Happy Canada Day, hosers! You've seen this dress before, styled more in keeping with its 40s vibe. But today was all about the Canada Day colours.
I'm an ex-patriot American utterly besotted with my chosen land: Canada. I retain dual citizenship, but, barring some kind of apocalypse, I'm not gong back to the States. I like living in a country that acknowledges the existence of other nations, realizes it might not be the best and biggest at everything (including democracy itself), and admits political discussion about the legitimacy of some socialist ideas. Socialized medicine, for example, is a beautiful thing, especially for a disabled gal like myself.
Plus, you know, we've had gay marriage forever, and right wing religious zealots aren't given much of a voice up here.
I know, I know. I can hear all my American readers protesting. I know many wonderful Americans. I'm related to some of them.
But this is a Canada Day post and I love me my Canada.
|Bangle, hat, and sunglasses: vintage|
|Ring and brooch: vintage; Dress and bandeau: from JQ Clothing|
|I got this hair clip at a corner store. I think the owners had brought it back from their home country which, if I remember correctly, is Vietnam.|
Braids are somehow cooling. In deference to my age, I generally pin them back now though, to add a bit of maturity to a quite childish hairstyle. I like the "old world," and old fashioned look of pinned braids.
|Fabulous bespoke engagement ring: Britton Diamonds; Flower earring was a gift when I was eight; Earrings: vintage|
Because, as John Lennon also says, "Christ, you know it ain't easy. You know how hard it can be?"
I'm using a mobility scooter now and I hate that I need it. Most of all, I hate that I need it because a bunch of pedophiles so badly brutalized me as a child that they rendered me disabled. I hate that. Hate hate hate it.
There is more than a little irony in celebrating a country known for its freedoms and human rights -- when I was victim of years of child sex trafficking, of slavery, in that very country. And now, my freedom is still curtailed by the physical repercussions of that slavery.
But I kind of like the above photo. The blurriness makes it look more retro, somehow, and I like me my retro.
|Sandals: Josef Seibel|
(Back in the olden days, when I could walk well, I had me a lot of high heeled shoes, some so high, I called them "taxi shoes" because they weren't made for walking. Scooter shoes are a variation thereof.)
These shoes aren't anything fancy but they're a lot cooler than shoes that offer more support so I was glad of them.
Hello, Bobby. He loves joining me in the yard these days. He's eighteen and adorable.
I also don't like the way I look in a scooter. I feel like it makes me look squat and rotund. I also think it makes me look "eccentric." Now that I'm visibly disabled, I'm contending with all the stigma around that, including the stigma in my own head. I somehow seem to have this idea that people in scooters don't get to care about style and looking good. I feel that able-bodied people think we move from "well-dressed" to "eccentric" the minute we sit down and scoot. This seems especially true if we like bright colours. I feel more like Mrs. Roper than like Charlotte Issyvoo.
That's absurd, I know, so I'm saying it out loud (okay, writing it silently) to hear how very absurd it is. I'm quite sure that Alicia of Spashionista will have some stern and helpful words for me when she reads this.
Also, I don't like this particular scooter. It's a loaner, till I get my real one. It's too small and has zero shock absorption, so every little crack in the sidewalk bangs the scooter and slams me around and hurts like hell.
Yeah, I'm cranky. You would be too.
But he's smart in other ways. That scroll there is chapter four of his PhD thesis, which I'm helping to edit. Having a college English instructor as a fiancée has its merits, eh? (And that is how the infamous Canadian "eh" is used properly, everyone. Bam!)
So, yes, I hate that I need a scooter. I hate why I need a scooter. I hate how I look in the scooter. I hate the particular scooter I'm using right now.
But I do like my regained freedom. I can dress up and go out all by myself, like a real grown-up and everything! I can have little adventures. I can steal flowers to complete my outfit. I can take myself to a cafe to excise passively constructed sentences from Beau's thesis.
|Hummingbird feeder from the wonderful Wild Birds Unlimited|
It was being housebound in the past that led to my passion for feeding my birds.
I've become pretty good at attracting the little sweeties. For instance, did you know that hummingbirds are particularly fond of fuchsia? This one gets several visits a day.
Still, hummingbirds not withstanding, I do like to get out some.
I can get all creative...
... and take pretty, Canada Day themed photos.
I can go places on my own.
I can feel a bit more like a capable, independent adult again.
But I still hate it.
It makes me feel reduced, diminished. When I get in this scooter, I often think, "So this is what it's come to," and my heart sinks. Maybe if my disability hadn't been caused by violence and rape, I wouldn't feel this way, but it was, and I do. Who would I be, what would I have accomplished, how would my body feel, if all those horrible things had not happened to me?
I feel robbed.
Sometimes I feel like I look just plain pathetic. A friend recently said that, instead of looking pathetic, I look "like a real trooper, especially since I know how you became disabled. You're not letting it stop you. You're still getting out there and doing what you want to do." I tell myself that over and over when I'm out and about in my scooter: This is me being a real trooper.
But I'm not actually getting out there and doing what I want to do. I want to be able-bodied. I want to be getting around on my own two feet, pain free.
Even Bobby hates my scooter. He knows it means I'm leaving. He sits at the fence and looks woebegone. He greets me when I get home. How cute is that?
As usual, it's those little things, those sublime mercies, that keep me going.
So, also as usual these days, it's with mixed feelings that I bid you adieu and Happy Canada Day once more.
(I'm linking up with Visible Mondays on Not Dead Yet and Hat Attack on the The Style Crone.)