Thanks for: Dressing Like A Disney Princess at Work

Dear Mom,

Just because I’m in my twenties and going in to work does not mean that I can’t secretly dress like a Disney Princess. You didn’t flinch when I wore the Batman shirt under my blazer or the Captain America earrings or inadvertently told my boss that I thought leopard onsies should be acceptable work attire – so it’s odd to me that the dressing like Elsa amuses you.

I mean it’s not like I’m wearing a gown and throwing snow at people. I bet my boss hasn’t even realized that I’m dressed like Elsa.

After all, when we bought the shirt you didn’t realize that I loved it for it’s Elsa-ness. To be fair, I didn’t even realize it. I was just like ‘I need a shirt. That shirt is blue. I like blue. I will try on that shirt.’

I truly am the most avid of shoppers.

Then I put the shirt on, looked in the mirror, and choked on air. The shirt was light blue, had tiny silver divet/sequin/embellishments (I don’t what you call them) all over it, and when I lifted my arms it got all drappy like a cape might be involved. Let It Go needed to be sung. I immediately did not care if it was form flattering or not, it was the Elsa shirt and I wanted it.

Thankfully you actually know what looks good on me (FYI this is why you still accompany me on shopping trips), and you gave the shirt the stamp of approval as I stared at the mirror with snowflakes in my eyes. You only realized it was my ‘Elsa shirt’ when I accidentally called it that trying to describe it to someone.

But I am so thankful for this shirt. I put it on with my dress pants, throw my hair into a side braid (a genuine challenge for this curly mass), and pop on a snowflake necklace – suddenly I’m a Princess. Or a Queen. Queen Elsa of Arendelle. And if you don’t think that mindset follows you throughout the day, well, you’ve got another think coming.

Because I spend the whole day prancing on air because that’s what royalty does, Mom.

Nothing can touch me, everything gets down efficiently, and please save the person who tries to be rude – Queens don’t take no nonsense. So go ahead and smile at my shenanigans, I know you love your nerd.

And thank you shirt, for being so inspiring.



Thanks For: Plump, Happy Snowflakes

Dear Creator of Clouds,

You outdid yourself with the snowflakes this morning. Granted I could have done without the wind that whipped them into my face at a bajillion km/hour but still, the snowflakes themselves were stupendous. They were the plumpiest snowflakes I have ever seen. Fat snowflake conglomerates that bounced about on the wind like slightly drunk reindeer.

They were happy snowflakes.Warm cup of hot chocolate snowflakes. Toboggaing snowflakes. Snowman snowflakes. The kind of snowflake that makes Frosty come to life or houses the entire world of the Whos Down in Whoville.

They were quite clearly Christmas Card Snowflakes. The kind that falls idyllically through the back window while the TV family celebrates learning the meaning of Christmas. Quite frankly, the fat snowflakes made me happy when they were in my eyeballs.

So thank you. They were beautiful.

I look forward to any future art projects,


Thanks for: Unhelpful Sympathetic People

Dear Government Phone Lady,

I’m not a huge fan of the phone with it’s mediocre level of impersonalness. Either give me in person where I can wow you with my facial expression, overzealous hand gestures, and voice fluctuations or give me the wholly text base email. The phone feels like this weird orphan child of only using my voice but not my face.

I have extremely expressive eyebrows and I need to use their powers to convince you of things. That’s not to say I don’t use the phone, it’s just low on my preferred communication scheme.

This is the background of my call this morning with you dear lady. I didn’t get a chance to explain my conflicting emotions when I called you for a bunch of information. I love information so much that I was willing to call you to get it.

You didn’t have it. In fact, despite navigating the array of button pressing to get to you specifically, you were unhelpful. It almost felt like a waste of my superb ‘press button 1, press button 3’ type navigation. You didn’t seem to know anything on the topic that I wanted. That was your only job.

However, I’m still thankful for you. You were so very pleasant about the whole thing. You could have snubbed me with a no. You could have made up some rambling nonsense inaccurate answer to appease me. Instead you simply explained that you were very sorry but you didn’t know because you didn’t have the information.

I worked in government. I get it. I get how the information disassociation works.

You kindly went through your desk for 7 minutes to find me an alternative question query point. And you were simply friendly. Even at 9:15 in the morning which is before the time that all business calls should be made (after 10am please).

So thank you simply for being lovely even in the face of your unhelpfulness.


Thanks for: The Impossible Memorial

It’s 9/11, I shouldn’t be writing a thanks – I should  be writing a memorial, so I intend to do both. I’m not a crying person. I was still in grade school 13 years ago. I’m Canadian. But there’s still a brand of story that always chokes me up: people giving up something precious to help other people. And for all its flaws and tragedy, 9/11 is a beautiful example of this.

Today my thanks is for the people of Flight 93. Thanks for their actions and thanks for the broader representation of the good that people can do in a situation with no good options.

Flight 93 is the plane that never made it to the target. It’s the plane that crashed in an abandoned area, it’s the plane where the passengers decided that extending their lives for the duration of the flight wasn’t worth the sacrifice of those on the ground. Empirically speaking they minimized casualties. Emotionally speaking they became heroes simply by thinking of others beyond themselves.

I say simply about something that’s not simple. I can’t imagine that they thought there was any way of surviving that flight so they decided to make their deaths mean something.

Not an act of terrorism designed to instill fear, but an act of hope and love on a day when hope and love seemed impossible. Hope and love doesn’t always mean good things. Hope and love can mean dying, it can mean giving up. But that’s what makes me all the more thankful, these representations of something beautiful within something terrible.

