May Two Four Annis

One year ago today I moved to Sackville. It seems longer. It seems like yesterday. What a crazy year! I feel like I’ve spent too much time away, not enough time here. It’s because I went to the Maritime Writers’ Workshop last summer. It’s because Grammie died. It’s because I started giving workshops at the Access Centre and took workshops at every opportunity. It’s because I went to things like tastings and readings and launches and art openings all over the province. It’s because Stacy got married and I was maid of honour. It’s because we went to Toronto. It’s because I had to go to meetings.

It wasn’t my imagination, I really did a lot of running around this past year. But I’m tired of it. I want to slow down. There’s so much happening right here that I’ve yet to experience. Plus I can’t afford to go galavanting all over the province anymore. I’m tapped beyond tapping. I need to slow down. People will have to come to me from now on. I’m not venturing forth unless it can’t be avoided.

The Keenans sent me a lovely e-card to celebrate the occasion. Of course, they remember the date, as they are the ones who helped me move. Jason assembled all my furniture. Jenn ended up having to drive the Sturgeon’s van because the brake line snapped or something when we were in Amherst doing the last minute necessity shopping (cleaning supplies, towels, face cloths, mop, broom, batteries, extension cords, etc.) so Jason drove their car home. We had take-out Wendy’s picnic on the floor for lunch. I nearly went insane cleaning for the next week, trying to make the place feel like my own.

Remembering another anniversary today too. Might not have been the 21st of May (I think 22nd for some reason, because things ALWAYS happen to me on the 22nd) but it was May 2-4 weekend, 1994 maybe? Whatever year I moved from Toronto to Moncton. I was visiting at my parents for the long weekend. It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and we were sitting around the picnic table doing the family bbq thing I think. I had a few beer that afternoon. Sherry and I decided to go for a walk to the store, get some ice cream before supper.

He drove by us a couple of times and then stopped, offered us a ride. He was drunk, had his sons with him, it was his weekend. We said no, we wanted to walk. I don’t even know how it happened. We were just talking and joking, hadn’t seen me in a long time of course because I had been in Toronto. He was teasing his oldest boy, who was maybe 15 at the time, teasing him about them taking me and Sherry out on a double date, making the boy blush. It was funny. Fun. We were all laughing. And somehow he said something about me and him going out later and I said sure, but I thought we were still joking around. I didn’t take it serious. I forgot all about it as soon as they drove away. And we went on to the store and got our ice cream and walked home and continued to sit outside, listening to music and drinking beer and likely vodka and 7. Other people came–uncles, neighbours, friends. It was one of those impromptu backyard sort of parties that used to happen when people would just stop in because they saw you outside.

And along about 6:30 or so the phone rang and it was him, calling to confirm our date, to see when he could come pick me up. I felt terrible. Because I hadn’t taken him seriously at all. And here I was, a little drunk on a Sunday evening and so not wanting to do this, but I felt bad for him. I felt sorry for him because his wife had left and he’d been serious when I hadn’t and his boys were right there in the room with him when he called . . . so I said sure. I didn’t see the harm in spending one evening hanging out with him . . . hah! But what can I say, that’s what I thought. My intentions were shallow, but good. One night stand, return to Moncton, hope the cutie patootie band boy from the stock room at work asked me out. And that’s how I felt at the end of our first date, all the next week in Moncton, and the following weekend when I arrived again at my parents because Stacy was home from TO for a visit.

But there he was, calling and dropping into my house, and just following me around in general . . . and he’d bought me a gift, a pin he thought I might like . . . and he just wasn’t taking no as my final answer.

And the cutie patootie band boy from the stock room never asked me out, but the married boss was taking me on business lunches where no business was discussed and planning to take me on business trips to exotic islands where there would be nothing fitting my job description on the agenda and soliciting my counsel on all matters of business regardless of whether it was my area of expertise or not in an entirely inappropriate manner. And I had this guy, this last guy I’d sort of had an affair with, who was calling me all the time and wanting to come visit and wanting me to meet him in Vegas for a vacation with his family i.e. parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. and behaving very creepily on the phone, to the point where Sherry lied and told him I had taken off and nobody knew where I’d gone. They suspected Halifax, but couldn’t be sure. He bought that because he hadn’t known me very long and I had just (to his way of thinking) fled Toronto on a whim.

Strange times. Long boring story.

Anyway, before I become totally lost in nostalgia, a funny thing happened. I was reading on someone’s blog I think about this movie from 1960 called The Apartment starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. This was yesterday morning I read about this movie I had never heard about before and the guy said to rent it and I made a mental note to look for it and add it to my Zip List . . . Then on CBC Late Night what movie are they showing last night? The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. It was odd, like I thought of it and there it was. That’s so funny when that happens. So of course, I can’t ignore the signs, obviously I’m supposed to watch the thing, there’s no other reason for this movie to suddenly turn up on my radar like that. It is a wonderful film. I love Jack Lemmon anyway and Shirley MacLaine too of course, though I’ve seen so little from when she was young and gorgeous, I tend to forget she wasn’t always the character she is now.

She’s got some great lines in this one. I think I was supposed to watch this just to hear her say, “Some people take, and some people get took.” And on this anniversary weekend especially, that seems important. Cuz that’s how it went down. I got took. Just like Shirley MacLaine. But Jack Lemmon’s around here someplace . . . I just know he is.

Mood: happy happy baby
Drinking: water, in a clear plastic container with LOVE written on it
Listening To: is that cello? violin? musicians in da house
Hair: my good father, you don’t want to know

2 thoughts on “May Two Four Annis

Add yours

  1. I’ve seen this movie a couple of times. Classic! And yes, Shirley MacLaine was a hottie…..her with those dancer legs.


  2. I figured if anyone would have, it would be you. I had really never heard about this one before. Or if I had, it never really registered. We don’t really see her legs a lot in this one, it’s her face that’s so shockingly pretty for me. I tend to forget how pretty she was. Love, love, love her! You should read her. She’s got some great books.


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