On a recent Saturday afternoon during an autumnal walk at the cottage:
Beast: Let’s talk about your birthday.
Foodie: Uh, okay. But it’s still a bit away.
Beast: I’ve already got you your present.
Foodie: This was my present! All I wanted to do was visit the cottage before it was closed for the winter.
Beast: Well, I got you something else. [Pause] It’s a House of Cards-endorsed rowing machine.
I took my mom to Costco in London, Ont. on Saturday. As we walked the aisles I saw her smiling at everyone she passed. This is typical behaviour. She’s a very amiable woman. But this time, something was different. It was as though she was attempting to will people to acknowledge her intense gaze, not so that she could share her enthusiasm over the contents of her shopping cart–“the shepherd’s pie is to die for!“–but so she could say, “Yes, yes this is Jess from The Social. And she is my daughter.”
Someone finally bought into it, and my mom couldn’t have been more thrilled. “I saw you looking at her,” she whispered to a lovely young woman who was picking up Thanksgiving provisions along with the rest of the city, “and I wanted to tell you it really is her. She’s my daughter, you know.” The woman smiled, told us about the Brie on sale in the next aisle, and was on her way.
I leave for Italy in 10 days. I will be away for just over two weeks. It will be, by far, the longest the Beast and I have ever been apart. He keeps joking that he’s going to move back in with Marg and Dave, his parents, to get him through the separation, so he won’t starve.
This will be my sixth trip to Italy. The first time was a 1992 high school trip with Becky, Julie and my mom, who came as a chaperon. It was one of those whirlwind rides through Venice, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome and Pompeii. I remember listening to Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints over and over again on my walkman on that tour bus.
My first boyfriend was perfect on paper. He was the quarterback of my high school’s rival (edgy!) He was an all-star point guard. He was the pitcher for the city’s baseball team. He was polite to my parents, when I sanctioned any sort of dialogue between the two. And he drove a motorcycle.
But he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, which I discovered on a date driving into the Big Metropolis of London, Ont. to see a movie. I can’t remember how we got on the topic of dinosaurs, but I do recall him turning to me and saying, “Yeah, but how do we know dinosaurs existed? Like, actually lived?”
After dinner on a recent Friday night at the cottage playing Trivial Pursuit, drunk:
Foodie: How does USSR appear on the Soviet flag?
Foodie: Nope. It’s CCCP.
Posted in At Home
Tagged cottage, Finding Forrester, grilled salmon, jumpsuit, Madame Bovary, Muskoka, Peter O'Toole, pork chops, strawberry shortcake, trivial pursuit, War of the Worlds
There have been times in the past when the messes in our house, from piles of books on the stairs to piles of clothes on the bed, have driven me mad. But lately, I’ve been a free spirit. I don’t care.
Except, that is, for one night last week after work. I got home before the Beast and the mess was all I could see.