At Home

Brando boners and Hungarian pancakes

I worry that 2013 will mark the year that the Beast and I morph into some crazy Grey Gardens-like couple, who hoard stuff and forget how to communicate with the outside world. We’ve both exhibited an unhealthy obsession with material things–of the fashionable sort–as of late. I’m only now becoming acutely aware of it.


On a recent Sunday night, we had 15 minutes to kill before visiting my new nephew Ben so we decided to pop into The Bay at Queen and Yonge. We got separated in the store, where everything was 40 per cent off the last sale price, and were forced to rendezvous out front. In that 15 minutes, the Beast bought a green and white striped Polo shirt and I bought three pairs of shoes. We showed each other are wares like we were common criminals. “Whatchoo get?”

When we get home from work these days, we congregate in the kitchen and the Beast makes me a cocktail out of all the old, stale liquor we can find in the house. (For example, I have had Amaretto Sours for the last four nights.) He turns on old jazz, I get into my new pajamas (bought online at Land’s End, along with two pairs of pants–all 30 per cent off and free shipping). And together, we will prepare dinner.


It’s like we’re two eccentric old dames in the twilight of our lives, never listening to a word the other is saying.

Foodie: I went back to The Bay today and bought two more pairs of shoes! I couldn’t help it! They’re now 50 per cent off the last ticketed price!

Beast: I went into Brooks Brothers today and bought that cardigan I was obsessed with. It’s a bit bright but I really do love it. Do you think it’s the right size?


Foodie: I figured I HAD to get a second pair of Ancient Greek Sandals because first, I’ve been lusting after them since I read about them in the New York Times magazine like last year. Second, because Holt’s totally sells them and they’re like $250 there. Third, they’re hand-made. And fourth, I fucking love ancient Greek civilizations! And these sandals are modelled after actual ancient sandals as they appear on statuary! So what was I supposed to do? Look at the details!

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Beast: I’m not so hot on Brooks Brothers anymore because I was in Winners looking for Polo socks and I saw Brooks Brothers shirts in there. That sort of turned me off–that they’re selling their stuff in Winners.

Foodie: When I bought the shoes, I actually reasoned that I was doing something nice for my mom because she just loves boxes, especially shoe boxes. So I can totally give her these five boxes. She will just love them. Plus, a girl can never have too many pairs of flats. You know what I mean? Hahaha!

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Beast: I mean, I know Winners sells Polo stuff but that’s different. Did you see the three pairs of Polo socks I bought?

Foodie: If I totalled up the pre-sale prices of these five pairs of shoes, it would be huge. I mean, I’m guessing I saved–in total–about 70 per cent. As a consumer, that’s just remarkable. Actually, I might keep one of the boxes. They’re pretty nice boxes. What could I use one of those boxes for?

If I’m not talking about shoe boxes, I’m talking about–and lusting after–Marlon Brando. Not Brando circa The Island of Dr. Moreau. I’m talking about the Brando you see in On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire. I mean, I’m not the first to say this but my god. What is it? Dude is like a magnet! And my loins are like a thing that get stuck to magnets.


Since our HD TV antenna hasn’t been working, we’ve been on an old movie kick: Those Brando movies, plus Dr. Zhivago, The Godfather, 12 Angry Men and Raging Bull. The night we watched On the Waterfront, we had take-out for dinner: Hungarian pancakes from Cafe Polonez. (It truly is the perfect winter meal: a potato pancake bigger than my face stuffed with tender pork goulash and served with cooked carrots, coleslaw and grated beets and a side of sour cream, which we ate before I remembered to photograph them.)


Before dinner, we’d just had another visit with the nephew, his parents and my mom–a first-time grandmother. While I picked up some wine and then our order from the Roncesvalles Ave. Polish restaurant, the Beast took my mom to the train station so she could get home to London, Ont. But the train was delayed on account of Idle No More. So the Beast waited with her at the station for an hour or so. The next day my mom called to tell me that a woman had seen the two of them sitting together at the train station, laughing and talking about god only knows what. And then she saw the Beast helping my mom to the train. The woman commented on how polite and sweet the Beast was, and how they just don’t make young men like that anymore.

No, no they don’t.


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