|From Ice Storm 01-...|
|From Ice Storm 01-...|
The often cranky ramblings of a Southern expatriate living in Canada
|From Ice Storm 01-...|
|From Ice Storm 01-...|
It’s a clear night and downtown
I didn’t put any clothes or linens in the washing machine today. I didn’t sweep the floor, mop the bathroom, or wipe down the stove. I slept until noon and read a novel in the living room, then warmed up a pork roast in the oven for Marko to eat when he came home from school. I stirred some instant coffee into boiling water and ate a toasted bagel.
That’s what I did until Marko came home and my mother called. I talked with her on the phone. She says my brother is fine, but it’s hard to tell if you can’t see his face. She says Aunt Brenda is sick but won’t go to the doctor. And Grandmargaret is happy because it snowed on Tuesday, and she likes to see the flaky fairyland slough down through the air.
It snowed here on Tuesday too, but nothing stuck. Canadians are happy with their mild winter, except for the ones who work at ski resorts. Even though I’ve lived here for a year, I still like to see the snow just like my grandmother does. It’s still novel, magical to me. Maybe if I had to get up and go to work everyday like normal people, I wouldn’t like slushing through the snow. Maybe.
It’s January 11, 2007, and the good folks down at Immigration Canada are processing applications for permanent residency that they received on March 27, 2006. They received my application on April 9th, and I’m hoping that they’ll process my application by the end of February. After all, I am getting a little bit bored.
Whew. That was a whirlwind week-and-a-half. I’m very popular when I go home now, which contradicts all other social situations throughout my life.
My grandmother is sprightly as ever, thanks for asking. All the people I used to work with at the hospital are still completely messed up; thanks to Aunt Brenda for catching me up on the ER gossip. Cousin Wesley changed his major halfway through his first semester of college, and he broke his finger playing basketball for the college team, but he still makes excellent grades. Cousin Chandler is seriously naming his first child Chloe, bless its little heart. Dad’s office is moving out west, and it’s weird that he doesn’t work downtown for the first time in my life. Mom still works 16 hours per day, every day, but at least she works from home. My brother, revealing his secret tight-assed side, tells his children not to act like hooligans in public, which makes me laugh so hard that I choke. My best friend, always obsessing over her teeth, now gets paid to do so.
What else? I saw Running with Scissors, which if you don’t know, is a movie based on the memoirs of Augusten Burroughs, whose childhood will make you thank God yours was so easy. Very funny, but completely heartbreaking. Also saw The Departed, which is the best Scorcese movie I’ve seen in years. Seriously, it’s Shakespeare meets the Irish mob in
I got to satisfy all of my southern food cravings. I even had Krystals twice. I also got to try out a new Mexican restaurant called Abuelo’s, very good. What else? Wound up getting smashed on cheap boxed wine at Ash’s house while she cooked me and her friend, Michael, dinner. My flight home got cancelled and I ended up hanging out in the
Anyway, I sometimes really miss good ole K-town, but I like where I live now too. Plus, I really missed my husband, way more than I miss my hometown. Glad to be back, for real.
I feel compelled to do certain things when I’m home in
Sometime in the first couple of days I have to go to lunch with my dad downtown and discuss the newest books we are reading. On the weekend, I must go to the movies with my father and see some weird artsy flick that no one else will go to see with us; this time I’m thinking Running with Scissors or Little Miss Sunshine. At some other point, we have to eat breakfast at Shoney’s, because let’s face it, if you’re in K-town you’ve got to go to Shoney’s breakfast bar.
Another must-do involves some sort of fun activity with my niece and nephew to further solidify their belief that I am the coolest aunt ever. And let’s not forget their father. I have to get my drink on with my brother, either at Toddy’s or the Olde College Inn. My mother has to have something to worry about, right? I won’t talk about the time we got thrown out of that cheesey west end night club. It wasn’t our fault, I swear!
Further, I must not forget my bestest friend. I have to spend at least one night in Loudon smoking too many cigarettes, drinking too many Jack and Cokes, bitching about our lives, and possibly dancing to the Violent Femmes. God love her husband for letting us. Ok, I know I quit smoking, but I think I’m going to have to relapse. Maybe Ash and I can take in a show somewheres in the
Now, as for the food I cannot get up here in the frozen tundra. Krystals, yeah baby. Mom and I are definitely eating some Krystals. For those of you who don’t know, they’re tiny little square greaseburgers ala
Then, if I can find some time to myself, I’ve got to drive around town reminiscing about how it used to look. I’ll drive to Farragut the back way, down
That’ll just about do it. I might squeeze in a visit to Perkin’s if I’m feeling masochistic. Somewhere in the middle of all this I’ve got to help my mother do some “spring” cleaning and maybe paint her kitchen cabinets. Dude, I am so homesick.
I’m going home for a week and a half on November 1st. My husband decided I was homesick and just bought the ticket. Even though we have no money, even though he’ll miss me like crazy, he knows that I need to see my family. That’s just the kind of man he is.
I met my husband when I was going through a depressive breakdown, which is probably not the ideal time to begin a relationship. However, he kept me afloat. When I didn’t have the power to reach out to my old friends, to my family, he reached out and caught me. I think I healed myself a lot faster because of his support.
He may not be what my father wanted for me (southern atheist PhD with six-figure salary), but that's not the person I needed. He knows how to love me exactly the way I need to be loved. He accepts me completely. He couldn’t think of his life without me even when we’re screaming at each other. He’s smart, completely hilarious, handsome, principled, and sweet as pie.
Our life together has been difficult, but we can power through because we have each other. Life is easier when you have a partner, which is something I haven’t always believed. I take care of him, but he takes care of me too, which is something I’ve never had before. He really sees me, and no one else ever has. I am lucky to have him, and I know it.
See, I made a choice. Maybe I could’ve had all that career stuff. But that’s not what makes me a complete person. I chose the life I have now. My life’s not perfect, but it’s the one I want. Life is a struggle, and you fight the whole way through. I’m thankful I’ve got a sidekick who’s got my back.