Archive for Boundaries Posts

published in Boundaries, Humour, Travel by Maryanne | February 6, 2019 | 10 Comments

Of All the Gin Joints…

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

– Famous line from the film, “Casablanca”

Call for stories about ANNOYING PEOPLE ON PLANES  

What does Casablanca have to do with annoying people on planes? I’ll tell you what!

Picture this: you’re on an evening flight to a tropical paradise for a much-anticipated vacation. The plane has just taken off. You lean your head back and let out a sigh of relief that you’re even on the plane because you’ve just endured six dizzying weeks of vertigo. Both your doctor and physiotherapist have given you the green light to go on your holiday…just as long as you take it easy, stay quiet and for goodness sake: no sudden head movements!

Ahh…but the woman in the seat behind you has different plans.

Even before take-off, she begins to talk. And when I say talk, I mean TALK…about anything, to anyone in her vicinity. And when those people stop listening, she stands in the aisle and chats to whoever has made the dumb decision to stretch their legs. But of course, when she goes to stand up (for the fifth time), she puts her hand on your headrest, hauls herself up with a mighty heave-ho then releases your chair, thereby delivering a nice foreword snap to your head…just in case you had somehow managed to doze off during the non-stop talk-fest.

Surely, you think, this dreadfully annoying 70-year-old woman will tire out eventually…right? I mean, she can’t talk for entire flight…right?

Oh, you bet she can. And she did. Here are a few gems from her repertoire (which I happen to remember because they were repeated multiple times):

“I can’t sleep! I am not tired AT ALL!”

“This is the longest flight EVER.”

“It’s funny but I’m just NOT TIRED.”

Seven hours later, Chatty Cathy was still talking. She did not stop talking for the entire flippin’ flight…oh, except for the occasional three-second interval when she paused just long enough to give the back of my traveling companion’s chair a nice big KICK that again projected her head forward at vertigo-inducing speed.

Was she crossing her legs? Practicing a karate move? Doing chair yoga?

Toddlers behave better than this on airplanes (but only if they have decent parents who tell them not to kick the chair in front of them, etc). Well…most of the time. There was the flight home, after all. More on that in a moment.

Thankfully (despite the odds), my traveling companion’s vertigo did not flare up again. And after a few days, we were even able to laugh about the annoying woman on the plane…knowing we would likely never see her again.

Then we went for lunch at Tommy Bahamas. And I kid you not but in walks none other than Chatty Cathy (and her entourage of listeners) and sits at the table next to us. I saw her before my friend did and when she saw Chatty Cathy, the look on her face was priceless. She shook her head and said, “Of all the gin joints…”

To which I roared with laughter.

“Sweet biscuits,” she said with a sigh, “what are the chances?”

I roared even louder. Chatty Cathy and her friends promptly stood up (who wants to sit beside noisy people?) and moved to the bar…a wise decision for all concerned (except for the poor bartender who had no idea what the next seven hours had in store for him).

As for our flight home? Yup…there was a toddler who screamed the entire flight. Not sure what was going on there but this much I do know: if a child is in distress or discomfort (or is just a brat) that’s one thing. When a 70-year-old woman behaves like a brat, that is quite another.

Do you have any stories about annoying people on planes? If so, I’d love to hear them, including how you handled the situation!

In the meantime, here’s lookin’ at you kid 😊

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

published in Boundaries, Inspiration, Intuition, Travel by Maryanne | February 7, 2018 | 14 Comments

Dipstick Theme Continues – Don’t Get Excited


MA & Sadie on the beach at Florence, OR

“We find after years of struggle that we don’t take a trip; a trip takes us.”

– John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley; In Search of America

Well…here it is another week later and we’re all another week older and wiser, myself included.

I think.

Have you ever been in the middle of an experience and something didn’t feel quite right?

I had a sports massage by a male massage therapist last week and although nothing went particularly wrong, the experience didn’t feel entirely right either. Too many grunts and groans (from him) perhaps…or maybe it was the way his face (and other body parts – but NOT the dipstick, thank goodness!) just seemed to be closer to me than necessary. Or maybe it was the way he said my name…multiple times?

Or a combination of all of the above.

As a woman traveling alone, I am adamant about personal safety. I do everything in my power to ensure I don’t put myself or Sadie in potentially unsafe situations. So when I booked that massage, I did my best to choose a seemingly reputable place. And to be honest, I think it was a reputable place. I just think my massage therapist was trying to let me know that, if I was interested (I wasn’t), he was open to the possibility of…a little post-massage activity.

Or maybe I read the whole thing wrong?

But I don’t think so. And the relief I felt when I got back to my car told me I was probably right.

Other than that odd and rather uncomfortable experience, Sadie and I had an awesome week!

As promised, here are a few photos of my beautiful little (and oh-so-quiet) bungalow by the sea VRBO in Florence:




The lived-in look 🙂

The 10-minute trek to the beach was quite something, though. It’s called the hobbit trail – for good reason!

