Stratford Diaries: Part 5
I can’t believe it’s already Christmas. I mean, it feels like forever since I was home last year - sitting around, doing nothing and being miserable I wasn’t in Mexico with the boyfriend or in Toronto with my friends - but at the same time, I can’t believe it’s been another entire year.
So much has happened. Ups, downs, Mexico, Chicago, New York, a new roommate, new friends, meet-ups with old friends, rekindling things with my dad, better fashion sense, better home decor, big decisions, big responsibilities, bigger kitties… just so much.
I can’t believe it’s been an entire year.
This Christmas we had family over to our place which was great because I got to spend time snuggling my babies in between taking drink orders and eating turkey.
I opened stockings with my mom in the morning, made a pit-stop at my dad’s for a brief Christmas visit, and came back just in time to exchange prezzies with A and her dad before everyone else showed up.
Christmases aren’t the same as they used to be. They’re not all innocence and giggles and everyone glad to just be in each other’s company.
Everyone’s basically grown up and have different priorities, opinions, needs. It’s an obligation instead of an anticipation and if the presents weren’t being exchanged or the turkey wasn’t being eaten, I’m afraid we wouldn’t have all that much to say to each other. I guess it happens with families just as much with friends. It’s only now that I’m realizing it.
I got some really great text messages on Christmas and got some obviously obligatory responses. It’s funny how it’s only been a year and so much has happened.
So much has changed.
[always, always in pink]
[mimosas + sisters + photo booth]
[missing this guy x100000]
[apparently my mom used to dress me exclusively Amish]
Stratford Diaries: Part 4
Christmas Eve. Somehow, I survived both the year and being at home for 4 days without wanting to gouge my eyes out. I don’t want to imply that drinking every night helped me coupe, but that can’t exactly be a coincidence, can it?
Christmas Eve, my mom and I drove around the city to 4 different breakfast restaurants before we finally found one that was open so I could get the second enjoyable omelette of my lifetime and a much needed coffee. I feel like I’ve been seriously under-caffeinated since I’ve been home, which I would have thought would make me bitchier but has actually seemed to have the reverse affect.
So far, this was the most relaxing day of my trip home – I only had 3 things planned and they were all pretty spread apart. It gave me time for naps [multiple], episodes of One Tree Hill, going through boxes and boxes of old photos, and sending 1 million texts to the boyfriend because I was worried might have died in Costa Rica.
I spent some time with my dad in the afternoon, which is getting less and less weird. I’m actually happy about it, to be honest. As much as I didn’t think I would be.
Yesterday I also found out a relative I used to be very close to but haven’t spoken to in years, passed away. This trip has been so whirlwind, nothing really seems real. I haven’t had a good cry in days so I think it’ll all kind of catch up to me when I get back home. The amount of things I’ve crammed into the 6 days I’m home is overwhelming enough, let alone dealing with the loss. Even if I’m not sure I’m entitled to feel that way.
Merry Christmas Eve, everybody.
I hope Santa treats you well.
[with the exception of one slip-up, I’ve been almost entirely weave-free]
Stratford Diaries: Part 3
Day 3 in Stratford. I woke up with no early morning obligations, and no real plans other than seeing my cousin from out west and meeting up with my high school bestie.
It was the first day I could actually relax which I’ve learned I basically don’t know how to do unless I’m hung over and even then, I wouldn’t exactly call not being able to get out of bed because my head feels like it’s going to explode, relaxing.
I spent a couple hours of family time with mostly people I barely know and a couple children which, let’s be serious, everyone knows I hate. I don’t know how I’m ever going to be a parent when my attention span and patience for children is so low. On top of the fact I find them the exact opposite of endearing and I don’t enjoy making small talk with them.
What I was promised would be a 30 minute visit, ended up being a 2.5 hour soberfest which I guess I can’t complain because I ate just about my entire weight in meatballs. Something about ground beef really gets me lately. People are going to start thinking I’m pregnant, I eat so many god damned ground beef burritos.
After a 2 hour early-evening nap, a shower, and a re-insertion of my hair extensions, I met up with my HSB [read: High School Bestie for those of you who are clearly just skimming this] for a couple martinis and spent a couple hours catching up about California boys, the boyfriend, our parents, and everything else under the sun. It’s so refreshing to have friends who you can, no matter how much time has passed, pick things right back up with, like no time has gone by at all.
And in true spirit of Christmas/of me growing up and getting over my shit/realizing that Stratford doesn’t hate me and maybe I’ve just been over-dramatic for the past 8 years, I planned to meet up with a couple girls I spent my entire high school life telling absolutely everything to.
And it was so, so good.
I got to spend time with people who knew me at my worst and most innocent, I got to spend time with A and her friends for a change, and I got to remember why bars in Stratford are just the absolute worst. And I didn’t even catch a glimpse of the Biebs yet, despite knowing that he’s been in town since Friday.
