Thanks for: Brothers With the Man Flu

Dear Adult Brother Who Sneezes All Over Everything,

Why oh why are you unable to ever properly cover your face holes when you’re spewing bodily fluids everywhere? It’s not that hard to not sneeze on people! It’s definitely not hard not to intentionally cough on people. As your elder sister I command that you stop. It’s not funny.

Stop trying to sneeze on me.

The boy comes home for one week and it just so happens to be the week that he’s ‘deathly ill’. By which I mean he has the sniffles-wiffles and wants dear mommy to make him chicken noodle soup and buy him Popsicles.

Buy your own popsicles Hedgehog.

But your snot induced sniveling does procure one item of thankfulness – no dishes for me. Like magical clockwork as soon as the parents hear the vaguest sniffing, everything jumps straight to the dishwasher. This is nothing short of a miracle. Our parents hate the dishwasher with a fiery passion that I can’t quite comprehend. Somehow it’s evil. It apparently never cleans anything properly and takes too much water and is just a colossal pain the rear. Apparently.

This just seems to translate into Aria drying a whole ton of dishes every day.

But the parents have concluded that the one thing saving grace of the dishwasher is it’s ability to sanitize. So when someone is sick its suddenly a dishwasher-pooloza. No dishes for me. Bliss.

So thank you younger sibling for taking that chore away for a few days. But on the other hand, if you get me sick, I will re-infect you and you can take this right back to your generally unclean student housing.

And no, you’re not that sick, I don’t feel that sorry for you, and it’s just a cold.

Go get a kleenex.

Aria

Thanks For: My Life is NOT A Horror Movie

Dear Fog,

If my life was a horror movie, I’d most certainly be dead based on the atmosphere you provided for my trip home last night. Basically I was confronted with the fog wall of death. You want to see more than 2 feet in front of you. Haha. Nope. Have some fog. Have some streetlights trying to shine through the fog. Have an abandoned parking lot.

I know how that scene is supposed to go. Plucky, brunette nerd convinces herself to stop being so silly because life is not a movie. She drifts through the fog towards her car. It’s fine. It’s fine. She says to herself. There is no scientific basis for fog equaling murderers hiding just out of sight. She reaches for the keys as she enters a particularly dense fog patch. boom . dead.

Thankfully your plucky nerd is still kicking. Either there were no murderers hiding in the fog or my well executed plan of running from my work building to the car like a flailing Olympic sprinter paid off. What? It’s not like my colleagues could see me, there was too much fog.

So today I’m basically thankful that there were no murderers in the fog. Or else I’m thankful for the fact that there were really slow murderers in the fog.

Either way.

Aria

Thanks For: WHAT DID I DO WITH THE DONKEY LAST YEAR? and other Christmas classics

Dearest Mother and Brother,

Confession time – Mom, the Hedgehog and I shared a chuckle when you asked us i”f your big balls were positioned right between the sticks”. You of course meant the red Christmas balls perched in the garland on the fireplace but we went a whole other route. Consider it sibling bonding fun times.

In fact the entire Christmas decorating experience turned into a bizarre list of catchphrases.

As always, setting up the nativity is my job. I finally found out why this year. Apparently it’s not because I’m so skillful at arranging camels but because “you don’t like the feel of Styrofoam”. Basically I’m just there to take things out of boxes for you. The Father escaped to the office. At least I’m not Hedgehog. His new life purpose is to:

1) Lift this heavy thing

2) Reach that tall place

3) Hold this thing right there. No there. A little to the left. Up. No too much. Down a touch. I said a touch. Don’t you know how much a touch is? That’s too much. Put it back. Hold still. Stop moving. What do you think. There? No I think we should put it over there. Hmmmmm. Repeat x10

So while the brother is lifting heavy things I’m busy wrestling with a wooden Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the crew. Mary, Joseph and Jesus are the easy part. Jesus goes in Mary’s arms, Joseph looks down adoringly. Put the whole thing in the middle. Shepherds go around the back and sides. It’s easy

Then there are the animals. Do you know how many animals I’ve got to wrangle on a piece of burlap ARTISTICALLY?! 4 sheep, an oxen, a goat, a GIANT CAMEL and a donkey. Oh the donkey. Just when I’d artistically placed the sheep, bunched the ox and goat together and stuffed the camel in the back corner. BOOM. I missed the donkey. This of course leads me to shout, “What did I do with the donkey last year?”.

Not a phrase I’d normally say.

Even better. When the mother was swapping her fall sticks for winter sticks (just nod at the difference) we got the delightful phrase, “There is a goat stuck to my scarf, someone help!”

Phenomenal. That’s what I’m thankful for. Rouge Christmas Goats.

Aria

Thanks For: Canada is Running Out of Cowboys

Dear Canadians Everywhere,

There is an urgent need for cowboys in Canada. Remember how you wanted to be a cowboy when you grew up? CANADA WANTS YOU. This is phenomenal. I didn’t even know that you still had the option to have the profession ‘cowboy’. I thought the cowboy when the way of the viking and the knight – straight out of existence and into imaginations.

Not so! Canada’s west is holding tight to the rough, rowdy, cow driving, horse riding, man with boots and a hat. In fact, we need more. We want cowboys. We’re actively looking for more people to get on horses and herd cows. There are JOB DESCRIPTIONS TITLED ‘COWBOY’ SOMEWHERE. I once applied to a job sololy because I wanted to write ‘Software Ninja’ on my resume. I wanted to be a ninja in any capacity.

