Virtually real- Virtuellement vraie

Micheline Harvey: Virtual Assistant, real person/Adjointe Virtuelle, mais tout à fait vraie

I hated my summer September 19, 2013

Cayo-Santa-Maria-Cuba

I’ve always loved summer. I’ve never complained, even in the worst heat waves. I sincerely believe that I was born to live in a tropical climate. And yes, I realize how ridiculous this sounds when you notice my green eyes, pale skin and freckles. But I tan, I swear that I do! I just don’t tan as dark as people with deeper complexions. And it takes me longer. And I have to do it gradually.

Or should I say, I used to.

Since I had a BCC (basal cell carcinoma) removed from the side of my nose last March, I feel as if I’ve turned into a vampire. They told me to avoid the sun, wear SPF 60 and a hat. Not wanting to go through the experience of surgery on my face and the hideous recovery period, followed by up to two years before I know what my scar will actually look like for the rest of my life, I listened. Oh, how I listened!

At first, it was a relief to avoid the sun. No more longing to be laying out in the warm, caressing rays, getting some color on beautiful sunny days when I should be working. Since I was to avoid the sun, I could simply concentrate on my work and not be concerned about wasting precious sunshine.

I kept telling myself that my skin would look so much younger than everyone else’s, because it is shielded from the evil sun and its aging effects.

I preached to everyone to be careful, avoid the sun, consider the damage and check their skin for anything suspicious. And I believed it. I still do.

But then, I became somewhat depressed. I felt pale and pasty. I missed the sun. So I figured that if I slathered on the SPF and wore a hat and caught just 15 minutes of sunshine from time to time, it would be plenty, and not dangerous.

Then I got fed up with having to put sunscreen on for 20 minutes just to sit out in the sun for 15 minutes. More often than not, I’d remain indoors.

I convinced myself that I could go out walking really early in the morning or late in the evening, when the sun was not strong at all. Then I got too tired to get out of bed at the crack of dawn and too depressed to go out walking in the evening.

And I put on weight. Not much, but enough for me to feel it.

And I stopped wanting to wear my swimsuit when anyone else was around.

Oh, I enjoyed road tripping to PEI and surprising my family in NS. I enjoyed going for drives, and rides and visiting different areas of Quebec.

But I hated my summer.

Spray tan, you say? It’s not that affordable or available around here and, let’s face it, it’s not the same. Also, I can’t stand the smell of self-tanners or chemicals on my skin.

And now, just about the time I always start to shop for a trip south for the winter, I am at a loss. Can I even consider going south for a week when the sun is so strong and my skin has not been exposed for so long and I always get at least some sunburn even if I’m super careful? I think not. Then again, I look at pictures of our favorite destinations, and they call to me.

I hated my summer. Do I have to hate my winter too?

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Bad E-Bay Attitudes September 11, 2013

Filed under: My view/mon point de vue — matamich @ 4:46 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

ebaythumbsdown

I shop on E-bay from time to time. I’ve found many things that I could not find elsewhere. I’ve made good deals, located rare and original stuff, found 1960s Kiddles and Flatsy dolls for my mini collection. I enjoy E-bay.

Except for the E-bay terrorist tactics that have developed from certain sellers (many sellers, let’s face it) in order to get perfect feedback. They set up automatic messages to remind you to please leave perfect five-star scores and nothing less, to contact them before leaving anything less than a perfect score, they warn you that giving them anything less than top scoring may hurt their business, they say that they will leave negative feedback on you if you do it to them…and so on.

Hey, E-bay sellers. Nothing in life is perfect. An above average to high score is absolutely great. Buyers have the right to leave realistic scores and I am quite sure that the public is smart enough to know that even if a rating is not 100%, but is close, the seller is a reputable one.

I don’t even pay attention to E-bay scores anymore, I just hope for the best because to me they don’t mean much if the seller has bullied the buyer into leaving a perfect score in order to protect his or her online reputation.

Get real, people. What’s the use of these scoring systems if we can’t be honest and use them to reward good sellers and to help others get their act together and improve their business?