Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fret Nots

I looked up the meaning of fret in my Canadian Oxford Dictionary and was pleased to discover that the fifth meaning applies to water - move in agitation or flow or rise in little waves. I like that and might use it in my fiction. But, at the moment, I'm working on not fretting, which the COD also describes as intermittent whimpering. I'd rather growl, or provoke laughter than whimper.

My adventures with Human Resources Development Canada and with Canada Post could make a good comedy sketch starring yours truly. I'm now a woman of reduced means, as they said in Victorian times, and I reapplied for the Guaranteed Income Supplement based on the severe drop in my 2008 income. An obliging HRDC staff person filled out the form. I did not understand the arcane formula used to decide what goes on the form but I signed it because it appeared to be correct. The form was sent to the HRDC gods in Chatham Ontario. After an ice age passed, they replied. They said no, but provided an avenue for appeal. I sent a registered letter stating relevant details to HRDC. Nothing happened. After a six week wait, I called HRDC and they informed me that no letter had arrived. I called Canada Post. They told me the letter went out on August 7th, and we don't know what happened to it after that. In three months, we might know, but until then - no luck for you. So, yesterday, I called HRDC again and they told me to go to the local office and resend the information. It took a mere two hours to get it done, again. After that experience, I feel that the $12..00 registered letter fee would have been better spent on some frivolous thing, like a four slice pizza. I also feel like a Monty Python character, perhaps the one in the dead parrot sketch. But I will not fret, that would be unbecoming for a person of my lowly status. Instead, I'm practicing my growl, in case I have do go through this for the third time.

I'm not going to fret much about the stock markets going haywire either. We are all involved in the U.S. economic mess because our government puts some of our money in the market and the Bank of Canada is helping prop up the perpetrators. I think I'll emulate Alfred E. Neuman "What, me Worry?" Nope, not me. I'll do what the rest of the low-income people do and squander my money on necessities and three lottery tickets a week instead of one, thereby vastly increasing my odds from one in a billion to perhaps one-and-a-half in a billion. We who inhabit the low income zone are a feckless lot and frequently give in to our need for possible immediate gratification.

I'm also not going to whimper about the fact that my daughter will turn 44 on Monday. I'll save my sniveling for when she turns 45 - then she'll be what people refer to as middle-aged and we can get together and grumble about it.

It's time to shop for a birthday card and a present for N. Something frivolous, of course.

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