“Reply All”

November 30, 2009

I may have accidentally thrown down on an email to the morning ocean swim mailing list. 

Maybe.

The water is starting to get cold and most people have their wetsuits out by now (can you guess where this is going?).  I’ve been putting off wearing mine mostly because I would have to take it to work after swimming and nothing ever dries out in this damp air, so I’d have a wet wetsuit in my classroom.  Not cool.

Anyway, there was an email sent to the swimming mailing list by a guy who ships wetsuits here saying that they are now available.  I have an awesome BlueSeventy wetsuit which I had every intention of wearing this winter.  However, I responded to the email with the statement “wetsuits are for wimps” and hit “reply all”.  This was purely in fun and I was trying to take a dig at my male swim buddies who have been wetsuit-clad since the water was nearly 80 degrees.

HOWEVER, a woman whom I have only swum with once and hardly know at all, responded.  Essentially she went on a tirade about how she would love to see me try to last the winter without a wetsuit and how in her entire time of swimming, she’s only seen two people do that.  Her email came across as really angry and aggressive and I had obviously inadvertently offended her.  So, how to respond?

I could a) write an email back to her thus fuelling whatever is going on with her and creating unnecessary email drama.

I could b) ignore her.

or the obvious c) go all winter without a wetsuit.

The water will probably dip into the low 60s and I already get pretty cold when it’s 70, so we’ll see how this goes.  Typical of me to get myself into this situation completely by accident so that I feel I have to be an ambassador for women and prove that we too, can do the stupid things that men do and do them just as stupidly.

(Please note, if you are perhaps a volatile reader and read that earlier statement as “all things men do are stupid” and you are now feeling angry and combative, let’s take this into the water and have a little wetsuit-free swim off, shall we?)

Eyebrow Convention

November 24, 2009

Two bits of sad news:

1) I have many first cousins and don’t know any of them personally because of family disputes between our parents.

2) My Aunt died last week.

One bit of incredible news:

I got to meet my cousins at the funeral.

Having always felt a little bit on the outside of my immediate family, I have throughout my life been drawn to friends with big, strong, loving families.  Consequently, I have many, many people in my life who feel like family but are not.

After this weekend I have more people in my life who actually are family and that, my friends, is quite an awesome feeling.

It was a sad funeral (I suppose they all are – this was actually my first ever) and a little bizarre because Great Uncle Fred passed out partway through the service and was taken away in an ambulance.  My Aunt was a really awesome person and I remember her fondly from my childhood before the families started arguing.  It was obvious that she had touched the lives of everyone there and will not be forgotten.  I felt a great deal of regret that I had not made the effort to visit her since I moved back here last winter.

The wake was about as awesome as a wake can be.  We went back to my cousin’s house where I “met” and hung out with three of my first cousins and got to know their wives and kids a little.  I remember being very little and following one of my cousins around wherever he went.  I had to fight the urge to do the same in adulthood since he is just as cool as he was when he was fourteen, even though that was nearly 30 years ago.

The funny thing about seeing a bunch of my relatives in one place is that we all have identical, dark, unruly eyebrows.  I kept laughing to myself about how similar we all looked and how amazing genetics are.  The feeling of meeting people who were my flesh and blood relatives was unreal.  And these were just my cousins – I cannot imagine what it must be like for people who have been adopted and track down their birth parents or siblings!!!

Anyway, now that we’ve found each other, we have a lot of catching up to do.  We’re all going out tomorrow for one cousin’s birthday and I can hardly wait.