My pink gazelle Adidas in action!




And then voila! The beach:


We also climbed some HUGE dunes…and then ran down them!

I have fond memories of traipsing the dunes of Florence from past trips. John and I were there on our honeymoon in 1996. It was so windy at the very top of one of the dunes, we opened up our arms and leaned right into the wind without falling over! Then in 2010, my friend, Terri, and I stopped in Florence on a big road trip with Sable and Soda (my old Shepherds). Sable was 13 at that point and blind, so she stayed in the car. Soda, Terri and I huffed and puffed our way to the top of a massive dune. Soda was 10 and rather hefty but she made it!

Sadie half-way down a dune…hurry up, Momma!

We are now in Crescent City in Northern California, hiking in the spectacular Redwoods. Photos to come!

Take care and have a super week 🙂

If you are new to reading about this writing road trip, here are the previous blogs:

She Packed Up Her Potential…

Write On – Writing What We Know May Help Teach Us What We Need to Learn

On the Road…But Nearly Not

Surprise! Greetings from Newport

Is That a Dipstick in Your Pocket – Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

published in Anger, Book Reviews, Boundaries, Depression, Health, Saying NO! by Maryanne | June 6, 2017 | 4 Comments

In Sickness & in Health – When The Body Says No


“When we have been prevented from learning how to say no, our bodies may end up saying it for us.”

– Gabor Maté

If you haven’t read Gabor Maté’s book, When the Body Says No; The Cost of Hidden Stress, I highly recommend it. I borrowed a copy from a friend a year ago and read it in small chunks, here and there, as there was an awful lot of content – and supporting case studies – to consider, in terms of the role we play in our own health. It is not a particularly comfortable read but it is extremely enlightening.

“It is a sensitive matter to raise the possibility that the way people have been conditioned to live their lives may contribute to their illness.” 

– Gabor Maté, When the Body Says No

Drawing on scientific research and the author’s decades of experience as a practicing physician, When the Body Says No examines the effect of the mind-body connection on illness and health and the role that stress and one’s individual emotional makeup play in conditions and diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis.

Here are a just a few highlights from the book:

“People have always understood intuitively that mind and body are not separable. Modernity has brought with it an unfortunate dissociation, a split between what we know with our whole being and what our thinking mind accepts as truth.”

“Our immune system does not exist in isolation from daily experience.”

“Many of us live, if not alone, then in emotionally inadequate relationships that do not recognize or honour our deepest needs.”

“When emotions are repressed, this inhibition disarms the body’s defences against illness.”

“Repression – dissociating emotions from awareness and relegating them to the unconscious realm – disorganizes and confuses our physiological defences so that in some people these defences go awry, becoming the destroyers of health rather than its protectors.”

“The blurring of psychological boundaries during childhood becomes a significant source of future physiological stress in the adult. There are ongoing negative effects on the body’s hormonal and immune systems, since people with indistinct personal boundaries live with stress; it is a permanent part of their daily experience to be encroached on by others. However, that is a reality they have learned to exclude from their direct awareness.”

“The research literature has identified three factors that universally lead to stress: uncertainty, the lack of information and the loss of control. All three are present in the lives of individuals with chronic illness.”

“Repression of anger increases the risk for cancer for the very practical reason that it magnifies exposure to physiological stress. If people are not able to recognize intrusion, or are unable to assert themselves, even when they do see a violation, they are likely to experience repeatedly the damage brought on by stress.”

“Physiological stress is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits – otherwise known as coping styles – magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication.”

“The gut, or intestinal tract, is much more than an organ of digestion. It is a sensory apparatus with a nervous system of its own, intimately connected to the brain’s emotional centres.”

“Gut feelings, pleasant or unpleasant, are part of the body’s normal response to the world – they help us interpret what is happening around us and inform us whether we are safe or in danger.”  

“The repression of negative emotion is a chronic and significant source of damaging stress.”

“Characteristics of many persons with rheumatoid diseases is a stoicism carried to an extreme degree, a deeply ingrained reticence about seeking help.”

“Repressed anger will lead to disordered immunity. The inability to process and express feelings effectively, and the tendency to serve the needs of others before even considering one’s own, are common patterns in people who develop chronic illness.”

“The less powerful partner in any relationship will absorb a disproportionate amount of the shared anxiety – which is the reason that so many more women than men are treated for, say, anxiety or depression. (The issue here is not strength but power: that is, who is serving whose needs?)

“Healthy anger leaves the individual, not the unbridled emotion, in charge.”

“Health rests on three pillars: the body, the psyche and the spiritual connection. To ignore any one of them is to invite imbalance and dis-ease.”

For further information about the book and author, here is the link.

Related blogs by Maryanne:

Anger in the Garden – Pruning Back for Future Growth

When Our Body Says No, We’d Be Wise to Listen

Back Off Baby – You Just Crossed My Boundary

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.