Sorting through the clutter of life’s random experiences

“Curiouser and curiouser,” said Alice, as life got larger and larger in Wonderland. It’s a phrase I quite like, and find myself muttering rather frequently, sometimes for big reasons, but mostly for small.

Lately, I feel as if I have been collecting randomly interesting experiences, which I tuck away for future reference, hoping that, with a little effort, they might turn into full-blown musings in this column.

Often that actually happens, but right now I seem to be left with a drawer full of odds and ends, nothing particularly substantial or inspiring, but quirky enough for a second look, and a maybe a comment here.

I’ll ask forgiveness now for saying very little about not much this week.  Every now and then, though, one needs to cleanse one mind of the clutter. Every now and then, the drawer needs to be tidied, the desktop organized, the closet emptied and reframed.

So here we go, and let’s hope it all makes sense in the end, of at the very least, that the curious little happenings of my life make your own seem so much more interesting and important!

Were I a dating woman (which I suppose I am in theory, but not so much in practice of late) I’d be hopeful about what might be becoming a trend in my life.  In the past year, I’ve twice had the promise of romance offered to me by a taxi driver.

Yes, I know this seems a little creepy, given one’s relative captivity while in the back seat of a moving vehicle driven by a stranger who knows you have money, and need him to get where you are going.

But in both cases, I confess to feeling a little flattered, especially since the two men had nothing in common except they were taxi drivers, lovelorn and looking for ‘a nice lady’ (their words, not mine).

One of my would-be suitors was a recent immigrant from India whose wife had left him for someone else. I seemed like a nice lady, he said, and perhaps I’d like to go on a date. I declined, politely, and wished him luck, telling him Toronto is a big city and I was sure he’d find what he was looking for if he persisted.

My second suitor was a semi-retired senior who’d moved from Vancouver to Cape Breton. He wasn’t quite so plainspoken, but I sensed, had I given a little encouragement, he might have made the ask. He mentioned three times he was looking for a nice lady and still hadn’t found her, then went on to detail his reasonable financial situation and solid work history.

It was a good effort, but not enough to capture my interest, other than in a fleeting sort of way and so I stuffed it into the storage drawer in my brain, the one reserved for curious things.

My cabbie suitors seem to belong there, right next to a little pile of questions I have about people.

For example, could it really be possible that teenagers have no idea what a typewriter is?  I overheard a young woman asking her friend what she was holding in store recently.  When I looked in their direction, I could see the friend holding two bookends, cast to look like a typewriter.

“What’s it for?” the teenager asked.  I assume she meant the typewriter, but perhaps she meant the bookends.  Yikes!

Why is it that people are so quiet while waiting to disembark from an airplane? This is not simply Canadian reticence, for I’ve experienced it on flights all over the world. People rise from their seats and say very little as they wait for the door to open, releasing them to the outside world. Curious.

Why, on the other hand, do some people talk so loudly on cell phones in public places. Are they really so focused on the call that they forget they are sitting in a restaurant or an airport waiting area? Don’t they care that everyone is not only listening but becoming increasingly annoyed?

I’m not looking for answers to these questions anymore than I’m looking for a date from a taxi driver. These are just the collected incidences of my life of late, which have been taking up space in my head, and now might do the same in yours.

Thanks for rattling through the clutter with me. I think I’ve made room for more.

Lynda MacGibbon is a transplanted Maritimer living in Toronto. Her column appears each Friday in the Moncton Times & Transcript. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @lyndamacgibbon


8 thoughts on “Sorting through the clutter of life’s random experiences

  1. Oh Lynda the post makes me smile! Thanks for sharing I think i need to pay attention to the small things more.

  2. As always, it’s a pleasure to read something you have written Lynda. Doesn’t matter a lot what you write about 🙂 Well used language is a wonderful thing.

    Have a good day!

  3. Hilarious! I actually can see you sitting here in front of me, laughing over your questions and forfeited romance. And you are right. Why are people so quiet? I think because they don’t want to be distracted by conversation when the line begins to move forward. I always wonder why everyone is in such a rush (excusing those who have a skimpy half hour connection), since luggage takes a good half hour to show up. However, I must say I was on a series of flights once where EVERYONE turned on their cellphone and started gabbing as soon as the plane came to a stop. It was like someone turned on a switch…it was far from quiet.

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