Any attempts to blog yesterday were thwarted, so in an undaunted attempt to NOT let the vagaries of the internet get me down, I have decided to blog today (Tuesday) and consider it my special “Ukrainian Christmas” Edition. The term “Ukrainian Christmas” is one very familiar to Winnipeggers, so I guess today’s blog is also a nod to my hometown/ ‘roots’ as well…. ENJOY!
Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bridezilla)
Chapter Forty-Eight—Animals Lining Up Two-By-Two
Approximately three weeks prior to our wedding Southern Alberta erupted in floods of near-biblical proportions. I got a little nervous because it reminded me of a time when I would joke about the world coming to an end before I ever got married. I was pretty sure I recanted all those statements, but karma is a tricky mistress—especially to the paranoid.
Palucid and I watched the news coverage of Calgary’s submergence. It was nothing short of surreal. Manitobans are no strangers to flooding. Sandbagging is second only to mosquito slapping as a national past time. People all over the city were watching the news coverage and saying understated comments “Damn! That ain’t good!”. Palucid and I watched the news coverage and wondered just if and when the washed out roads will be repaired.
Southern Alberta was the worst afflicted, but parts of BC were troubled as well. In fact one of the places we planned to honeymoon were experiencing mudslides and road wash-outs. Surely things would recover a certain degree over the coming weeks—right? Calgary would rather implode than cancel or postpone their infamous Calgary Stampede. We felt assured that the roads in and out of Calgary would be in decent repair by the time we travelled through town.
Palucid didn’t seem too panicked. His focus was on finishing all his jobs, and playing as much soccer as he could until we left for BC. He seemed very adept and Zen when it came to this “hurry up and wait” game. Perhaps he made fewer apocalypse jokes about his getting married someday, but he was just better at trusting that things would all work out just fine.
A few of our friends and family speculated on possible route changes for us. Some tried to help out by offering up things for us to stress over. I like to call them the “What Iffers” and the “They Sayers.” The What Iffers like to hypothesize. They would pose questions that usually started with the words “What if..” For example: someone asked “What if the major bridges are washed out—you could be detoured up to several days?” It was a valid question, I guess. Personally, it really didn’t wow me as a conversation starter. In fact it seemed to inspire more a sense of helplessness.
The They Sayers were not really any more positive. Many of their conversation starters were even more grim-sounding than the What Iffers. They would say things like: “They say the flooding is so bad that all traffic is being turned away and banned from travelling through Southern Albert until mid-August.” Often these conversation starters prompt me to demand, albeit a little belligerently, who the hell this “they” is, and where are they getting their information?
I have been dealing with the They Sayers of superstition for nearly a year. I was well past my limit when it came to phrases starting with the pronoun “They”. I felt very close to violent outbursts—in fact. Although I have no recent research to back it, but they say brides driven to violent outbursts are bad luck, generally speaking.
One redeeming qualities the They Sayers had over the What Iffers is that they managed the odd, amusing quip. A personal favourite was: “They say there is a big boat parked outside the Saddle Dome, and the animals are lining up two-by-two…” This one I liked because it reminded me of Manitoba’s Flood of ’97. A friend of my dad’s had parked his boat at my parents’ place, and when he called to check in on his boat, I told him we had animals lining up two-by-two and walking toward his boat. In retrospect, I probably should have put a patent on that quip—could have helped offset the costs of the wedding.