Wednesday, 19 June 2013

First World Problems Via Range Rover

It’s not Monday, but it sure feels like it. It’s been a comedy of errors.

All. Day. Long.

Dylan asked me whom I pissed off today. I don’t know, but I’m ready to buy whoever it is a glass of wine and call it a night.

Two of the girls had orthodontics appointments this morning. I adjusted my schedule and made my way to the office on a tight time frame. The doctor was running late, hence I was now running late for appointments I had already pushed back. Breathe in. Breathe out. Our Ortho guy is awesome and he is also a friend, so I didn’t lose my shit. Well done me.

Working for a non-profit agency has its quirks. I thought it was my lucky day when I found a coveted parking spot right in front of the building and didn’t have to walk the usual mile in the rain.
Woot! Woot! My day was turning around.

No it wasn’t. That parking spot would actually ruin my day, but I don’t want to get to ahead of myself.

My computer froze four times while writing a report that needed to be submitted to the government before 3:30pm. Yes, I lost what I had written four times. Shush you asking, “Did you save it?” Cleary I did not. But I learned my lesson on the fourth try and was able to save the document before a forced quit. Look at me learning new things today.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

As I was preparing to leave for my next appointment that I was running late for, a colleague called to inform me that “Holy Shit! Did you know your back tire is completely flat?” The same tire I had patch-repaired just last Monday.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

In hindsight, I should have paid more attention when I wondered why the car next to me was making a hissing sound as I locked my car upon exit one hour earlier.

I drive a Range Rover.
Zip it with your ‘Awe poor muffin’s Range Rover has a flatty tire’.
I get it…First World Problem.

But I paid my dues with years in a minivan.  So as one would expect with the purchase of a luxury vehicle, one phone call and Roadside Assistance was en-route and arrived within minutes. I also expect them to wipe my ass for me, but apparently that detail is not in the fine print. 

I prayed all the way to the dealership that it would be a quick repair and I would be on my way. I knew that Dylan probably wouldn’t appreciate the gift of our first-born child in exchange for a new tire. No such luck. A big twisty piece of metal had corkscrewed its way into the tire and apparently no amount of crazy glue and duct tape would fix that shit.

I calmly told them to get’er done and put a new tire on that bad boy while I figured out the quickest way to make the money needed. Drug Lord and Lady of the Night seemed like feasible options at that point. 

Only to be informed that the tire required was out of stock. 

And would take 7-10 business days to arrive.

Breath in. Breath out.

Math is not my forte, but I quickly counted the days of the week on my fingers and came to the conclusion that ten days does not get me a tire before, oh wait, TODAY!!! Or for the out of town basketball tournament this weekend. And next weekend. Or for work tomorrow. Or to pick up the kids from school. Or to drive to the liquor store tonight.

Alas, the man helping me saw the rage in my eyes. I may have felt a wee bit sorry for him dealing with  bat-shit crazy me, but I can say he was amazing. He called around the entire city to see if anyone had one of these ever so special tires. He calmly told me I was shit out of luck. Only he was more professional.  I was offered four brand new different tires. But I only wanted one? Why do I need four? 

Apparently ‘balancing the load’ is important.
That’s what she said.

I began to panic as my options were pulling a Houdini before my eyes. I tranquilly asked him to explain why in city of over a million people with a plethora of Oil and Gas money for spendy cars…there were no freaking tires available. He explained the Theory of Supply and Demand. He looked confused as I explained my own theory that I demand a tire so he needs to supply it. Now. Please.

I looked around the show room and parking lot. Viola!!!!! Six, count them six, of my exact make and models sat sparkling in the sunlight right in front of me. It was as if God himself had sent me a sign. There were 24 of the exact tires I needed sitting there taunting me.
Problem solved.
They said no.
I still don’t know why as it seemed like a very reasonable solution to me. Apparently the other cars who NO ONE OWNS AND NO ONE DRIVES need there precious tires to SIT IN A PARKING LOT AND NOT DRIVE for necessity.

I asked for a courtesy car. Its Range Rover after all and it wasn’t like I had asked for them to wipe my ass. Yet.  Service dude had to ask a manager. The manager conveyed this message through his go-between:

“Although it was a road hazard and therefore not under warranty, because the part is back ordered we can usually provide a courtesy car”

That’s better. I peed a little.

“However, because “technically” the tires are not a Range Rover product, we cannot help you.

Translate: Ooooh, sorry about your luck but thanks ever so much for all your money.

Umm. Range Rover built the vehicle right? Range Rover chose and put these special-gold-filled-pope-worthy-freaking-rubber-round-things around the Range Rover embossed rim right? I feel confused. You are not going to help me based on a ‘technicality’? Are you effing kidding me? 

My guess is your not gonna wipe my ass either?

I calmly walked into the parking lot and the kind service man helping me followed behind carrying the rubber-less million-dollar rim to put in the back of my car. I politely told him that this customer service experience had left me feeling less than pleased and truly doubting my choice in dealership and brand. That it simply wasn’t worth the hassle (kidding, I fricken’ love my ride) and if I still owned a GMC I would be driving safely away toward home in a dealership courtesy car. He asked if I wanted to speak to the Assistant Service Peon Manager to which I kindly declined, as I needed to calm down first.
Plus, I don’t think a grown woman snot-hanging crying in the lobby makes anyone feel warm and fuzzy.

