Friday, July 24, 2015

Inapark Loves Kate Bornstein.

My heart is bursting. It's always a priority of mine to let people that I love and appreciate know how grateful I am for them, even if we have never met. So I took the time to Instagram one of my most favorite writers, Kate Bornstein, and let her know how much I adore her and what she does. She is a writer who is never near and dear to my heart, and the very next day I received this message back to me. This has made me feel a sort of validation that I have never felt before. Thank you Kate Bornstein. My joy today is almost tangible. Today is a good day.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015 Lessons on Grief From Momma Killdeer

"There have been a lot of things over the years that I have been holding onto, and have not forgiven myself for, that my grief felt as though it had taken on a physical weight."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Love Letter To My Momma Bear. xo

I bought a notebook that had a pretty cover, and on the front it said, "Love you to the moon and back." As soon as I saw it, I instinctually picked it up and knew that I had to fill it with love and give it to my Mom. For years, I've struggled to write about my Mother because I can never seem to properly put into words everything that she means to me. It just seems too much. So even though this was going to be a secret project, I feel like my Mom deserves all the love in the world, all the time. I just finished my first entry, and I won't give it to her until it's completely filled, but I wanted to type this out for her so she knows, and everyone knows, how much she means to me.

July 16, 2015

Dear Momma Bear,

I saw this book, and I obviously thought of you. I realized that I write a lot about Gram, and Paul, and the cats and funny things that happen, and I don't have very many published pieces that I've written about you. I want to fill this book up with the reason why that is. Because try as I may, I can never properly express the sincere, intense, co-dependant (let's be honest), heart bursting love that I have for you. I have tried, and I do try, but it goes far beyond appreciation, or relation or fondness. It's an unconditional, Ride or Die, we could be the only ones left that that's alright, kind of love. I would have nothing, and not be me, without you. Every good quality I have is from you, and every accomplishment that I have achieved is because you have made me feel like I am worth it, and can do it. Every success I have is because you inspire me to want to be my best, and every forward step I take is because I want to make you proud. Every time I say something stupid and outrageous it's because I want to make you laugh, and every time I like your pictures on Facebook it's because I think you're the most beautiful woman in the world. Every time I wiggle in my seat at dinner while I'm eating is because you're the best cook ever, and every time you're sick or not feeling well I hang up the phone and cry because I wish I could take it away. I write books because I want to be successful and take care of you, and the tattoo I got of your hand writing, "Some bunny loves you", gets me by more than you'll every know. I love you to the moon and back. Thank you for all that you do and all that you are.

Sarah B. xo

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Retail Throwback: The Man With The Sassy Tees.

I found this in a draft folder today. It was a short piece I wrote a few years ago, when I used to work at a pet store that I loathed. I think my emotional state is pretty evident from my writing style. Re-reading it now fills my tummy with fire, and makes my cheeks ache with phantom pain from my Retail Smile. I remember calling my Mom and telling her this story, and her telling me that I was being an unreasonable idiot, and I needed to choose my battles. You can decide.

There is an old man that has the same ritual every morning at the mall. He sits at the same table in the food court, drinks a coffee and has a bagel. This particular gentleman sticks out to me, because he’s always sporting a different sassy t-shirt. I should be clear; I despise sassy tees. They’re obnoxious, rarely make sense, and make you look like you have a real chip on your shoulder.

We’ve had numerous interactions; mostly when he pairs his saucy tops with a tattoo sleeve undershirt, pushes his way through customers to grab my arm, shake it, and scream, “Twins!”

His shirts are pretty standard; “Fart Machine”, and “Trouser mouse likes to hang out near the basshole” (there was a picture of a mouse in a fishing boat with a safari hat, fishing; I can’t even begin to understand what the implication is.) Then there’s “FBI: Female Body Inspector”, the predatorial “Blink If You Want Me”, “Keep Calm I’m A Fisherman”, and “Save The Earth- It’s The Only Planet With Coffee”.

