Just Between Us

Just between us is when we get together once a month or so and say the things that you think but don’t really say. Or you do say, but only to certain people. I’ll go first, then you share in the comments and everyone will feel a whole lot better.

Just between us…

1. I cannot reconcile the fact that scrunchies are back in fashion. I used to make scrunchies in my grade 9 sewing class. Which I failed, by the way. I know how to sew but the teacher didn’t like me.

Want proof? One time I was sewing a shirt with a collar. One class she came by and said, “Those pins are all wrong.” And then took out my pins and re-did them herself. 

The next class she walked by me and said, “Those pins are all wrong.” And I looked at her and said, “But you did those last class.” So then she said, “Oh. Well then they’re right.”

In the end she gave me an F in sewing class. An F! For a kid who showed up to every class and did every assignment. Anyways, now I hate scrunchies. 

2. Here’s another story from my youth I think you’ll appreciate:

When I was, I don’t know, maybe 10 years old my friend Cheryl and I decided that we wanted to breed hamsters. Yes, we were that cool. 

Somehow we convinced Chery’s dad to custom-build us a special hamster cage that we designed, which was made out of wood and had two sections – one for the boy hamster and one for the girl hamster – but with a plexiglass wall in the middle so they could see each other. You know, to get in the mood. 

The hamster duplex of love ended up at my house (I was a pretty bossy kid, so that’s not so surprising) and we went out and bought two hamsters, a boy and a girl. Every once in a while we’d take the hamsters out of their cage and put them on the arts and craft table in our basement and cheer on the boy hamster as he attempted to do his business. 

We’d yell “Go Jeff, go!” over and over until the lady hamster (whose name I do not remember) would inevitably get sick of his shenanigans and turn around and beat the shit out of him. My dad told me later that he found this especially disturbing because his father’s name was Geoff. 

I think we went through three or four Jeff’s, all of whom succumbed to some mysterious hamster illness, and then we got our golden ticket. But it wasn’t during any of their tabletop adventures that the magic happened; we got home from a weekend away to find the hamsters together in one side of their duplex. I guess one of them had gotten horny enough to chew a hole through the wall when the time was right, and ta-da! We had a pregnant hamster. 

In the end I think we had 5-ish hamster babies, all of which we gave away, and that was the end of my illustrious career as Hamster Queen. Maybe Netflix wants to tell *my* story?

3. Since we’re on the subject of weird childhood memories, I should perhaps tell you about the time I took a human placenta for show and tell?

I was in grade six and we were studying the human reproductive system. My mom was a family doctor who also had an obstetrics practice, and as she was leaving one night to deliver a baby I casually asked her if she could bring the placenta home so I could take it to school.

You guys, she did.

I seriously cannot believe she didn’t just shut me down. Nope. Instead she did her important doctor work, brought a beautiful new life into the world, and then (with the patient’s consent) drove home with a placenta in the passenger seat. 

She brought it to my classroom in a roasting pan and held it up for all the kids to see, pointing out various parts and whatnot. Then, took it home, buried it in the back yard, and cooked a roast for dinner.

I tell ya, my childhood was weird. 

4. I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood lately (obviously) because I can’t believe my parents had four kids. I’m so tapped out with two kids that I can’t believe anyone willingly has more than that, and my parents had four

They must think that my siblings and I, each of whom has 1-2 kids, are such lightweights. 

5. I’ve had this feeling for ages like I’ve got a thick bit of phlegm at the back of my throat that I just can’t swallow. A couple of months ago I realized that it isn’t phlegm, it’s my uvula. I have been trying, and trying, and trying to swallow my own uvula. 

Is this normal? Does anyone else have this? I swear, when the dust settles on the shit storm we’re currently in, I’m going to look into having a uvula resection. 


  1. Marilyn says

    Home Ec teachers were evil. I got a “D” in “neatness” in my class (my kids will laugh at that)… And I know exactly the moment; I was chopping an onion, for the first time. Who, at age 12, can chop an onion neatly? Hell, I still can’t. It’s been more than 40 years and (obviously) I’m still not over it. If only home Ec teachers know their power.

  2. spats says

    Hey – My thoughts on your thoughts
    1. I also am having a hard time with this. My niece is paying her way through school by sewing scrunchies. How can there be such a demand that she can do that?
    2. I didn’t get into anything as exciting as those hamsters.
    3. Your placenta outweighs my scuba tank for elementary school presentations
    4. I have one kid and I always wonder how anyone coped with more than one.
    5. I probably have done something like this; I just can’t think of it now.

    So you don’t feel like you are out there on your own –
    1. I have done mouth to mouth rescue breathing on 29 people.
    2. I have a hole in my head. For some reason, my skull bones did not grow together.
    3. I am an awful vegetarian,
    4. We make our own almond milk.
    5. We would be lost without your holiday menu guide.

  3. Joyce says

    I have tried hard to think of something interesting I did in my youth and have come up dry. However, one thing I can share is what my father did. He owned a couple businesses, one was a pet and garden supply store. At this store he had a boa constrictor, Suzy. One day he went to my high school, entered and I assume got permission, and then proceeded to walk up and down the hallway with Suzy wrapped over his shoulders. When the bell rang for classes to change, students entered the hallway to get to their next class, and encountered dad and Suzy. It caused a lot of interest and excitement. I never got to actually see him as my classes were on an upper floor, but I certainly heard about it. I never held Suzy myself, but one of my younger sisters had no qualms about doing so.

  4. Claire says

    I’ve been using this isolation period and working from home to experiment with my body hair. And by experiment, I mean I’m not removing any of it. I’m letting my armpits grow out, letting my eyebrows do their thing, not shaving my legs (since it was already winter they had a head start), and seeing how everything shakes out. I’m mostly curious to see what my eyebrows actually look like and perhaps have the opportunity to reshape them. The armpits are just for fun because I’ve never had long, hippy pit hair. I don’t know if it’s gross or not, but I’ve realized I don’t care.

    • spats says

      As a long-time waxed, my leg hair is splotchy so I couldn’t actually braid it but I do think by March my leg hair would be long enough to braid.

      My eyebrow hair has stopped growing in the last few years – I have been afraid to pluck.

      Good luck with your pit hair – I have never made it very long.

  5. Melissa says

    I’m picturing your Home Ec teacher like one of the beehive hairdo characters from a Far Side cartoon.

    Hamster mating? That’s priceless. Your poor father, though, lol.

    And your mom and the placenta? Wow, how cool is she. That story would make an amazing poem. Like a 1990s version of In The Waiting Room by Elizabeth Bishop.

    I’m really new here, so I’m not sure what to offer, so here goes. Every weekday at 2:00pm since 3/24 I have some variation on your Chia Fresca recipe. Yesterday I made a hybrid— Chia Fresca and Golden Milk. I loved it.

      • Melissa says

        I warm enough water to melt my honey. Into that, I add my Chai spices, some almond butter (my fat), and more water to blend it. I add the chia seeds, then let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

        So, it’s a room temp mixture once I drink it. <3

        Thanks for the inspiration!!

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