Piss poor Range Rover. Piss poor. Customer service is really important. Especially when said customer writes a blog that thousands of people from all over the world read each day.
Just saying.

I drove my sorry ass home on the spare tire going 80km/hour in the slow lane down the freeway (that’s like 50/miles per hour for my American friends…sweet balls my math is on fire today) whilst people were speeding past me flipping me the bird and rolling their eyes. Like I don’t get enough eye-rolls from the basement trolls I live with.

Cleary no one could see my tears or the pony tire. I wanted to shout out that I CAN handle the freeway at fast speeds!  I promise. Trust me, I have the bill from the lawyer I had to hire to keep my drivers license from my last ticket to prove it.
FYI…cops are not all that lenient when you are going 52km/hour over the limit.
But that’s a story for another day.

And then I stubbed my baby toe.
And Dylan has a man-cold.
Send wine.

Xo J

PS. The thoughts expressed in this blog regarding Range Rover Customer Service are my own and do not represent…blah blah blah. Up until now it has been a great experience owning this make of vehicle. (Well anything’s an upgrade after the Loser Cruiser right?)
I have left a message for the Dealership Manager and was assured he would call me back tonight. After all, it’s not fair to bitch unless you give them a chance to fix it. 

Its 11:00pm…I’m not holding my breath, but I will keep you postedJ

Addendum June 20, 2013: After a lovely call with the dealership manager, a courtesy car is being located for me as I type this.
Good Job Range Rover:)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Fathers be Good To Your Daughters

I’m a pretty lucky gal. I have the World’s Greatest Dad.
Don’t be all jealous or get your knickers in a knot yelling at me that you have the worlds greatest dad. I’m sure you do. Lets not fight.

But my dad is the World’s Greatest Dad to me.

It’s often said that daughters marry someone like their own fathers. I see this every day in my work and trust me when I say, its not always a good thing.

But I’m one of the lucky ones.
I married a man just like my dad in so many ways and for me that is a very good thing.

I married a man that treats me like his princess yet never holds me back and always supports my dreams. Just like my dad.

I married a man that works so hard for his family day in and day out. Even when ‘bringing home the bacon’ is stressful, not fun and my guess is not what he dreamed of doing when he was a young boy, he does it. He makes sacrifices so our children can have the world and doesn’t complain about it. Just like my dad.

I married a man that loves his daughters more than the world. Who knows when to laugh with them, hug them, challenge them or set down the law. I married a man of integrity and grace. Just like my dad.

I married a man who is sometimes a little to protective of his little girls. Who doesn’t want them too date until they are 28 and thinks they should be wearing turtle-necks and snow pants every damn day of the year.  My girls know that it’s better to ask mom first, or have me soften the blow with dad for topics related to driving, boys, make-up and clothes. Just like my dad.

I married a man that learned to do things and fix things around the house by himself as part of his fiscal role and 'manly' duties. Oh wait, no I didn’t. Dylan is the guy who hires people. Dad, I really need you to come over as the garburator is broken, the dishwasher is making a weird clicking noise and our garage door code isn’t working. I could use some help with the painting touch ups as well and can you pick up a jug of milk on your way over?

I married a man that will always take care of his little girls. Just like my dad.

I have many memories growing up with my dad who even though roles looked a bit more traditional in the 70’s and 80’s, always pushed the envelope and was more than just the breadwinner. He actively participated in our lives. From chauffeuring to early morning sports to teaching me how to drive, he was there. He was also ALWAYS there when a boy came knocking at the door, standing at the top step of the landing just to ensure his 6’4” frame was extra noticed. One boy actually forgot his own name when asked by the looming man at the top of the stairs when he would have his daughter home. Yup…couldn’t remember his own name and pretty sure he shit his pants. Well done dad. The date sucked, he was looking at his watch the entire time.

The threat of “wait till you father gets home” was always more of a blessing in my house. My dad had a lot of practice at cooling down the hormones of two teenage daughters and an only slightly less hormonal wife. Dylan is learning this skill as well, but may need some extra support over the next few years. Or wine.

Half of the grey hair on my father’s head is because of me. The part of my heart that will always belong to my dad is because of who he is and the love he not only taught me, but also showed me. Kisses on scraped knees and hugs when boys broke my heart were all it took to let me know it was going to be ok. Even as an adult, my daddy can make me feel it’s all going to be ok.

To some this day marked on the calendar is a bittersweet reminder of a father lost or one that was never there. I know I am blessed. I am blessed because not only was my father an amazing role model growing up with, but I am also now proud to call him my friend. His role has changed as we have grown and now have kids of our own, but I will always be daddy’s little girl.

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there! Today tell the fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, the mom’s who take on dad’s responsibility or any man that has been a role model that you love them and appreciate them.  Celebrate them today and everyday, no matter if they are here on earth or watching over us gone too soon.

I love you dad and I appreciate all you are and the impact you had on shaping me into the woman I am today. Because of you, I know what respect and a healthy relationship are. Thanks.

