What a Winner!

I was eighteen years old. I had my “new” car- which was about ten years old at the time… An electric blue four door Pontiac Sunbird. (Yes,I just dated myself. It was before the “cool” version Sunfire!) It was a beautiful spring day, and I was driving around, playing the music enjoying the drive. As I came past the hospital on King George road and up the hill, I saw him. He was a middle aged man, wearing a Blues Brothers fedora, oversized aviator sunglasses, a full length trench coat, and jeans and runners that looked like they were on the clearance rack from the Salvation Army Store. As if his appearance wasn’t odd enough, he was definitely, absolutely, without a doubt: power-walking. I stared. I snickered. I actually said aloud to myself, laughing: “Wow. This guy is a friggen winner.”

The words had barely grazed my lips when tragedy struck. No accident, although the shock and terror was comparable as I was dumbfounded by the cruel reality of what appear before me. Like staring at optical illusion artwork when the picture suddenly pops out at you… Only it was dizzying and nauseating. The winner was, not only a power walking, trench coat sporting, Salvation Army shopping Blues Brothers wannabe…Much more than that!!!! He was my father.


The Kindergarten Connection

I’m a pretty big believer in something bigger…though I have no idea what it is. Things like quantum physics, universal laws, and strange coincidences interest and intrigue me… Celestine Prophecy, Alchemist, “The Secret” kind of stuff. I figure at very least, being observant and making a stab at being positive can’t actually have any negative effects, and I’ve had some interesting experiences as a result of paying attention to times when I feel the universe is “a step ahead of me.” A couple of weeks ago, I was doing some online learning/activities with self esteem, examining your beliefs, and things that may have impacted both. So I did an online “guided meditation” and the image/incredibly vivid memory that came to me unfolds as follows:

I’m in kindergarten, and a boy in my class (Matthew) was upset about something. (For all I know someone stole his lego…) but he was distraught. The teacher called us all over to sit on the carpet, and little Matt was still upset. I was sitting beside/behind him and felt bad that he was upset. So I took my little five year old hand, and rubbed his back to help him feel better. (What a compassionate child!) Anyone who remembers public school can probably guess what happened to me from there. “Courtney and Matthew sitting in a tree” etc. I got teased… A lot. And from that moment forward, I guess I just decided it was easier not to be OVERLY nice to anyone… “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Fast forward back to present day (for simplicity sake lets say twenty years later.) I’m working out in the gym, and this guy I’m sure I have never seen before, two consecutive days almost walks into me and says “hey hows it goin?” I smile and say hi, and go back to what I’m doing. On the third day, I’m peddling the bike, and this guy has a ten minute conversation with someone right in front of me. It’s at that point I actually look at him, and start to sense some vague familiarity… a little… and then more… Until I randomly just yell “Hey! Come here.” He does. I hesitate slightly with a raised eyebrow and I ask: “Are you Matt?” He laughs, and confirms! He knew who I was but was fairly sure I hadn’t made the connection… Of course I hadn’t: we haven’t seen each other since fourth grade!!! Nonetheless.. There he is. The Kindergarten Back Rub Boy in the flesh!

Post Script: We chatted. We became Facebook friends. He made a comment about how I wasn’t overly friendly in school, and it was at that point that I took the risk… and told him the story. I let him know that if he thought I was insane and didn’t want to talk anymore, that I understood, and that it had been fun nonetheless. To my surprise, he actually was understanding, and fairly amused by this. He told me he didn’t think I was nuts, unless of course my next confession was that I have a voodoo shrine with a picture of his five year old self somewhere in my home. It turns out, he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Jokes began to fly, and when I finally announced that I had to sign off and go to sleep, he replied: “Hey- make sure you blow out the candles on my shrine… it’s a fire hazard.” I laughed, hard. Then replied “All done. I’ll put your school picture under my pillow and see you in my dreams.” He told me not to worry about crumpling it because his mom could probably hook me up with some replacements. The guy is a hoot!

A few days later, and the day before my birthday, my mom and I were standing in a store talking to another friend of ours. By now, I had told basically everyone I know this story, including the two of them. Who should walk in? Matt, of course. Who I proudly introduced as “The Kindergarten Back Rub Boy.” Good thing he’s a great sport!!!

No. Really. Good thing. Not only did he laugh it off, -along with my jokes about his stalking me- but later that night, when we ran into him at a restaurant, and my mother walked over to converse with him as if he’s been part of our family for this entire twenty years… He didn’t even get weirded out. Or… at least he was discreet enough not to show it!

Tonight, I was working out at the gym. Working away in my fave neon green shirt that my mom gave me from a fundraiser… I step off my machine between sets, and see Matt. As we make eye contact it’s instantly obvious on both of our faces as we realize it: of all the colours, in all of the palettes in all of the world, coincidentally, today, we’ve both chosen to dawn t-shirts in the loudest neon green known to man. I couldn’t have matched him better if I actually WAS hiding in the bushes with binoculars when he packed his gym bag. I grin, say hello and simply call it like it is “ok. This is just getting creepy at this point.” It’s truly a missed opportunity that I failed to ask if he was also wearing black lace panties!

Where will my Kindergarten connection surface next… ?!

My Reba Story

reba“Great things happen when you trust in the universe, have positive thoughts, and step out of your comfort zone! Some things are worth looking like a goober for”. hehe.. So.. here the explanation on that statement.

I won tickets with LEA on Country 95.3 to see the taped CMT interview with Reba McEntire. So mom and I drove to Aldershot and jumped on the Go train to union station! (Being non Toronto drivers). We got to the venue an hour early and people were already lined up outside.

Casey Clark (CMT host and DJ on 95.3) -and Lindsay Stone (host CMT) were looking for fans to interview and my mom and our new “friends” volunteered me! EEEK.. I hope that thing about the camera adding 10 pounds in a myth. LOL…
So, I did the interview with Lindsay and talked about how I got my tickets and how exciting it was to be seeing Reba – feeling like an idiot the whole time.. (To be honest… I really hope they don’t air it. hehe..)

Inside, the man seating us heard me say I was on TV and misunderstood – he thought I said “I want to be on TV” and asked me if I wanted to ask Reba a question…
Did I really want to subject myself to feeling nervous and stupid again? SURE.. what the heck! .. A goober once, whats once more?!

Then he took us to the worst seats EVER – way at the back – behind a post and half the camera crew. I was trying to change my mind and tell him we would give up the question for better seats..but he kept saying “but you get to TALK to her. How many people get that?” Ok fine. but I was feeling like “this really sucks”.
At that moment I could hear my friends voice in my head; “Positive thinking.. Trust the universe, you are ALWAYS EXACTLY where you are meant to be at any given moment in time.” So I changed my attitude and started to focus on being thankful that I got the tickets at all, and the opportunity to talk to Reba (even if it was to ask a scripted question! lol…)

Mom and I both asked questions and both felt stupid about being in front of the camera. The crew let us stand up and move out of the crappy seats anyways, so it ended up not being so bad. At the end of the interview, Reba did not exit via the main door that she’d used to come in. NOPE!! She came right over to us, thanked us for being a part of the show, and mom and I got HUGS!! Reba is a former barrel racing farm girl.. so I told her she could come ride my horse whenever she wants LOL..

I HAD the opportunity at one point to change my mind about the question – and the seats- and if I had let my crappy attitude and self pity for having to sit at the back influence my decision I would have missed out on the TOTALLY COOL end result!!!! What a great experience..