...some well-meaning stranger happens by and pricks your bubble with a very sharp pin.
I was sitting in a coffee shop today. Minding my own business, sipping a black coffee and working on a little time-out project. I was relaxed as the kitchen is ready for the plumber to come tomorrow morning to reconnect our water supply, the sun was shining and my little project was almost finished.
I dunno. I was sitting there amidst the other Monday afternoon locals, quietly reflecting that it has been a year since I arrived in Canada. I was thinking over the past year, all of the changes in my life (the good things; the not-so-good things; the indifferent things) and wondering whether I should put together an anniversary post about it.
An older lady, who spotted me knitting over my coffee on Friday, comes into the cafe and ambles over to me. She is friendly and, in her very limited English, she enquires after my project progress. We exchange a few words, she goes over to another table, sits down and drinks her coffee. I knit on.
As she is leaving, she comes over to me again. I think that she is going to say goodbye, so I look up. She has not come over to say goodbye, she has come over to impart some kindly, well-meant advice.
She stands over me in the middle of the cafe - in front of all its staff and customers - and she starts to gesticulate. She tugs at the front of her top and she tugs at my side, pulling on my jean belt loops.
She is speaking quite loudly in very bad English. To start with, I cannot make out her words. So she repeats them, in a louder and in a more agitated tone. "Looser, " I make out from her words. "Look better, y'know?"
She smiles and leaves. The other customers are looking at me. I can feel the embarrassment flaming on my cheeks.
Well, I already felt awkward and uncomfortable about my weight gain in Canada. I know that hardly any of my clothes fit. It is just that I have been trying to address it through a revised diet plan so that I shrink back into my clothes, rather than giving in and buying new ones.
Clearly, it is not working and I am pouring out of my clothes in such an unseemly way, that complete strangers feel compelled to let me know that I am making a public spectable of myself by wearing clothes that are clearly too small.
Happy arrival in Canada anniversary to me.