Pretty much any man can father a child. It’s a special man that can be a dad.
For those of you who didn’t have that, just make sure you find someone or be the parent that you want you daughter to marry.
Just like my dad.

Xo J

P.S. Dad thanks for not killing Dylan. I picked one just like you and so will my girls.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Finding Your Funny in 'Don't Lick the Minivan'

I’m back. Did ya miss me?

Here are my excuses for my terrible blogging etiquette:
  • Basketball
  • Soccer 
  • Work
  •  Feeding short humans
  • Avoiding laundry
  • Crushing Candies
  • Drinking Wine
Blah Blah Blah…I’m sorry. I will try and do better. Word of advice: don’t hold your breath until the end of June.

Lately I have been thinking about the things we say to our children at various stages of life. It occurred to me that if we were saying these things in a regular conversation with grown adults, we would more than likely be committed to an asylum for the mentally deranged.

Do you ever catch yourself saying stupid things to your kids? Zip it, I know you do.
Looking back over the years, some of my favorites have been:

"Finger painting on your wall with poop is yucky and not allowed"
"Please don’t pick your sisters nose"
"Can I please just pee by myself?"
"Please don't touch the dogs penis"
"I will give you $100 to just go the hell to sleep"

Now imagine these sentences directed to a co-worker, friend or partner?
See? Totally not appropriate. People would look at you like you were bat shit crazy.

Before I was a mom I could not have imagined these things flying out of my mouth in everyday life…and that they would actually seem normal and make sense. People say that ‘kids say the darnest things’. Yeah well, someone should write a book about what we say to our kids. Now that would be funny shit.

Wait for it…someone DID write a book about that and I had the honour and privilege to read an advance copy and tell the world how fabulous it is.

Leanne Shirtliffe is the one and only ‘Ironic Mom’ from the blog with the same name.
And holy crap she wrote a book!! And it's really good!

I love you all so much…all you need to do is CLICK HERE to order! 

And now I’m telling the world YOU NEED TO GO BUY IT! Like right now. Put down the glass of wine and go buy it. Ok, finish reading this blog first and then go.

Leanne and I are actually gonna be BFF’s, but like so many people I stalk admire and look up to, she just doesn’t know it yet.

But we have SOOOOO much in common.
  1. Leanne lives in Calgary
  2. Leanne has twins
  3. Leanne has written a book
  4.  Leanne is funny.
  5. Leanne lived in Thailand where she birthed her small humans!

 Ok, so after writing my ‘Leanne and I are exactly the same and should totally be best friends’ list,  I can see some discrepancies. I never lived in Thailand. Although as a new mom of twins it did feel like I was living in a foreign country for a good year, so that kinda counts.

Leanne is actually funny where most days it’s only me that thinks I’m funny. Whatever, the voices in my head laugh at my sarcastic wit so that kinda makes it the samesies.

Leanne has actually written and published a real life book. I am simply just to busy and most days feel that becoming a published author may suck the life out of me and it is currently sitting at number 801 on my to do list. But Leanne DID IT!

And she works full time teaching pubescent children important stuff like grammar. I live with only two teenagers and struggle teaching them how to put away an effin’ lunch kit. Leanne spends 40 freaking hours a week with hundreds of them. For the love of all that is good and holy someone get the women a glass bottle of wine!!
Or buy her book so she makes money and can buy her own wine.

Don’t Lick the Minivan is full of laughs as Leanne brings her reader along her journey as a new mom of twins in a foreign country. She details her travels back to Canada as she settles into her life as mom and all the crazy that goes along with it.  Leanne tells it like it is and finds the funny in the not so funny.

And that my dear friends, is the only way to get through this parenting thing.
There is no secret potion. No magical wand. No newest and latest research.
Just find the funny and keep loving them. (Wine helps too)

Don’t Lick the Minivan is also full of real life parenting tips for the not-so-perfect moms.  That would be me by the way.
Here’s a taste from Leanne’s parenting tips:

Parenting tip: a regular routine of brushing and flossing is essential the three days before your children’s dental appointments if you want to appear to be a good parent.
Parenting tip: Some issues are worth taking a stand against. Be anti-glitter.
Parenting tip: as long as your child isn’t the worst in his class, he will succeed. if he is the worst, drink more wine.
Amen Sister!!
Leanne makes me feel like a better mom. See money already well spent when you buy the book. You're welcome! 
Don’t Like the Minivan also shares Leanne’s struggles with depression and anxiety and how she was able to once again find her own funny. I’ve said it before and I will say it again; parenting is the hardest job in the world and Leanne’s open and honest glimpse of climbing her mountain is real life stuff for real life moms.
But my favorite part of the book is the letters Leanne writes to her children scattered throughout.  Don’t tell anyone, but reading this mothers heart on a piece of paper actually made me shed tears. Being able to take a reader from requiring Depends to Kleenex in one chapter is pretty impressive if you ask me.

Find the funny with Leanne. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

Leanne, I can’t wait till your twins are teenagers. Call me, we shall drink wine together. Or think of it all as awesome material for another book.

Xo J