Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset... so what's the penalty for trespassing?

Forgive me Father for I have has been almost two weeks since my last (narsbar) confession.


That's the year my parents came to Canada with my brother, sister, grandfather and uncle after surviving the Holocaust. Their first home was in downtown Toronto, off Harbord on a street called Crawford.

Last night around 5:45 p.m. Steve came upstairs to ask what I would like to do for dinner. It was a beautiful Summers eve and I couldn't imagine sitting around the house and G-d forbid cooking. Before you call child services for not feeding the "custodial family", FO was working late at the golf course while YO and MO were going to a birthday celebration.

Each year Toronto hosts Summerlicious. An event that showcases some of the best restaurants in the city while introducing a Prix Fixe menu which includes an appetizer, main course and dessert for a very reduced price per person. You need to make reservations weeks in advance for this occasion - specifically if you want a table on a Saturday night before my bedtime.

It's now 5:52 p.m. and Steve suggested he look into booking a restaurant for 7:30 p.m.- tonight.

Are you kidding me? A Saturday night during Summerlicious and he thinks he is going to secure a coveted 7:30 p.m. reservation? Let me remind you once again - the time was 5:52 p.m. I smugly laughed while blow drying my sopping wet hair and informed him that he would be calling at least twenty restaurants before he realized that his quest to accomplish the impossible was virtually a dream.

Good luck with that Steve.... Good luck.

He dialed. It's ringing, ringing, ringing...and finally...

" 93 Harbord" a woman answers.

" Hello I'm wondering if there is a possibility of getting a reservation for tonight " says the optimistic dreamer.

There is a lull and background conversation ensues.

This is the part that I pictured all the staff laughing at my husband who thinks that he can call for a last minute deal for Summerlicious.

"Yes, we can accommodate a party of two at 6:30 p.m." They responded.

I'm still blowing. It's 5:59 p.m. now.

Steve starts negotiating.

"Um, we live up north and we have a ways to drive..any chance (in hell) we can push that to 7 p.m.?" He asks once again dreamily.

Up north? The hostess was probably thinking we were in Barrie or Newmarket. Who needs an hour to drive downtown from Thornhill?

Well I do. Why? Because I just removed my Turbie Twist from my head and I can't complete my hairstyle in 5 minutes to "trot downtown" for dinner.

More background conversation is taking place. I still think they are laughing while I continue blowing.

Just as a side note here's my routine. With the exception of those of you (who I envy) with short straight non-frizzable locks I'm sure you can relate.

  • proceed to the washroom area
  • undress
  • shave my legs when I can remember to (fancy style with good old red Gillette foam)
  • enter the shower stall sporting globs of leftover shaving cream here and there
  • wet my hair
  • shampoo once
  • rinse
  • repeat
  • place a half a bottle of my new conditioner into my hair
  • shmoosh it around
  • try to pile it atop of my head only to let it fall when I bend over to put the bottle back down on the ground
  • groom the pits
  • wash the tits
  • clean the location where there's possible shits
Now.... When all this is said and done I stand with my conditioner absorbing into my brain for another 5 minutes observing all the places where DCL (Denise Cleaning Lady) could have done a better job and then....
  • rinse out conditioner
  • exit from the shower stall
  • towel dry off
  • Aveeno head to toe
  • deodorize
  • moisturize
  • proceed to makeup table
  • lay out the heavy duty tools

Foundation ,concealer, blush, eye shadow quad, mascara, lip-liner, lipstick, gloss, loose powder and more brushes than Michelangelo used to paint the Sistine chapel with.

(Did you actually think I was a natural beauty)? Well maybe 30 years ago I could get away without mascara but now I just don't feel it necessary to SCARA anyone.

10 minutes. That's what it takes for me to put my "socially acceptable" face on.

Once this procedure is completed I untwist my Turbie and TRY to run a wide tooth comb through my hair. I then place three times the amount of recommended styling cream into my strands and comb through again. I'm now ready to dry each section of hair with one of the various brushes I have for styling.

Can anyone say "high maintenance"?

Oh, and by the way - I wasn't even at the curling iron stage yet when Steve exclaimed with much glee that he only had to call ONE restaurant to get a table. ONE. Hardy har har.

Only issue with this score was this.....I was still at the very damp hair stage, with 80% chance of frizz due to the high humidity levels. That's not considered dangerous for most but for me it can make or break my mood as a dining companion.

My darling husband has not taken a shower yet and we need to leave within the next 12 minutes in order to get down to the restaurant in time. Sound familiar? Steve now enters the shower at 6:01 p.m. - he exits the shower at 6:04 p.m. and is dressed by 6:04 p.m. and thirty seconds. I'm now sweating like a pig who is about to become someone's breakfast. I have a foot in one shoe, a strapless dress hovering around my waist and my hair is half damp and starting to expand beyond the horizon. Needless to say - I felt both flushed and rushed. I took my curling iron through my hair while observing the smoke and flames ignite my anti-frizz cream that was coating my hair for protection.