Us homo sapiens have a bit of bad rap when it comes to disasters. We fight. We panic. We loot. We flee. We trample each other. We generally act irrational.  That’s what we see in movies and in real life. But incidences like this one, Flight 93 inside of 9/11 demonstrate that we’re also more. We may flee but we’ll come back to help. We may fight but we’re capable of doing the right thing. We’re capable of saving lives at the cost of our own.

When the occasion rises, we’re all capable of being heroes. Even with death standing over our shoulders and a gun in our face. Hope and love carry on through the chaos. The every day person who helped where they could. The first responders. The second responders. Flight 93.

The best memorial I can think of on this day is to find some darkness and fill up a little corner of it with hope and love. To be thankful for our ability to do so, to move beyond and against the fear and violence. So Flight 93, I wasn’t on that plane. I don’t know what was really going through your head or your real motivations. But you can inspire me anyway, you saved lives, you gave hope.

Thank you,


Thanks for: Out-of-Scope Drills

Dear Drill-Bearing Whiteboard Men,

I don’t like working with my back to the door, not because I’m doing anything illicit that I have to quickly click out of, but for a much more innocent reason. When I’m working I’m easily startable. As in I jump. Often. Frequently. Like a tiny baby deer reacts to an innocent leaf that fell a touch to close to his ear and he takes off like a rocket at nothing. 

That’s me. Tiny baby deer. Even better the literal knee jerk reaction caused by the startling appearance of people of in cubicle causing intense pain as my knee connects with the unforgiving hard desk. The tops of my kneecaps resemble an impressionist painting.

When we switched offices I still ended up in a cubicle that would put my back to the door. A GLASS DOOR OF ALL THINGS. This was not cool beans. So, being naturally contrary I have turned my computers so that the door is to my left where I can see it and the computers are perched on a corner of the desk. 

The obstacle was the keyboard tray. It just hovered under the desk being both a secondary source of knee related bruise pain and preventing me from putting my chair in the optimal position. Basically I was sitting across the cubicle with the keyboard on my lap and the computer screens all the way over the desk. A solid meter between us. 

Enter my thankfulness. There were maintenance guys putting up whiteboards in my general cubicle area. They had a drill. I eyed the drill like it was an invincibility star in the middle of a Mario game. I wanted it. But they weren’t here for me.  When I asked the slightly smokey men if they could please remove the evil keyboard tray from underneath my desk, they laughed. 

But they did it. Totally outside their job description. But they did it. 

So thank you white board installation people bearing drills for un-removable nuts and bolts. Now I can actually get near my computer.

Also thank you from my knees,


Thanks for: Persistent Circadian Rhythms

Dear Circadian Rhythms, 

You saved my ever-loving butt and I am extremely thankful for it. Like extremely thankful for it. Circadian rhythms, not only are you a fun phrase for biology students to say to non-biology students, but you faithfully remind my body that it’s time to wake up. Certainly I hate you most days and we have a particular loathing feeling on Saturdays when you try to wake me up at 6:30AM rather than 10AM. But not today. 

Today I forgot to set either of my two alarm clocks and you were still there for me. 6:30AM on the dot you were poking the back of my eyes. Wake up, wake up, time to go to work. I foolishly ignored you, trusting that if the alarm clocks hadn’t gone off yet then it certainly couldn’t be time. I resented you for waking me up at what I was sure was 5 in the morning. 

But it was not. You kept poking as I dreamed delightful semi-conscious dreams of a teenage Batman and Wonder Woman who had Avatar the Last Airbender like powers. I was enjoying the dream, but you poked me awake again with your gentle nudging, “it’s getting kind of late don’t you think? Shouldn’t you wake up. You’ve got work.”

I ignored you. I’m sorry. Thank you for being patient. Finally I heard the ruckus of the mother in the kitchen. This confused me, the mother is never up this early. Later I found it was only because the cardiologist is making her get blood work. But i never would have heard her if you hadn’t already awoken me circadian rhythms. 

When you finally convinced me to grudgingly check the alarm clock I had 30 minutes to get ready for work. This was how long it took me to get ready for University. You knew. You remembered that I need at least 30 minutes to toss on clothes and actually eat breakfast because I can’t got without a real breakfast. 

Thank you for your persistence circadian rhythms, I’m sorry for the days I resent you. Although truthfully, come Saturday, I will probably resent you again. 

Enjoy today,


Thanks for: Garbage Men Who Crush Trash for Children

Dear Garbage Men,

I say garbage men not because I’m not thankful for garbage women but simply because I’ve never seen a woman take our garbage. I’m equally thankful to garbage women. After I wrote the first line I felt I should clarify because I can’t backspace.

But I’m thankful for you garbage people, not only for taking away the heaping bags of trash and recycling that we leave at the end of the driveway, but also because of the joy factor that you bring. Yes, when the words ‘why I’m thankful for garbage men’ comes to mind typically we think – because I don’t want the garbage piling up. Which is a very true assertion.

But speaking as twenties something six year old, I love you garbage men. I’m thankful for the way you stand on the back of the truck all heroically and jump on and off while the truck is still moving. Let me tell you, that jazz is incredibly cool.

I’m also thankful for the way that you intentionally compress the garbage when you know there’s a small child watching. There is nothing more interesting than watching the giant crushing of a huge amount of trash. When you see the tiny children and myself press ourselves against the windows to watch you come by – we know because you beep loudly, thank you for warning us – you never fail to demonstrate the awesome crushing capabilities of your trucks.

My hedgehog (little brother) and I use to love watching you do this. It was the highlight of our 5 and 8 year old morning. I was less excited because he’d come bursting into my room and wake me up because I had the best window. But it was still adorable the way you’d smile, wave, and then crush the garbage for us.

Thanks for the good memories. Thanks for feeding Hedgehog’s fascination with ‘Mighty Machines’. Keep doing what you’re doing.