But someone out there is a cowboy.

That’s it right there. That’s what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful that someone can legitimately write cowboy on their business card. I’m thankful that the old west isn’t quite so old. I’m thankful for the little 6 year old inside who is thrilled at  this concept.

The Hedgehog shouldn’t be a teacher. He needs to drop out of school, get this butt in gear, and take his 6 foot something tall self over to Alberta and the other prairie places and be a real cowboy. That would make me a cowgirl by association. Without any of the dirt or camping or cows or manure. Yes. This is a good plan.

But seriously, cowboys still exist and we actively want more.

Thank you so much Truth North Strong and Free. Keep being Strong and Free and the new home of cowboys.

Regards,

Aria

Thanks For: There are Apprentice Ninjas On The Roof

Dear Literally Ninjas or Really Fat Seagulls,

STOP SETTING OFF THE ALARMS! I know it’s you causing the mind-numbing, brain-piercing siren to go off periodically during the day. You’re not even consistent with you timing. You land on the roof all stealthily then mess up or tip your fat seagull selves over and set off the alarm.

You know what I’m doing while you plan your assault on the building? Working like a good little employee. Then you set off your siren and I jump. Every. Single. Time. It’s not a great arrangement. Please improve your ninja skills or take a seagull weight loss program. Pretty please?

Or take me with you to your ninja academy to learn your ways.

But really, the siren is right above my head. I’m not appreciating it. It’s bad enough when the workmen are on the roof next door and bang on the window to our office accidentally with their tools. You ever turned around to a second story window and seen a large hairy man waving at you? Do not recommend.

However, you know why I’m thankful for you? Because you’re bringing the office together. Everyone emerges from their little rooms to discuss the noise, what could be causing the noise, if we should send someone onto the roof to investigate. It’s a party.

But still, increase those ninja skills.

Aria

Thanks For: Winter Slip N Slides

Dear Giant Icy Hill of Death,

I used to be convinced that the river was going to overflow, flooding the city, and only those of us who lived on the hill would be safe. I was thankful for you hill. Now, I have a car, it’s winter, and I’m a little less thankful and a little more ‘WHEEEEEEE!”

That’s a whee of “wheeee are all going to die because this hill is large and covered in ice and there are three stoplights that require attempted stopping on the Giant Hill of Icy Death plus a bridge at the end! With water! And Ice! And rapids! And a big ol’ dam!”. Guess who can actually stop on the Giant Icy Hill of Death? No-one. It’s one giant slip n slide. Not that snow sliding isn’t fun, I just prefer it to be on a toboggan. Or skis. Or snowboard. Or really anything not a car, I’m Canadian, ice is part of life.

But here comes the thanks people who live on the Giant Icy Hill of Death, those of us who are stuck on the ‘wrong’ side of the river’, we’ve become fabulous now drivers simply by necessity.

Everyone slides all over the place on that hill. Everytime. You see fishtails everywhere. Going up and down.

But rarely crashes.

No bumps. No bangs. No ditches. No rolls. No sliding into oncoming traffic. Just a lot of revving engines, sliding, fishtailing, and spinning tires. But rarely does anyone get hurt. We’ve learned. The Giant Icy Hill of Death teaches its students well. It forces parents living on the hill to take their children our for ‘Giant Icy Hill of Death’ sliding training. We are well equipped for winter.

Also it’s like a community. You’re sliding? ME TOO! I won’t honk at you. I see you’re stuck-ish. Let’s push together! I don’t mind that you’re only going 20. I get that you may be new to the Giant Icy Hill of Death. It’s terrifying. You’ll get use to it.

And when we did hit? Little bumps because everyone knows what the’re doing. No-one gets mad. Just pull over the car. Look at it. Shrug. Smile. Silly hill. Really. I’ve seen it more than once. It’s amazing.

Thank you great teacher, Giant Icy Hill of Death, for showing us your secrets.

Aria

Thanks For: Old Men Who Fall Asleep During Meetings

Dear Spiffy Elderly Gentleman,

I saw you. You were sitting right behind the COO and I saw you fall asleep for 10 minutes during the last staff meeting. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. Actually I applaud your seating placement, that was prime real estate for subtle sleeping without anyone who has actual firing powers seeing you. Just little ol’ newbie me and some of the accounting folks.

Maybe they didn’t even notice, there were budgety number up on the screen and accounting folks love that jazz.

So maybe it’s our little secret. But your eyes were definitely closed, your head was drooped, and you were doing the head-bounce thing where you no you shouldn’t fall asleep but can’t quite help it. Eyes close. Head up. Head slowly drops. Yes, sleep. Sleep would be good. 1 sheep, 2 sheep, red sheep, blue sheep. NO! MEETING! Head jerks back up.

Restart.

It’s precious. Even better it was entertaining. Clearly you were having a rough day sir and I’m glad that you didn’t get caught napping which would have made everything worse.

Do you know that I know? I think so. Your smile gave it away. So thanks for the head bobbing entertainment. Thanks for the secret. Thanks for reminding me that meetings, while they have their benefits, aren’t always the best way to communicate with your staff. That’s a lesson I can take with me.

Sleep on sir,

Aria