Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.


short cloakI had the day off yesterday, because I and the other nine hundred people who work where I do are so damned wonderful. Seriously. We fart kittens.

My first goal for the day was not to wake up at 3:30 in the morning. I have done it for four or five days in a row, so I was up for a change. I managed to sleep in a whole five hours and did not get out of bed until 8:30 am. I actually felt rested. I remembered how to bathe myself properly. It's amazing what a few extra hours of sleep will do for a person.

The Fiery One had specifically instructed me to do only what I wanted to do yesterday, no more and no less, so my first order of business was to install that del.icio.us links list in the left-hand sidebar. I had to do some psychic work to figure out how to create CSS that would affect that nasty little bugger, but I finally did it. (I use del.icio.us to store all the links I come across that I like, and that list in the sidebar shows the last ten I've entered).

So, by 10:30 am, I had already achieved two small personal victories, and only one of them hurt my brain. I figured that I could beat the number of my achievements over this whole winter if I kept that rate up until nightfall.

I took a walk to the bank to exchange my leftover American cash from our trip to Costa Rica for Canadian dollars. (Shush. I know that it took me two months to get around to that. I don't do errands. It's a sickness). On my way back, I stopped in at a ladies' clothing shop. I am not sure what possessed me to do that, because I almost never walk into those dens of overpriced Laura Ashley and drapey velvet, but there I was, standing in front of a table covered in velvet and brocade pillow slips and supporting a sign that said SALE! 30%-70% OFF DISCOUNTED ITEMS!

If a sale sign does anything to me, it gives me the sudden and deep-seated belief that there is one perfect item for me inside the store sporting the sign. Usually, because I am sized so averagely, anything half decent is already sold out in my size, and I end up leaving the store feeling as though this fifteen pounds I can't lose is keeping me from true consumer happiness.

I was feeling particularly vulnerable to self-loathing yesterday, because my period is imminent, so it seemed imperative that this sale I had stumbled into provide me with a piece of clothing that was both affordable and made me look less horrifically bloated than I felt. I looked around at the rows of racks weighted down by sequined sweaters and quilted coats and velvet palazzo pants, I fingered strange synthetics that were dry-clean only and oversoft microfibre skirts, and my unfounded sale-belief nearly weakened. The forecast was not looking favourable.

And then, I found it. It was basically a short tunic with a v-neck and a short slit on either side at the hip. It was made of heavy, rough-woven linen. It came in both black, which is just about the only colour I wear, and a cranberry-ish red. I thought: Wouldn't it be wild if I didn't buy the black one? Since I had not yet been beaten down by the racks, I was feeling fairly nervy. I grabbed the red one, tried it on, and bought it.

That's right. I bought the red one.

And you people thought I led a life filled with danger and excitement.

I don't much go in for the frou-frou-feeling-pretty vibe, but something about this shirt did just that to me, and when I went out last night, a few people complimented me on my looks. Take that, you hormone-induced and pestilent Self-loathing, you. Also, a beery Irishman with an indecipherably thick accent kept trying to hold my hand until my insistence that I was a happily and monogamously married woman finally stuck. It's not as though I need to have someone hit on me to feel self-confident, but it can help me feel a little less personally disgusting on the right kind of day.

Today, I am happy to report, I am back to my more normal levels of self-confidence and kitten-farting.

Okay, so, to be honest, I am not noted for my abundant kitten-farting, but I do pop one out now and again.

"Shirt" by Carl Sandburg

Read The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg: Revised and Expanded Edition