Light a Candle

Light a Candle

This month’s candle is for Loki, one of my pet gerbils who died last Tuesday. I think his last visit to the vet on Monday and the draining of his cyst were too much for him. He died in my hands.

That means I naturally burn this candle for my remaining gerbil Jamie too, because he’s now alone and in need of a new friend to prevent loneliness from making him miserable. So fingers crossed I’ll manage to find a good new buddy for him soon and get them to like each other. Apparently that’s quite the task, pairing gerbils. But I owe it to Jamie to try.

Despite feeling sad, my own problems seem so small compared to what else is happening in the world, so I also burn this candle for everyone in the USA who’s been hit by Harvey and struggling to get by. Living in a country that’s known for battling water, I relate and feel for all of you. I really hope the storms will die down soon and no more victims will be made.

And finally, I burn this candle for everyone in Raqqa who’s desperately trying to survive by eating grass-soup or anything else they can get their hands on that’s remotely edible. I can’t imagine what it must be like, living in a war zone, trying to stay alive at all costs. And now having to fight not only terrorists but famine, too. In what kind of world do we live?

I hope the warmth of this candle finds your hearts, rumbling bellies and souls and will make you worry-free, even if it’s for just a second.

Who will you burn this month’s candle for?

Statement (aka Literally Standing Up For Yourself)

  • Definition: Choosing to walk out of a restaurant instead of letting people treat you like a fool, because you know you are better than that and definitely deserve better treatment. 
“A meaningless statement remains meaningless, no matter how often it is heard”
– Roy H. Williams –

Three times. That’s how many times I’ve walked out of a restaurant without paying. Or ordering, for that matter.

The first time was in 2010. I was visiting Dublin with a “friend” (funny how holidays are perfect opportunities to change your views on one another, but that’s another story). Since we’d arrived late at our B&B, me and my friend had asked the owner if he knew a good pub nearby that wasn’t too expensive. Having found the pub, we were given a menu each and were told to find a seat, somebody would be with us soon to take our orders.

My friend took one look at the menu then proclaimed there was nothing on there to her likings. I tried to soothe her into staying, but she didn’t want to hear any of it. She got up and walked right out. The only thing I could do was follow.

The second time was after C.‘s last birthday party. The venue it was being held at was not close to home for me or either of the two friends I was with, so we asked a waiter in the restaurant adjacent to the venue if they had room left for three, which they did. We made reservations and were a little too late, but that was no problem as nearly all the tables were empty.

We took our seats and again someone told us they’d be right with us to take our orders.

After nearly thirty minutes of waving and whistling and winking and trying to get someone to come over to our table (we were getting thirsty and hungry, a combination doesn’t do any good for your mood), we simply got up and left.

The third time was last night. Although my father had celebrated his birthday in the weekend so my sisters and their offspring could attend, me and my mother felt he deserved a little treat on the big day itself.

Plus, it was actually hot and neither of us felt like cooking.

We planned to go to a pancake restaurant (laugh all you want but they’re common in the Netherlands!) but soon found out it was closed on Mondays. Searching for a good alternative, I found a different pancake restaurant (told you we have plenty) not too far from where we live: we could even go there on our bicycles!
I quickly made an online reservation and early in the evening we got on our way!

There were a few guests at the restaurant already, but not too many, and after a little kerfuffle with the supposed owner (she pretended we hadn’t made reservations – which I had – but couldn’t win since there were too many unseated tables for us to choose from anyway). We were told to find a table anywhere outside that pleased us and: “Someone will be right with you.”

I swear that’s a bad omen.

After a good twenty minutes of being completely ignored by the full staff, I noticed a couple entering the restaurant. They soon exited with the boss-lady in tow, showing them a good table on the terrace, near where we were sitting. To my great surprise an ordering device magically appeared in her hands (they do exist!) as she took their drink orders and moved back inside.

A few minutes after that, an employee brought the couple their drinks. I was baffled: how come people who came in AFTER us got served within minutes and we were nearing the half hour mark without as much as a friendly nod? I caught the eye of the waitress and tried to beckon her over, but she quickly turned away to clean already clean tables on the other side of the terrace. As far away from us as possible, of course.

As me and my parents got up, collected our stuff and marched back to our bicycles, we passed the boss-lady. I thought she’d try to stop us, but to my surprise she looked up and quickly away again. She didn’t seem bothered at all that we left.

Talk about unprofessional.

I hate it when people treat me like I am thin air. Or like I don’t matter. So it felt really good to just get up and leave. No shouting, no cussing, just getting up and marching out of there. Back to our bikes.

In the end we sat down in a restaurant we hadn’t visited in years, a few kilometres from the pancake debacle. We got a good table, a friendly waitress and within two minutes of sitting down, each of us had a drink in front of them and a few nibbles to whet our appetite.

Now that’s a statement.

Have you ever been made to feel you were worthless? How did you handle that situation?
Status Update

Earworm of the Week

Just like Mika, Britney Spears and Meghan Trainor, I strongly feel there’s an ABBA song for every occasion! 😉

I keep saying sorry for not posting more, but in addition to everything else that went wrong recently, I also found a lump under my poor gerbil’s front paw. Talk about bad luck always coming in crowds, geesh!

The vet drained the lump and it was amazing to see how much filth came out of my poor pet… At least he’s not been given the “I can’t help him anymore” talk and he’s on antibiotics for the next six days or so. I know, I know. “It’s just a gerbil”, but he is MY pet and I feel responsible to take care of him the best I can.

Anyway, life’s been mean and busy and I didn’t have time to write much. Please forgive me for posting short messages only, I’ll try to be better 😉

Heart to Post

Earworm of the Week

Not sure if I’ve already shared this one, but it’s a happy song and it got stuck in my head during work today, so I decided to share it with you!

Have a good week everyone, and for everyone anxious to see the eclipse: enjoy!

Status Update

About The Quiet

Sorry for not writing, but this week:

  • I’ve been bed strewn by a violent attack of the stomach flu. It was so aggressive, that after 19 years of happily living in my emetophobia-bubble my body finally gave in and I threw up 😦 I am still upset.
  • My godmother was told she could go home after being in the hospital for two weeks (!!). Sadly, nobody really believes this news, since during her time there she was told she’d get a pacemaker (three times), she’d be transferred to Utrecht (twice) and later Eindhoven (three times) for an ablation, followed by dismissive remarks on all those accounts, stating they’d just “fix her medication” and see where that’d take her. For now, she’s scheduled to go home with new meds and she’s placed on a waiting list for an ablation in… not sure whether it’s going to be Utrecht or Eindhoven. But somewhere else, and at least that’s a relief. What a crap hospital she’s been in!
  • My other aunt, also a sister of my father and my godmother, was diagnosed with cancer. A pretty bad case of it, if I can believe the updates I’ve heard of it. She’s going into hospital soon for an operation and later chemotherapy.
  • My niece was supposed to have been born this week.

As you can see, I have been busy being upset and stressed out and sick. Physically I am doing better, so let’s hope everything else will work out, too 🙂

Have a good weekend, everyone! And don’t forget to appreciate your loved ones a little more today. Just because you can.