One t-shirt though. One t-shirt stopped me dead in my tracks the other day. It was so vile, so chilling, I immediately walked away from the customer I was helping to write this down. Allow me to set the scene.

You hang up the phone from a personal phone call, look up, and you see a senior staring at you. He is unblinking, with a frozen, glacial smile, and is wearing a grey t-shirt that says, “Lost: Dog and Sister. Reward for dog.”

To me, this is a blatant confession. He murdered his sister. This “joke” is so wildly unacceptable, even if I saw it on a cheeky five year old boy, I’d think he was a brat and I’d feel confident that I’d see his mother in Hell. I felt like that guy from The Mentalist, or a judgey Nancy Drew.

Since I acted against my impulse to perform a citizen’s arrest, I can only assume that inevitably justice will be served. So until then, I will instinctively look through the faces in the crowd, for a flashy, fossilized pensioner, eating an everything bagel, hoping that a long sleeved tattoo print undershirt is concealed by a court ordered black and white striped jumpsuit.

Inapark Writes Valedictorian Speeches.

A friend of mine had been asking me for a month to write her a valedictorian speech for her, without providing me any specific information into her new job, or what exactly she was the valedictorian of. This is what I came up with.

Good afternoon Managers and Coworkers,

Today I stand infront of you all as Valedictorian of BMO. Does the person who's writing this speech for me know what that means? No. Did they have any sort of guidance aside from, "Just write me the speech. Use or something"? No. But in the grand scheme of things, none of that matters. What matters is I am the Valedictorian of something, and I assume this means I'm better than all of you, which is awesome because it's only been like two months. So, congratulations to me. And to you! Look at us. Graduating something, and furthering our careers at BMO in some field. Mine is fraud. Yours may be similar, or different. Let us think about the reason we wanted to work here in the first place, which will vary from, I forgot that I even applied last year, to This is who I bank with. And let us feel pride that we have a job that I would assume is stable, probably with an office, employed by a company who appreciates its workers enough to have some sort of celebratory function.

"Who had I become? Just another shark in a suit? Two days later at our corporate conference in Miami, a breakthrough. Breakdown? Breakthrough. I couldn't escape one simple thought: I hated myself. No, no, no, here's what it was: I hated my place in the world. I had so much to say and no one to listen. And then it happened. It was the oddest, most unexpected thing. I began writing what they call a mission statement. Not a memo, a mission statement. You know, a suggestion for the future of our company. A night like this doesn't come along very often. I seized it. What started out as one page became twenty-five. Suddenly, I was my father's son again. I was remembering the simple pleasures of this job, how I ended up here out of law school, the way a stadium sounds when one of my players performs well on the field. The way we are meant to protect them in health and in injury. With so many clients, we had forgotten what was important.
I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and I'm not even a writer. I was remembering even the words of the original sports agent, my mentor, the late great Dickie Fox who said: 'The key to this business is personal relationships.' Suddenly, it was all pretty clear. The answer was fewer clients. Less money. More attention. Caring for them, caring for ourselves and the games, too. Just starting our lives, really. Hey - I'll be the first to admit, what I was writing was somewhat touchy feely. I didn't care. I have lost the ability to bulls--t. It was the me I'd always wanted to be. I took it in a bag to a Copymat in the middle of the night and printed up a hundred and ten copies. Even the cover looked like The Catcher in the Rye. I entitled it 'The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.'...Everybody got a copy...I was 35. I had started my life."
Was that monologue from Jerry Maguire? Perhaps. But at the end of the day, Bank of Montreal offers competitive rates on mortgages, efficient financial planning, and various bank accounts that adhere to your personal needs. Did I apply at TD Canada and Scotia Bank first? Of course I did. They were my first and second choice. But you leave with the girl you brought, and I thank you BMO, for giving me the honour of Valedictorian of something, and I look forward to probably finishing out the rest of 2015 with you. We did it!