy him anything that year – I had simply given my time to do something meaningful for him.
Apparently the gift of time is no longer good enough.
I heard an ad on the radio this morning, targeted at kids, that said something along the lines of ‘Dad doesn’t want a hug this year, he wants power tools.’ What?
When did Father’s Day become a commercialized, materialistic event? What happened to making Dad his favourite breakfast or taking him mini putting? Perhaps I notice it more because I don’t have the option to spend more time with my father or buy him something he probably didn’t need in the first place. In any event, are we getting carried away?
I used to think Valentine’s Day was the most commercialized holiday but over the past few years, I’ve noticed retailers are putting pressure on us to buy the perfect gift– a day at the spa to give Mom a break on Mother’s Day, an iPad for Grandma and Grandpa at Christmas so they can share those special moments with their grandkids, a new truck for your husband so he can look tough on his way to work while he sits in traffic.
People complain about commercialized holidays and retailers marking up the prices of certain items associated with those days. (Think: a bouquet of red roses on Valentine’s Day, which mysteriously seem to rise in price a few weeks before February 14. Is there an annual shortage I’m not aware of?) Retailers can get away with it because we continue to buy into it.
By participating in this cycle, we place more and more value on the things we buy people instead of the time we spend with them. Granted, I suppose there are people who would rather send their Dad a gift card in the mail instead of actually sitting in the same room with them, but for those who have relationships with their father, why do they need to feel pressure to find the perfect present?
The meaning of Father’s Day is to celebrate fatherhood and their contribution to their families, not provide them with absent-minded gifts.
A pair of Chaps from The Bay doesn’t scream ‘I appreciate you, Dad’; spending time with him and recounting a family trip or making him his favourite meal does.
So, here’s my proposition: while I’m sure your Dad would appreciate a shiny new power tool or a round of golf, chances are he’d rather spend the time with you.
If you insist on buying him something, get him something you can do together – take him for dinner, or if you’re budget-conscious, make him dinner. Show up with a board game or action movie and a few beers, or take him golfing instead of sending him out on his own.
The memories you make will far outlast the warranty on a circular saw.