Sunday, October 02, 2011

Why The Blog About 'The One Guy'

I am my history. I am not dominated by my history and I do not believe, like many do, that past predicts future. Even so, I am my history.

I grew up in a small town in the interior of British Columbia. It was a town and a time of what is now called 'traditional values' - to me a fierce misnomer. On Sundays everything shut down. Completely. No shopping. No movies. No anything. The only 'We're Open' sign would be one one of the three churches in town. Those Sundays were very, very, long. The days stretched out and sometimes the only sound one could hear, beside church bells, were husbands and wives yelling at each other, children being scolded, dogs - who'd wisely taken a powder, being called home. On television we only had the CBC, whose Sunday programming, leading up to Hockey Night In Canada, was probably what gave me diabetes as an adult.

As I grew a little older, I began to appreciate the slowness of the day. The quietness, though forced upon us, was something that I grew comfortable in. Also, older, I noticed the people wore their Sunday best and acted like God might drop by at any moment. Prim manners, seldom used during the week, were taken out and dusted off. Catholics streamed out looking like their souls were freshly washed. The United Church folks left the church after having a good 'chin wag' over coffee afterwards. The Pentecostals, well they were up the hill so I didn't see them much, but rumour had it that they tuckered themselves out during the service and were too tired to sin for the rest of the week.

So, when shopping came on Sundays, it felt almost wicked. Not 'evil' as some said, but certainly, really, really, kind of sinful. Why a shirt bought on a Sunday felt like it fit differently than a shirt bought on Saturday, I'll never know, but it did. To me at least. Other rules began to change and suddenly one could order a beer without having a full Roast Beef dinner, eventually you could even buy beer on Sunday. All of it, even now, shocks my inner child, just a wee bit. And if I'm honest, will probably always feel a little bit wrong to me. Because, of course, I am my history.

So today, I sat down to write a post that would publish on Sunday. It was one that I have wanted to write for a long while and have occasionally taken stabs at it. Well, today (Saturday as I write this) I was going to give it a go. My fingers began to type but then, they started to gum up, like they needed oil or something. In my mind, I realized that I didn't really want this post to publish on a Sunday. Really!! Seriously!! I just didn't want a post that would veer from anger to sarcasm and all the way up to miffed, to be my Sunday post. It just didn't feel right. It felt like a shirt bought on ... well, I have to say it: THE LORD'S DAY.

I decided to cave and let go the post I wanted to write and write one that I felt was more appropriate. I've written this very long introduction because the actual post will be short and small and seemingly insignificant and I thought I'd let you know the reason for it appearing here at all. So, here's my APPROPRIATE post for Sunday:

To The One Guy!!

I don't know who you are.

I don't know what your name is.

I saw you at a distance.

You were busy, or I would have talked to you.

Here's why: Yonge Street is closed pretty much all the way down from Yonge to well past Dundas for 'Nuit Blanche' - an annual, all night, art fair. We were coming home from getting our passport photo's done. I was happy because for the last four years I've looked like a murderous pig farmer from Saskatchewan, for the next for years I'm going to look like a benevolent fat guy happily high on pie - it's a step up. It was fun riding on the street, feeling kind of like rule breaking, like buying a shirt on Sunday. The only problem was that all the cross streets were not closed and traffic was allowed to flow through.

At each crossing there were barriers placed. Each of them left no room for a wheelchair to pass by and each of them either had to be moved or exit had to be allowed by a guard on duty. It's annoying to have to be the one person to say, 'Excuse me, could I get by please.' However at College Street, the barriers on the North side were placed such that there was a wheelchair exit and entrance. It was arranged invitingly. It was wonderful. I saw the guy who'd set them up, over on the side talking seriously with someone about something. I didn't want to bother him but I did want him to know that it was appreciated.

So, I'm saying it here. To that one guy who set up the barriers to be barrier free. You are an awesome guy - this man with the pleasant face and the 'Saturday Shirt' really appreciated your thoughtfulness. I'll even admit that until you did it, I didn't know it could be done. I'd already crossed, with difficulty at Dundas and at Gerrard. The rest of the way had the crossings closed so I was able to roll unimpeded. Your thoughtfulness taught me that I need to expect more rather than become so comfortable with less - that I accept barriers as a given.

I also want to thank you for, on Saturday, giving me a Sunday blog.

So, consider yourself thanked.

Maybe tomorrow, I'll be inspired, to write, for Monday on Sunday what I couldn't write on Saturday for Sunday. None of that probably makes sense, but, what the 'heck' it's Sunday.


wheeliecrone said...

Of course it makes sense! Anyway, it does to me. I grew up in Virginia, with "Blue Laws" that prescribed what could and could not be open on Sunday - and they were beyond confusing.
Now, I just don't feel comfortable shopping on Sunday. I do it. but I don't feel comfortable.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you tell a story. Gives me goosebumps,makes me smaile...and think.

Nan said...

Gratitude is a great Sunday post! thanks Dave!

Cynthia F. said...

"Murderous pig farmer from Saskatchewan" BWAH HA HA! Thanks for making my day, Dave.