January 31, 2010
LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): If you really want something, figure out how to frame the question before you ask. Try to indulge your social urges a little more today -- if that’s possible! You may meet someone new who sets you in a new direction or rediscover an old flame who’s dying to see you again.
Family brunch at Mom & Dad’s. Of course, Mom doesn’t get the fact that “brunch” allows you to sleep in. (“What do you need to sleep in for?” she shot back when I complained about the 8:30 start time. “You’ve got all this time on your hands now. Best thing for you is to be out of your apartment pronto and doing things. In fact, Dr. Phil says—”)
Lucy and Carl(a) were no-shows. Mom had made the mistake of saying she’d gone to The Bay and bought each of us a pair of those cute red Canada Olympic mitts. At the mention of the Olympics, they were compelled to boycott brunch. Mom was terribly upset, but I tried to explain that’s how their brains were wired. They needed their daily protest in order to find purpose.
Apparently, Estelle and Curtis showed up half an hour early. (“For the first time ever, Sven and Gretel were ready in a snap. Once everyone’s zipped, snapped and bundled, you just go.”) Made my twenty-minute late entrance more glaring. Mom tried to guilt me—“The waffles are hardening in all the wrong places”—but Marella’s stumbling in at 9:15 diverted all the etiquette lecturing and the more generalized “you-just-don’t-love-me” diatribe. One minute after her arrival, Marella stormed out to the back deck, Mom yelling “You lawyers…” to her back.
I decided to join Marella. We hadn’t talked much since New Year’s. She was always working. Well, not always, apparently. Lighting up a cigarette—“You’re smoking again?!” “Shut up!”—she confessed, “I only got home an hour ago. Had an intense fuck with a guy I met at Rosie’s last night. Monty. Or Marty. Maybe it was Dwayne. Anyway, you gotta try it. The energy at that pub was pretty somber, but then when the Canucks came back in the third, every guy in the place was eager to celebrate. I had my pick. You should come with me next time.”
The thought of selecting a one-nighter alongside my sister was too far removed from The Waltons for me. “See you inside,” I said, escaping one awkward moment for another. Mom was unbuttoning and rebuttoning Dad’s shirt in the kitchen in front of the rest of us. “Honestly, you’re sixty-three and you don’t know how to button a shirt. Where was your mind? You can’t go getting Alzheimer’s. We turfed those aluminum pots years ago.” Dad just stood there looking no different than three-year-old Gretel, getting (s)mothered. Sometimes I hate Mom for how she treats him; other times, like that moment, I hate him for allowing it.
When we all settled for brunch, after another five-minute delay for Curtis to change Sven’s loaded diaper—How is it that Curtis is that perfect a daddy? Estelle’s got him whipped more than Mom has Dad.—Mom enjoyed two mouthfuls of her quiche before spilling the big news that quite possibly was the excuse for the entire get-together. “Guess who’s getting a divorce?” she beamed. None of us had the time to process her gleeful grin, much less guess. “Harvey Burns! Isn’t that wonderful, Laura?”
Harvey. My boyfriend from UBC and two years beyond. “The one that got away,” as Mom regularly referred to him. Nothing I ever said could taint that status. A successful banker with a condo overlooking English Bay and a Mercedes, he was great on paper, but a bore who couldn’t contribute to any conversation that drifted too far from a connection to The Wall Street Journal, “The Rachael Ray Show” or mountain biking. Yes, that’s right. Rachael Ray.
“Mavis Benson ran into Harvey’s mother—you remember Doris, don’t you, Laura?”
“Oh, of course you do. What am I saying? She was practically your mother-in-law. Well, it turns out that Harvey’s wife put on eighty pounds after the wedding and started blowing all Harvey’s money gambling at The River Rock and everything went bust.”
“After only two years. I say it just shows he’s still in love with you, Laura. And how could he not be?”
She continued to rattle on, even as Gretel threw waffle bits at Mom. (No doubt, poor Gretel’s way of saying Make it stop.) I had to take a stand and get Mom to butt out. I had no choice but to say, “Marella’s started smoking again!”
I have a grapefruit-sized bruise on my right arm, thanks to Marella’s horrified reaction, but it was worth it. Can’t have my big sis getting lung cancer, can I?
KEN’S JOURNAL (via Blackberry):
WHAT A GAME LAST NIGHT! ALL WEEK I’D BEEN SENDING SNARKY EMAILS TO FRIENDS IN TORONTO, LETTING THEM KNOW THE LEAFS WERE GOING DOWN. AND THEN LUONGO DIDN’T SHOW UP FOR THE FIRST PERIOD. STILL ON PACIFIC TIME? GOD, THOSE SEDINS AND BURR ARE AMAZING! HOW RIGHTEOUS TO HAVE BURROWS RULE THE NIGHT IN CBC CENTRALE! JUST WISH RON MacLEAN HADN’T BEEN FARMED OUT TO STRATFORD. NEEDED TO SEE HIM EAT SOME HUMBLE PIE.
MARTY & I WENT TO ROSIE’S ON ROBSON FOR THE GAME. GREAT ATMOSPHERE. MARTY, OF COURSE, ONLY STUCK AROUND FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER THE GAME. HOOKED UP W/SOME LAWYER, OLDER THAN HIS NORMAL CONQUEST. THERE’LL BE A STORY THERE. SHE WAS DRESSED TO SCORE IN A LOW-CUT THING THAT MADE IT LOOK LIKE HER BREASTS WLD POP OUT ANY SECOND. CAN’T IMAGINE THE RIDE HOME!
ME, I STUCK AROUND FOR SOME OF THE OILERS-FLAMES. GOT A SENSE THAT THERE WERE WOMEN LINGERING…AND NOT FOR ANOTHER DOSE OF HOCKEY. WHAT’S WRONG W/ME? WHY CAN’T I JUST BANG SOMEONE? SAD THING IS, I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG W/ME. I’D BE THINKING ABOUT CLARA THE WHOLE TIME.
THINK I NEED TO SEE ABOUT GETTING 2 SESSIONS A WEEK W/THE THERAPIST.