Over the March Break, I went home to Calgary for a few days. The visit was too short to do much more than hang out with my family but was long enough to interrupt the things I wanted to do back home in Toronto. Of course, I made a trip to Reid’s and bought a pen.
The other thing I did, which was particularly unusual for me, was shop for clothes. I mean, I really shopped. Like, a shopping spree. Essentially, I bought an entirely new wardrobe, right from the socks to the sportcoat. I even got myself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones so that I can’t hear all of the compliments people will surely be giving me.
There was a thrill to it. I’d get a little rush when I’d find something that I liked and then I’d get slightly more of a rush when I swiped my card to pay. I’d then walk out of the store, muttering, “Okay, no more spending money,” under my breath, before walking into another store.
When I got home, I’d put my bags full of wares in a neat pile next to my suitcase. It slowly became a shrine to a new look.
Every time I looked over at the pile, I’d think, “I could return some of this.” But, then, I’d justify each purchase with, “It’s been so long since you’ve updated your look and yourself. Plus, you really need those headphones for all of the times you take the subway, study in a cafe, walk the streets of Toronto, an incredibly busy and noisy city, when you’re sitting in your apartment, what, with all of your neighbours making so much noise, and when you’re trying to get work done at work. Really, you need this. For you. You’re too old to be wearing shirts that are that old.”
Whenever I go home to Calgary, I learn about a new kick that my mother is on. She is constantly trying to better herself. She wants not just a good life, but a better life. She encouraged me to continue purchasing, reflecting many of my own sentiments.
When she was into hot yoga several years ago, I went with her a few times. At the studio, there was a fountain where you’d fill your water bottle. Maybe because of the heat and the intense sweating, the water just tasted better when it came from a false stream. Around that time, we learned about cucumber water: spa water you could have at home.
One morning, during this last visit, while sitting down to breakfast with my mother, I asked her about the jug of water sitting on the kitchen island filled with water and slices of cucumber. She said that she fills the jug every morning and drinks it during the day. I laughed at her. My sister, with her sly wit, said, “Spa water.” We all laughed.
Then, my mother, justified herself: “I actually drink the water. Regular water is so boring, this just adds a little flavour so I don’t mind drinking the water.”
“How does the water stay cold?” I asked.
“I like room temperature water”
I made a mental note to try this water when I got back home to Toronto.
I need to stay hydrated. I like cucumbers. I started buying organic cucumbers because they just taste better. I don’t drink enough water. I talk too much, stretching my voice, making me lost what little water I take in. I can always use a drink.
I mean, if I’m going to look better, I should feel better, too, no? So, yesterday, I tried this cucumber water. I used tap water. I wasn’t convinced. Today, I used filtered water.
The thrill that I felt when swiping my card isn’t there when I pour myself a glass of cucumber water. Somehow, though, it seems to contribute something small to this new kick – I am my mother’s son – that I’m on about bettering myself, starting with dressing better.
It’s all a bit refreshing, even at room temperature.