I also almost fought some fucking tool-bag 19-year-old boy who had the worst attitude I’ve seen on someone in a really long time. So that was fun too!
3 days in and I’m really glad I’m spending 6 days here. And considering I was dreading spending so long in a city that knows my deepest, darkest secrets, it’s been a really good trip so far overall.
[my baby Trudy]
[my baby Fionz]
[me tolerating children]
[the one & only HSB]
[reunited & loving it]
Stratford Diaries: Part 2
I’ve been home for less than 48 hours and I’ve barely had time to breathe, let alone sit down, watch some One Tree Hill [or Law and Order], and snuggle the kitties. I’ve barely had time to miss the boyfriend, to text people back or to get excited about all the awesome gifts I got for the people I care about.
Yesterday, I got up and went to St. Mary’s for breakfast with my ex-step dad [I need to come up with a new term for him because ex-step dad sounds worse than it is] and his girlfriend. We exchanged prezzies, had omlettes, and caught up on life. It’s nice when things are as uncomplicated as my relationship with him.
It’s weird when you have to drive [or get a ride] from point A to point B in Stratford, even if the points are as close as they are in Toronto. People here just don’t really walk places. I’m not complaining; in fact I kind of like cruising around, listening to the Cameron Brothers band album, and trying to remember how to drive in snow and ice. It’s just such a different place than Toronto. My wardrobe doesn’t understand why all the pretty new things like my leather shorts and my Kariely skirt are still sitting, untouched in the bottom of my suitcase. Stratford is very much a jeans and a t-shirt type place.
Yesterday afternoon was spent in the kitchen baking Fudgee-o crust, individual cheesecakes, guacamole, and getting ready to attend a bridesmaids slumbie/potluck/birthday celebration of one of my besties who is getting married next year [did I mention I’m going to be a bridesmaid – EEEEEE!!!!!].
Last night was an almost overwhelming flow of martinis, mojitos, mimosas, great food, beautiful girls, and a ton of laughs.
I’m truly lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life – regardless of how close we are in proximity or how frequently we see each other. I know I lose sight of this sometimes. I don’t know why it’s always easier to see the things that are wrong with your life instead of the things that are good.
Lately I’ve been trying a lot of new things – mostly food with a bit of an attitude adjustment for good measure – and it feels good to just let go of all of the shit that I thought I knew and be open to something different.
I’ve been home for less than 48 hours and I already feel differently about so many things. The next 4 days should be interesting, to say the least.
[omelette au fromage avec jambon et champignons - and I liked it]
[vision boards @ the bridesmaids slumbie - mine mostly focused on hair]
[It’s not called vanity when you’re showing off your wicked new t-shirt]
Stratford Diaries: Part 1
I rarely come back to Stratford. Apart from familial obligations, Winterfest, and to get my hair done by my hair stylist mother, I’ve always maintained that Stratford has had an undeserved hate-on for me.
I don’t think that’s true anymore. I don’t know if it ever was.
I left high school not really understanding that people grow apart. The people who had been my friends all my life were just that; people I have known and been exposed to all of my life. I’d gained friends but never lost them. I didn’t realize it was not only expected but actually okay for people to grow apart and move away. I think the fact that I was one of the few who did move away made me put my guard up against those who stuck around. I stopped being invited to parties, dinners, and girls nights because I wasn’t there to be invited. I eventually stopped calling, they stopped calling, and then we kind of just weren’t friends anymore.
That’s on me. To this day, I don’t know how they feel. It never occurred to me to ask.
I’m home this time for 5 nights and 6 days, which is longer than I’ve been home consecutively for probably 2 years or more. It doesn’t feel like home to me, even though I know where all the dishes go and I know exactly how to turn the taps in the shower to get the perfect water temperature without trial and error. It doesn’t feel like home to me because I’m living out of a suitcase for 5 nights and 6 days. I’m a houseguest in a home I grew up in. I think for anyone that would be weird.
I got home yesterday and actually haven’t had 30 minutes to just sit and relax the entire time I’ve been home. I settled in the kitties, did some pre-Christmas grocery shopping for my mom, made dinner [my mom’s first and probably last burrito], fixed my weave-less hair and makeup, and headed out for a drink at Molly Blooms with my mom.
As the night progressed, I ended up having a serious chat about social media with one of my mom’s good friends, I made Kraft Dinner with whipping cream (don’t judge) for her 10 year old son, took some selfies with her tiny dog, and ended up back at another restaurant with A and two of her friends.
For the first time in a long, long time, I didn’t feel like the entire city was waiting for me to feel hated and unwelcomed. People were smiling. I ran into a couple people I knew from high school and we made friendly chit chat. I met two girls that I’d heard of but never met, and they were lovely. Everyone was nice. I was nice. Maybe Stratford doesn’t hate me after all.
[no weave, no problems]
[big name, tiny dog - Napolean]