Yesterday, no joke, I got the print I ordered two months ago. I bought it to hang in the bathroom. Again, not joking. It’s by Ugly Ink, who does beautiful illustrations of ugly characters. His original work is surprisingly affordable, but I don’t mind buying open editions. I buy what I like.
Are beach-themed washrooms a thing of the 90s, or do people still romanticize peeing by the sea? I grew up with a beach-themed washroom. Next to the family toothbrush holder, there was a wicker basket full of seashells and sand dollars. Interior decorating was one of Mom’s hobbies. I thought she had terrible taste, but that’s probably only because it was the opposite of mine. I’ll look at old photos in disbelief and think, “I remember Mom buying this intentionally.”
In her defense, it was the style back then. In opposition, are we so easily influenced by trends that we allow them to cloud our judgment of what we sincerely like? And when some of us recognize this behaviour, we become contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. Is that any better?
Back in my Instagramming days, in a story, I merely pointed out how there were over a dozen pairs of Blundstone boots in the climbing gym changing room. This mistake resulted in people flooding my DMs defending their reason for owning a pair. The thing is, I never said I hated them! They’re nondescript leather boots without laces: not much to hate here. Imagine the nightmare of leaving the gym only to realize that the boots you’re wearing are a touch more snug than usual.
I think my mom truly enjoyed thinking of the sea while practicing hygiene. I, on the other hand, prefer to make my washroom washroom-themed: I already have a painting of a toilet in there.
What makes me feel the most like an outsider, though, is how I hate baths. I am the only adult I know who hates baths. I don’t enjoy showers much either. I shower, but out of necessity. I am always cold when I get out of the shower, and I hate it.
“What about a nice, long, hot shower?” You may be wondering.
I think they’re worse: I’d be wasting water. I’d be drenched with eco-guilt.
No joke, I wore winter mitts yesterday. I will likely be wearing them for a few more weeks: it takes an irritatingly long time for the weather to warm up here. I keep bringing shorts to work in hopes the temperature will get pleasant enough for me to throw my pants in the garbage. I have a few trash-ready pants that I’ve kept for the sake of my cold legs. They’re saturated in oil and grease from the bike shop. In the meantime, wearing greasy pants is more comfortable than chilly legs.
I’ve had to explain to more than one friend that the reason I’m still wearing my mitts is that I lost my more sensible “driving” gloves and haven’t replaced them because that’s the kind of person I am. I give up and sweat out the last of the cold weather.
And, of course, because I have Raynaud Syndrome, wearing mitts with shorts and a t-shirt is a realistic scenario that I’ve avoided because although I have a high threshold for looking silly for the sake of warmth, this goes beyond that. It is physically possible for me to be hot and sweaty while having ice-cold hands. I’ve considered seeing a doctor in case it is a symptom of something more serious, but this has been my reality since I was a teenager. (I was in the sixth grade when I had my first Raynaud attack: I remember crying at camp, terrified that my toes would require amputation.) It’s gotten significantly worse since then. In ten years from now, I’m going to die from overexposure to cold, and I’ll be indoors. If not, then I’ll have given up on showering altogether, for I’ll need the dirt to trap in the heat.
At least I was smiling while wearing my mitts yesterday when I was riding Ponyboy on the Galloping Goose Trail. It was my first ride of a reasonable distance (50km) outdoors this year! Just before Royal Roads University, I noticed a building with graffiti scrawled all over the rear. One graffiti read, “Keep on dreamin’,” and below that, someone had added, “Fuck my asshole.”
It wasn’t worth removing my mitts for a photo, but here’s a photo from the time I peered over Vancouver’s Burrard bridge and noticed that somebody had enough wood to make this proclamation:
What made you smile today?