Sunday, 21 November 2010

A Red Letter Day

It has finally happened. An occasion of momentous proportions. My grandmother used to call days like these "red letter days" simply because she would circle them in red ink on her calendar so that they would always stand out amongst the ordinary. Yup. I've got one of those now to call my own, Bubby. One of my progeny has finally and quite publicly declared his respect for his parents. On Facebook, no less!! What, you may query, did I do to deserve such an overt and brazen example of PDA? Was he finally impressed by the fantastic and loving environment in which he was raised? Nahhh. Too pedantic. Has he finally learned the value of a dollar and how difficult it is to manage his financial health without constant insertions of capital from Mom and Dad? Of course not! But in his defence he is getting there. Did he finally realize how much we value a job well-done and hard, diligent effort at all one strives to achieve? Uh.....not so much. Nope. That isn't what allowed me to declare today a red letter day. Instead, my Younger Son expressed his new-found respect for his father and me as a result of what I would refer to as a really stupid life-choice.

The Husband, Older Son, Twin Son, His Better Half and Yours Truly toiled yesterday at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo being held this weekend in downtown Toronto. This is the third or fourth year (I honestly cannot remember, because frankly every hour of every day spent working these shows is torture for me, and they all run together!) that we have offered free family labour in support of the vodka business that we hope against hope might yield some contribution to our retirement funds. It is a gruelling four day event that pushes the boys to their limits; taxes their vocal chords, causes aches and pains to legs, knees and backs, provides weird insight into the dating rituals of the under thirty set, and in reality, strains credulity as to how much vodka is actually moved. In past years Twin Son's and Better Half's children have also joined in this endeavour as has Younger Son. Given all the various work and school schedules this year, their participation was either severely limited or non-existent. No issues. Life happens, so we made do with what was available. Thus, yesterday's skeleton crew at the Still Waters booth.

There was very little time to get away from the booth. The place was jammed and the tastings one after another. Pee breaks became welcome just from the standpoint of walking to the bathroom, and dinner was a true afterthought. All that food in the Convention Centre and we accessed very little of it. The crowds were massive, the lineups ridiculous, and honestly, we were just too busy. By the time the day was over and the wall of people escorted out, it was close to 10:30 pm and we were all ravenous. Older Son bade us goodbye as he envisioned a Harvey's visit in his future. The four of us remaining middle-aged morons decided to follow what has become a really stupid and ill-conceived tradition. We made our way north to a local greasy spoon called Golden Star for a late night supper of burgers, fries and onion rings. As I contemplated a minor snack of wickedly delicious onion rings, The Husband confidently stated that I shouldn't worry-Golden Star makes a veggie burger. I know, I know. What the hell was I thinking???? By the time we arrived it was 11:15 pm but the clock didn't dissuade us. STUPID STUPID STUPID!!!! The veggie burger was to die for, the onions rings sublime and the french fries unbelievable.  We closed the joint. The old Greek guy who runs the place actually ushered us out the back door. I probably should have taken that as the first sign of my shame.

Of course I was up all night. The physical pain of a 47 year old digestive track under assault from a once a year indulgence is not to be underestimated. I have nobody to blame but myself. I know this, but as I sit here typing this post, still suffering from the post-ingestion glow (I actually think that I can SEE my heartburn!) I am not above looking for scapegoats. I decided that if I was suffering then it was only fitting that my friends should share in my discomfort. I took to Facebook to vent. I posted thusly.

In the interest of your former lives as youth group advisors I thought that I would frame this in language that you can fully understand. "Be it resolved that eating at Golden Star at 11:00 pm, even for a veggie burger, should never be allowed for us middle-aged wretches." I may never eat again!!!

And then it appeared. My red letter day-worthy comment from Younger Son.

 I have new respect for both of my parents.

So this is what it took to garner my son's respect. I needed to abuse my body with fat, cholesterol and calories in a whimsical act of stupidity for one of my children to actually think I was cool. I wondered how he might have felt had I decided to bungie-jump off the CN Tower? Admiration? No, that is way too much for my acid-reflux infested body to digest at the moment.

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