Today is a potentially momentous day for our family as it is the day that Lauren will sleep her first night in the house that she will share with two roommates for the duration of her UFV attendance. In order to facilitate our little bird leaving our Abbotsford nest, my wife, Pam, and I headed off to Abbotsford from Harrison Hot Springs this morning to assist her in moving her bed and some other items to her new abode. In typical Palmer fashion we both went in our own vehicles. I have posted before about our mutual discomfort with each other’s driving.
The plan was to put a trailer on the back of Pam‘s van and move the items over in the trailer. I have mentioned before that I am a bit of a vehicle hoarder and that we have six vehicles spread between the houses in Abbotsford and Harrison. Our two biggest vehicles have been sitting on the Abbotsford driveway because of their propensity to consume vast quantities of gasoline. Those are the vehicles, however, best suited to pull trailers and move beds and other items.
When I arrived this morning, Pam was standing with Lauren beside Pam’s van, and I could only see the look of disgust as they discovered mouse faeces ￼throughout Pam’s van. Pam then spent the next significant period of time cleaning and vacuuming her van. Lauren was not prepared to go into the van once the mouse droppings were discovered. I made a dismissive comment to Lauren, which was intentionally not audible to Pam, about the consequences of leaving food in a vehicle. My courage in expressing my opinions in such matters is legendary. But then Karma intervened.
Lauren and I then decided to put the items into my Lincoln with its backseat down and the mattress put in through the back hatch. We then loaded the back of the car, and when we were ready to head off to our destination Lauren noticed mouse feces on the passenger seat in the Lincoln. A fast vacuuming, and my reassurance that any mouse would only have been in the Lincoln for a short time resulted in her acceding to getting into the car to drive the contents to her new residence.
Unfortunately as we unloaded the car, we discovered a lot of mouse feces in the car. Lauren found this revolting, particularly that her items had been on it. I was surprised at her reaction and her reaction to my suggestion to just ignore the mice droppings. Actually if she is in fact really going to run the world someday she is going to have to learn to deal with mouse droppings, spiders, etc, in a different manner. I’m sure she will now be cleaning her mattress and all of the contents ( formerly said “continents” in error) that were carried over with great vigour.
A conversation about whether or not a dining room table of her deceased grandmother that was now in storage might be appropriate in her new residence caused us to visit one of the units in which we store items in downtown Abbotsford. As she looked through the items to see what might be useful in her new residence she found…….. well, you can guess. Mice are apparently everywhere this summer.
I wish my little bird well in her new residence and I expect she will enjoy her first night of total independance. Unless of course she finds a mouse……
I know I have posted and reposted this before but it still seems appropriate today. May the voices of my daughters be heard and respected. And may they never be treated with the disrespect that Greta Thunberg has received simply because her opinion comes from the mouth of a young female.
March 8, 2018: I want to acknowledge international women’s day and express my respect for all women, not just ones of great accomplishments and ones who are noteworthy role models but also the billions living ordinary lives, because truly all women must live their lives subject to the restrictions that society imposes on them. Those restrictions may include driving and education in some countries but may be evidenced by more subtle cultural bias in our own more egalitarian society. As we are recently reminded even the most successful of women continued to be subject to sexual harassment and other forms of life and career limiting discrimination.
Although in my youth I could get excited about discrimination against different sectors of society and economic exploitation of other groups, like many people my idealism became secondary to earning a living and for many years I contented myself that I would treat all people equally and with respect regardless or gender, race, ethnicity age or orientation. I have tried to do so but cannot claim perfection but I have worked on the belief that I cannot change the other six billion people on the globe but should work to improve myself. This of course is an easy attitude to have if you are an educated white male in Canada. I do not have to deal with discrimination ever.
Having four young children has caused me to change my sense of responsibility to include that my children learn to be respectful of all people and not discriminate. I must say that that is going well and I am proud of my children’s attitudes
But I recognize that this is not enough. I must do more. Having two young daughters has made me much more observant of the limitations and unnecessary challenges that women face even in egalitarian Canada. As a small point I find myself starting to avoid restaurants where the female staff are required to wear short skirts and low tops, in favour of restaurants with more modest dress codes or where female staff are allowed to wear what they wish. I find myself asking myself if in a few years from now if I would be happy to have one of my daughters working there and subject to that dress code. The answer is no. Goodbye Cactus Club and dozens of other restaurants.
Does the me too movement surprise me? I think it exposes a realty that we all knew or suspected but thought that all we can do is govern our own behaviour. Well obviously that is not enough and I should not have to have daughters before I pay attention to the obvious discrimination.
I resolve that I must do more. Trying not to be part of the problem is obviously not enough. I need some of the radicalism of my youth to work to be part of the solution. Not just on issues relating to discrimination against women and other sectors of society but on working towards social justice for indigenous and other groups. God help me to work towards making a better world for my children.
Posts copied from FaceBook.