It’s official: the Beast doesn’t work on Sundays any longer. That means that we get to spend the entire weekend together.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that the prospect this quality time is not something that I’m necessarily looking forward to. You’ll also know why: Sundays are my day. It’s the day where I go for a long morning run and then read the paper in my underwears and drink coffee and grocery shop and cook and clean and do laundry and paint my nails and don’t actually talk to anybody and then the Beast gets home at 8pm and we’ll have a lovely dinner together. Sundays are my favourite day of the week.
And now I get to share them. With him. This is bringing out the worst in me. I’ve been very mean–reminding the Beast in an extremely sassy tone that Sunday with me will be a chore day, not a relax day where he gets to make music and messes. It’ll be a day where he has to go from room to room collecting CDs and books and records and putting them back in their rightful spots. It’ll be a day where he puts away all his instruments into the instrument room. THAT’S WHY I GAVE HIM A WHOLE ROOM. SO HE COULD KEEP HIS SHIT CONTAINED. It’ll be the day where I remove the little craft projects he’s left all over MY desk–the tiny little desk that I compulsively keep clean in case I want to make art or write, which is never but if I do, then I’ll have a clean desk on which to do it–and I’ll passive aggressively move the project to HIS ROOM THAT ALSO HAS A DESK. Yes, I’m resentful. I’m brimming with the stuff. I resent that on his days off he just gets to be creative and that on my days off I have to be an adult.
And through all my meanness, the Beast, surprisingly, just grins and bears it. He even tries to convince me that Sundays will be “fun”.
This most recent Sunday was the first real test. The morning was okay. We read the paper and drank coffee and then I went for a little run. When I got home I began to prepare our picnic lunch (after taking a stroll through High Park the day before to see the cherry blossoms, we’d decided to return on Sunday with a picnic.)
Beast: Do you need any help?
Foodie: Actually, yes. You can–
Beast: Wait, let me pick out a CD to play first. Where did all my CDs go?
Foodie: I put them away.
Beast: That’s okay, I’ll go get one.
Foodie: Why don’t you just help me peel these eggs for the egg salad and we’ll listen to the CBC. That’s what I normally do in the kitchen on Sundays.
Beast: Where’s the Wonder bread for these sandwiches?
Foodie: I didn’t get any. I bought a loaf of that Thuet 12 grain sourdough bread though. You like that one.
Beast: Where’s your iPhone?
Beast: I need to text you something: that I’m not going on this fucking picnic any more.
By the time I’d finished making egg salad and fruit salad, we were both too hungry to wait to get to the park, so we decided to go eat on our sunny deck.
Foodie: Ah! This is nice, isn’t it?
Beast: Wait, I’ll go put on some music.
Foodie: The quiet is so pleasant though, don’t you think?
Beast: Don’t worry, it’ll just take a second.
Foodie: Oh, some jazz. What a nice choice.
Foodie: This is egg salad is extremely good, don’t you think? And we made it together.
Beast: That’s why it tastes so good. Because we did it together. Think of all the things we can do on Sundays!
Beast: Like, what are we going to do with the rest of the day?
Foodie: Well, I don’t normally plan things out with any exacting detail–I just try to get as much done as I can. We’ve got two loads of laundry to do but we don’t have detergent–
Beast: I’ll help with that.
Beast: Want to go for a walk and return the movies and get tooth paste and detergent from Shopper’s?
Foodie: (Pause) Okay.
So far so good.
Beast: This is like a passaggiato isn’t it.
Foodie: Passaggiata. And yes, it is. And how do you know that word?
Beast: You taught me when we were in Italy. (Pause.) You do so much for me, you know that? You’re like a mother to me. You’re like the best roommate ever.
Foodie (pretending to fall down on the sidewalk.)
Beast: What are you doing?!?
Foodie: I’m fake fainting, what does it look like?
Foodie: YOU JUST TOLD ME I WAS LIKE A MOTHER TO YOU.
Beast: I thought it was funny. Hey, have you come around on this jacket yet? (His “Italian” jacket that he bought from “Mike” on “Dundas St.”
Foodie: No, not at all.
Beast: Why not? I can’t believe you don’t like it!
Foodie: First of all, feel it. It feels like shit. Second of all, it’s too big for you. Third, you’re wearing it with sneakers and shorts and you look like that guy from ACDC.
Beast: The guy that wears the kids’ clothes?
