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Lyrics and Life

By Caitlin Ward

01/24/2018

Live Forever
Oasis

Maybe I don’t really wanna know
How your garden grows cos I just want to fly
Lately, did you ever feel the pain?
In the morning rain as it soaks you to the bone

Maybe I just want to fly I want to live I don’t want to die
Maybe I just want to breathe maybe I just don’t believe
Maybe you’re the same as me we see things they’ll never see you and I
were gonna live forever

I said maybe I don’t really wanna know
How your garden grows cos I just want to fly
Lately, did you ever feel the pain?
In the morning rain as it soaks you to the bone

Maybe I will never be all the things that I want to be
But now is not the time to cry now’s the time to find out why
I think you’re the same as me we see things they’ll never see you and I
We’re gonna live forever

Maybe I don’t really wanna know
How your garden grows cos I just want to fly
Lately, did you ever feel the pain?
In the morning rain as it soaks you to the bone

Maybe I just want to fly I want to live I don’t want to die
Maybe I just want to breathe maybe I just don’t believe
Maybe you’re the same as me we see things they’ll never see you and I
You and I are gonna live forever
We’re gonna live forever

I’ve been listening to Oasis this week. They were a band who tended to push the envelope a bit. Not in their music so much as their behaviour; they were bullheaded, and certain members were not always kind to one another or to anyone else. The song alongside this column, though, “Live Forever,” was their breakout hit in England back in the early 1990s. It’s a sweet song believed to be about the Gallagher brothers’ mother Peggy.

I was told last week that I have a tendency to push the envelope. And I can see where the comment came from, but I’m not sure if it’s entirely true. It came about because this past Christmas, my office partnered with Saskatoon Pregnancy Options Centre to do a fundraising drive. We do one every Advent season. We get in touch with community-based organizations and ask them what they need. Sometimes they ask for straightforward things, such as when we collected dried lentils for the Saskatoon Open Door Society after the city had an influx of Syrian refugees. At other times, community partners need things that are harder to ask for, and as a result, not often donated. Last year, for example, we collected disposal pads and tampons for the Friendship Inn.

This year promised to be one of our less awkward years. Partnering with a crisis pregnancy centre, I thought, “People love babies. This should be fine.” I guessed we’d be collecting baby wipes or diapers or onesies. When SPOC got back to me about what their greatest needs were, though, I realized we’d be ranging into more uncomfortable territory. We’ve always been committed to giving our partners what they need, though, so it wasn’t something I was willing to shy away from. And so, on that first week of Advent, I found myself crafting a very carefully worded letter to the larger college community asking that they buy nipple cream and bring it to the main office.

As a childless person, I had no idea what it was at first, but two things quickly became apparent: first, this was an excellent thing to be collecting, and second, very few people wanted to buy it themselves. The enthusiastic emails I got back from mothers established the first, and the number of people who wanted to give me money instead of tubes of lanolin established the second. Most years, people simply show up with what we’ve asked for, and drop it off without much comment. This past year, I got multiple emails suggesting we collect money and make a wholesale purchase. The justification was that this is more cost-effective. Which, in fairness, it would be. But it had never been a concern before. Rather than agree or disagree, I sent out a few more emails reminding people this was going on, and if my office’s 26-year-old childless male assistant could buy nipple cream, you probably could, too.

Our student government contributed a substantial chunk of money to the donations drive, so I found myself going to just about every pharmacy on the east side of Saskatoon. Let me tell you, buying one tube of nipple cream may feel awkward, but it’s really nothing compared to picking up seven and asking the pharmacist if they have more in stock in the back. By the time I got to the third pharmacy, I’d run right past uncomfortable and was happily basking in the hilarity of the situation as I watched Shopper’s Drug Mart employees’ eyes widen at my request. I developed a special affection for the Medicine Shoppe on 8th Street, who didn’t have any in stock, but whose pharmacist kindly offered to write me a prescription if I was desperate. I told her it wasn’t necessary.

After all that, though, on Dec. 22 we had 43 tubes of nipple cream to give to SPOC. On one level, I was cognizant of how uncomfortable this seemed to be for many people, and didn’t want to make them feel too awkward, but on another level, after a certain point I wasn’t sure this discomfort was reasonable, and stopped acknowledging it. The fact of the matter was that we were collecting donations for an organization that was in the business of supporting women and caring for babies. To me, that was more important than anyone’s personal discomfort at having to acknowledge that nipples exist.

I’m sure that’s why it’s been suggested that I am an envelope-pusher, but I’m not sure the label is entirely accurate. To my mind, someone who pushes the envelope is one who is trying to make a point, and I don’t think I was. To be honest, I was rather surprised by just how difficult this particular donations drive seemed to be for some people; I thought the clear and present need would outweigh the feelings of discomfort. Perhaps that was willfully naive of me, and a little bullheaded — and perhaps in that way, I was trying to make a point.

Ward is a Saskatoon-based freelance writer who spends her days (and most nights) working at a small Catholic college. Her less eloquent thoughts can be found at www.twitter.com/newsetofstrings