wandering exploring writing

I Don’t Want To Share Your Brussel Sprouts

Crash. Boom. Slurp. Crunch. Slam. Yell. Gnaw. Snort. Fart. Snore. Chatter.

Do you live alone? I do…usually. The last time I had a roommate was in my early 20’s – so we’re talking probably about a decade since I’ve had to consider other people in my living environment, or not get things my way.

Let me preface this by saying that I love my parents. See where this is going? I know that I am the interruption in their house, regular schedule and lives. I know that they’re tolerating me much more than I am tolerating them. I know that. That doesn’t make it any easier.

This evening we watched Life As A House. My uncle down the road had the DVD, so we borrowed it and I played it from my computer to their TV (I must say that the whole S-Video thing is very cool). Very good movie. I definitely recommend it to anyone who has a family and functioning tear ducts. It stars Hayden Christensen in a pretty lead-type role, though the “star” is Kevin Kline – who does an amazing job. The yellow sticker-type advertising thing on the front of the DVD case pushes the movie as “starring Hayden Christensen from Star Wars 2 – Attack Of The Clones”.

ANYWAY (tangents are my favourite thing), prior to the movie starting I closed all of the blinds, turned off all glare-producing lights, angled the TV so it would provide the best viewing angle for everybody watching, trying to set a good movie watching atmosphere. Part way into the film, at a critical spot, of course, my dad decided to get up and offer to make popcorn. I love him. He thinks of others. It drove me nuts. The acoustics of their main room are horrid – if anybody is talking it drowns out the TV, stereo, piano, etc. We plowed through that 10 minutes in the movie with my dad banging dishes around in the kitchen, the sound of popcorn popping in the microwave, my dad eating something…loudly.

I think I’m just irritable and know that it’s time for me to leave. Monday is my last day here – we drive out of here at 4:00 am so I can be at the airport in Ottawa by 6:00 am for my 8:00 am flight. These things always get on my nerves when I visit my parents…they did growing up as well, even when I didn’t live by myself. I eat quite quietly and slowly. I generally don’t talk during movies or TV shows. Sure, I live alone and don’t have anybody to talk to, but what has that got to do with it? I’m generally, in my mind, anyway, a quiet person. I frequently walk up behind people at work, not in any way trying to sneak up and they are shocked to see me standing there when they turn around saying “Where did you come from? You’re so quiet!” I’m venting…this doesn’t have to make sense or come together in a neat package!

I remember wondering a few years ago how married people do it. Not THAT “it” – I know how they “do it” do it! What I mean is the whole co-existing thing. I’m thinking I must be an extremely selfish person because I don’t think I could handle leaving some ice cream in the freezer for later (yeah…that’d happen!) and when I come back for it…ice cream being the only thing I need right now to continue functioning on this planet, and it’s gone! GONE! Who would take it? Your loving wife, of course! For a brief moment it would flash through my brain how well it worked in college when my roommate and I had divided the fridge into two sides so we didn’t write things on the food itself. Could I convince my wife…whom I’ve sworn to love “in good times and bad” not to eat my cookies? Yes…MY cookies. I wrote my name on them with my imaginary marker when I put them in the cart in the grocery store. I didn’t say “LET’S get some cookies”. You don’t see me delving into her brussel sprouts, milk or pickles! ARGH! Clearly this is one of the “and bad” they were talking about when marriage vows were written.

Theoretically, I’m in love with this person and that “in love” feeling will make everything else not matter. “Living on love” is a phrase I’ve heard used many times to describe couples that are new to their in-love state and they seem obvious to any hardships thrown their way…nothing happens, because they’re in love. I’ll probably think it’s ‘sweet’ that she likes the same types of cookies or ice cream that I like and consciously buy more…for her. If she speaks during a movie, I’ll probably ignore the story and plot and $12 that I spent to get in and focus on what she thinks is so important to say to me right then…then tell her I love her for it.

That’s what it all comes down to. I know that. Love. My parents tolerate me, I tolerate them, we accept our friends and families’ foibles because we love them. We know that at the end of the day, we can count on them to be there “in good times and bad” even if we haven’t walked down an aisle with them or bought them a pretty rock to wear on their finger.

I’ll miss my parents when I leave for Calgary on Tuesday, the next and final leg of my holiday. They’re wonderful people that I do feel honoured to be related to. Life is not always rosy, but there’s an inner feeling that you know no matter what happens, they’ll be there. I’m also looking forward to watching TV by myself.

Adios, Ontario.


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