Leaning towards a "Phil Spector look" I decided not to further fuss with my head ensuring the probability of creating more of a natural disaster...and so I just surrendered......I never leave my hair unattended but had no choice......we needed to be in our vehicle on time tonight. As you know....when Steve is in a hurry to get somewhere we have issues. He leaves the house and is now waiting in the car for me while I quickly throw my this and that's into a smaller evening purse. As I approach the car I notice that he's doing that finger tapping thing....he rolls down his window and says "just scoot around, the ground is dry and you won't sink with your shoes". You see, Steve parks to the top left of the driveway....partially on the grass that used to be there. It is now mud because of the consistent tire tracking. He usually pulls the car out for me to get in so I don't end up in quicksand and disappear into the ground.

I gingerly walk over the dry mud with my goldish color shoes and hurl myself head first into the car....or should I say "frizz" first. We are cleared for take-off and it is now 6:17 p.m.

Steve creates the flight path in his mind (but is talking out loud) while I am busily checking my Facebook updates. I have come up with the perfect plan to avoid backseat driving while my husband veers in and out of traffic narrowly missing street poles, on-coming traffic and families with children and/or pets. I verily believe that keeping my mind occupied by texting, searching and reading emails ensures a zen-like calmness to my well-being and alleviates the usual high pitched screams that normally come out of my mouth while watching my life pass before my eyes. What's wrong with that? Well....for one....Steve feels lonely when I don't pay attention to him. What is it about men? Do they always feel that they need to be on stage performing? He mentions that I am addicted to that "thing" and I should put it away so he has companionship in the car on our drive. To appease him I place my device into its black leather holster and start talking.

"So what's new"? I ask. The conversation is now heading towards the route and the marked locations in Steve's head by timing. "We should be at Sheppard in about 13 minutes", said Captain Steve.

I was really itching to take my blackberry out but restrained myself. Converse with your husband. Converse.

Have you ever tried to talk to someone while they are trying to fly their vehicle instead of driving it? As we nearly missed a blue BMW who was trying to make a lane change I decide that the conversation was over.

I assumed the brace position while plugging my nose with my thumbs for fear of brain matter escaping through my nostrils.

We arrived on University Avenue at approximately 6:45 p.m. Steve informed me that we were "just around the corner" from Harbord Street. He just needed to go south to go north and loop around Queen's Park to get over to the street where my meal was waiting for me to order. Going south to go north was not so easy. There was a "function" at Queen's Park. As we slowly worked our way up University it was evident that the going south to go north was not such a good idea when there were hundreds of people trying to get to Afrofest.

As we drove up to the area of the event Steve became distracted by the sound of thumping music..........he slowed down near the park and rolled down the window to see if he could hear it.....HE ROLLED THE WINDOW you know what that means? HIGH HUMIDITY was now seeping into the car. High Humidity + Partially Frizzed Hair + A WIFE THAT HAS JUST EXPERIENCED THE INDY 500 from inside our vehicle = A Shrill of a Lifetime.

Miracously, Captain Steve landed in front of the restaurant at 6:55 p.m. He dropped me off and I ran inside to get our table. After a very sumputious dinner of middle eastern/ morrocanish food, I sent my mother a "goodnight I love you email". I mentioned that we were on Harbord Street to which she replied....if you happen to be near 602 Crawford see if our first house is still there.

We ventured over after google mapping the street. There before us stood the house. An old red brick semi with an unkempt garden and wooden stairs. The house went for $8,000 in 1948. Once I jumped out of the car to capture a photo to send my mother, brother and sister I felt the need to travel north to the house where I was conceived in error. Steve took the drive with ease as there was no rush.

When we arrived I stood in front of my birth home. It brought back a flood of memories. From the song that my mother sang when she first brought me home to the raspberry bushes in the backyard that I picked during my Summers there as a child. I saw the driveway that I made my friend skip on endlessly until she pee'd in her pants because I told her we didn't have washroom facilities in our home. To the day when I walked to Kindergarten by myself and got lost on the way home (due to the fact I kept looking down at my orange suede shoes and not paying attention to my whereabouts). To the playground at Cedarvale Public School where I got hit in the head with a swing because I turned to look at someone in the playground while pushing my friend higher and higher. To the bitch teacher who gave me a lousy report card because I talked to much in class (has that changed? no.) To the days where I went to the corner store for a shitload of candy that cost a mere 25 cents. To Hashmalls Pharmacy and China House Restaurant. To all the memories that my house held. Now a burgundy pick-up truck sat in the driveway. Small white flowers adorned the bay window that beyond held a living room where we took a mulitude of family photos. There was a red restaurant style booth that we ate our meals at in the kitchen. A frightening set of stairs that led to the basement. To the woman who used to snoop the neighbourhood from her porch across the street. And then there were the farts. When I was in my room in the Summer (windows open) and my mom used to put me to bed when the sun hadn't set yet I would send a loving bouquet out the window and across the street to Mr. Wilson's house just to say "Hey....I'm trapped here....lemme out". Kinda like a "smoke signal".  It never one rescued me.

Ah...the fond memories....for the first nine years of my life. I loved that house parents built a new home and I never wanted to go back. So many more memories in the home that now remains my mother's abode. I will save that for another time.... but for now I felt blessed to revisit a bit of family history .....without getting arrested for trespassing.


  1. Excellent work, as always.

  2. what's your real name? I wonder if my mom knows you. Her father was Hashmall.

  3. Correction, that Hashmall was her uncle.