And English, English starts with an “E”, too!

I’m getting ready, set, go to re-start writing a real live book again.

I’m not calling it “Shopgirl”, which Steve Martin stole already and which my sister pointed out is a pretty dated title for a book about someone who works retail.

Is “Not Your Mom’s Ladieswear” too inside?

It’s a riff on “Not Your Mom’s Jeans”.

Also, it is your mom’s ladieswear.

I got called in to work yesterday on my day off because I’m so essential to operations now that the store can’t go a day without my help. It was fortuitous because I spent $60 the other day trying to keep up with the neighbours, whose landscaping tastes run from twee to precious (ours run from wishful to if only), after vowing not to spend a dime after the $200 I spent last summer (only $150 of which was wasted, our $50 Dwarf Korean Lilac is doing just fine, thanks for asking), so getting called in to work on my day off means $50 I wasn’t expecting.

Don’t worry, I don’t really expect money anymore, not in Stephen Harper’s Canada. But that’s okay. Bring on The Apocalypse, I say. The sooner we humanoids exit planet Earth, the more likely it is that better species will survive.

Speciesist, I’m not.

A Conservative MP (the media has taken to calling them Tories again, which I suppose they more or less are, having fully digested the former Progressive Conservatives who were never progressive anyway) stepped in it at the Bill C-36 hearings when he asked a sex worker if she would have felt her freedom of expression was infringed upon if police had rescued her during her horrific rape.

(She had just previously described being raped by three Russians while working in a massage parlour and was on the Hill to express her opposition to Bill C-36, which many Canadians believe will further endanger the lives of sex workers while we supposedly progress to a prostitution-less (free?) society.)

The Conservative MP in question has no idea he stepped in it, of course.

Meanwhile, everyone and her Aunt Thelma is outraged by his misspakenness, but really, didn’t he just misspake out loud what all Conservatives believe anyway – that our publicly funded police agencies should only enforce laws made by Conservative Party of Canada Members of Parliament?

I don’t know, it’s all too back to the future for me, how Feminists are now labelled RadFems by a prostitution lobby that pretends to be all about female liberation (when it’s all about money) because we aren’t gung Ho about the decriminalization of an industry that explicitly objectifies women as sex objects.

So I’m out of that debate because I’m not into it, I’m just not into it, and there’s only so much time to waste in an internet day.

Also, people who recognize that there is no defeat of The Palestinians that isn’t also a defeat of The Israelis vs people who don’t. I’m out of that debate, too.

But last night I engaged my son in a little random back and forth, which I very occasionally do, about an article I read concerning our GDP, the measurement of which doesn’t factor in all the publicly funded goodness behind it. He is mostly of the opinion that all powers that be are idiots because everything is so stupid (as much as I would like him to venture forth into the work world, I don’t know what sort of example I’m providing as to the point of it all, coming home exhausted with $40 or $50 to show for it, five or six days a week) but like me he hadn’t realized just how idiotic and stupid.

Imagine, all these years of politicians going on and on about our GDP, with various and sundry offspring of Paul Demarais Sr. lecturing us about how we have to increase our productivity (so that Power Corp executives can get richer, I guess, which makes sense from Andre Demarais’ point of view, doesn’t it) and no one ever thought to point out that our GDP is almost entirely dependent on the money government invests in social and physical infrastructure.

Which brings me to an interesting exchange between one of my first bosses in the federal public service, an engineer, who had ventured into the store (she bought a dress that really is worth every penny, especially on sale for 1/2 off the sale price) when I introduced her to one of the university girls, who is studying economics.

(I’ve decided to think of myself as semi-retired for the rest of my life, having realized I can’t work for the government again now that I’ve experienced not working for the government.)

I said, “Hey, look at you two – both in disciplines that start with “E”!”

But the university girl said, “No way, she’s an engineer, economics would be easy for her!”

To which my first boss, bless her, said, “No honey, engineering is easy, it’s practical, concrete, makes sense. Economics is all theory. No thanks.”

(My own experience with Economics was disbelief that an entire discipline could be built around supply and demand, so I dropped the only course I ever tried to take in it.)

So while I had him handy I told him about a former colleague at Environment Canada, a lawyer, who caught me using the expression “spending money” in reference to hiring a lawyer to finalize my divorce from his dad.

“No, Sooey, you’re using money. Don’t say wasting or spending, say using. Money’s a tool, you’re using it, trading it (if you must), paying someone who has the expertise to fix a problem for you. Just do it. Use your money to hire a lawyer.”

And while it was difficult for me to think of money as just a tool (I think of it as everything, which is a horrible thing to admit, but I’m sure there are worse things I haven’t, so don’t think less of me yet) I managed, and I’m pretty sure it made the process much more bearable than if I’d continued to think of it as a one way transaction.

So I don’t know why I’m surprised to realize that the economists routinely cited by the media to explain how important GDP is to future “jobs, growth, and prosperity” (supposedly our future “jobs, growth, and prosperity”, although we might want to clarify) don’t factor in how important government investment in social and physical infrastructure is first.

I mean, really, we listen to all manner of politicians go on and on about spending/wasting tax dollars and almost never do we hear them admit that money is just a tool for use in fixing a problem.

Throw money at a problem? No, use it to fix one.

Of course, I would (finally) say that – my degree’s in English.






  1. The secret to being happy is never getting trapped. That’s the trick. Money is a tool to escape obligations (bad jobs, bad relationships, shitty cities) rather than as a drug to satisfy dependencies (cars, mortgage, social expectations). The more you are willing to say “fukkit” to, of course, the less money you need as a tool to meet your goals.

  2. Luckily, my goals are increasingly one goal – simplify my life down to the need for very little money. I spend most of it engaged in pursuits that don’t cost much already, so I’m good. I want to learn how to knit, though – that can get pricey because of course I’ll need naturally dyed homespun yarn sheared from local alpacas. But it’s okay – I know one such farmer.