Beast: That guy looks like an idiot.
Beast: Anyway, I love it. And we don’t have to love everything that the other wears. I hate it when you straighten your hair.
Foodie: I like it.
After running our errands, we popped into Queen Street West Antiques–a warehouse filled with some pretty spectacular furniture that showcases 1950s and 60s design. They also, occasionally, sell musical instruments.
Beast: Look! A sousaphone! Go ask how much it is.
Foodie: (laughing like a maniac) Not on your life kid. No way. Nope. Never. What the fuck would you do with that thing?
Beast: Ah, start a marching band?
Foodie (laughing like a maniac) Where would you put it? You can’t. It’s impossible.
Beast: Please just ask how much it is?
The Beast finally asked. It was $195 and it didn’t come with a mouth piece, thank God, so he couldn’t test it. We walked out empty-handed, but not for long. The Beast stopped at a store with some milk crates filled with records out front while I popped into another to try on a dress that made me look like a box. When I came back outside, the Beast was gone. I walked across the street to our coffee destination point, sat down on the bench out front, and waited. The Beast bolted from a convenience store and headed back to the shop, giving me a gesture of, “just wait.” Then he crossed the street to join me on the bench and put this in my lap.
Beast: Promise not to get mad at me.
Foodie: How much?
Beast: $160 but it’s from the 1910s and it’s gorgeous and do you know how rare metal clarinets are? Here–look at the inscription. Are you mad?
Foodie: It’s your money.
Beast: You’re mad.
Foodie: I’m not your mother or your accountant. What you buy is up to you. I just think it’s funny that I let you out of my sight for two seconds and you go and buy a fucking musical instrument. You’re nuts.
Beast: I know, but do you know how hard it is for me to control myself? Do you know how much I want to buy but I don’t? (Pause) Are you having a nice Sunday so far?
Foodie: We haven’t even started laundry or picked up the steak, rapini and potatoes for dinner and it’s almost 3 in the afternoon.
Beast: Want to go see that Bill Cunningham documentary tonight?
Foodie: Well, you know I like staying in on Sunday nights.
Beast: We can go to a 6-ish viewing and still have a nice Sunday night dinner. And I’ll help with laundry when we get home.
Foodie: Let me think about it.
Beast: Blah blah blah and something else about a trumpet or a reed or something and more talking and blah blah.
Foodie: You know, we don’t have to talk the entire time we’re together. We can just walk.
Beast: Oh I get it. Fine. You want silence? Oh you’re going to get silence. WATCH THIS.
Beast: I HATE SILENCE! You’re sick of me, aren’t you.
Foodie: No, I’m not sick of you. I’m just really, really tired and we talked all day yesterday and this morning and this afternoon and if we keep talking now we’ll have nothing left to talk about later.
Beast: I would never run out of things to talk about.
Foodie: I don’t doubt that.
We managed to pick up dinner groceries, do the laundry, see the documentary and get home by 8:00pm. The only thing we didn’t manage to do was get to an LCBO in time. So I made do with what we had on hand and made aperitivos with Aperol, a dash of bitters and a splash of white wine.
While I blanched the rapini and then sautéed it in olive oil with garlic and red chillies, the Beast roasted the little white potatoes and grilled the absurdly large T-bone steak we purchased from Rowe Farms.
Together, we managed to get dinner on the table in about 25 minutes.
It was a perfect meal.
Afterwards, we curled up on the couch and started watching Treme. I made it through one episode before drifting off to sleep. But in my sleepy haze, I heard the Beast folding laundry and doing the dishes. I felt guilty for not getting up and helping him. And I felt sad for being so mean and grumpy lately. The only reason one of my snarky comments never turned into a big fight was because the Beast battled them all with humour so instead of yelling there was just laughing. In my slumber, I did manage to squeeze out a thank you though.
Foodie: I can’t believe all the work you’ve done while I just slept. Thank you so much. I’m sorry for being so tired lately.
Beast: I know how it feels–I worked 32 and a half hours last week.
Foodie: I’m too tired to laugh but that was funny.
Beast: I can’t believe how sore my hands are from doing the dishes. I don’t know if I’ll be able to play any of my instruments. And don’t get used to this: I’m taking the rest of the summer off from chores.
Egg Salad Sandwiches: Foodie **1/2 Beast **
Steak Dinner: Foodie *** Beast ***