A day in the life of…

Posted on February 22, 2005


Today my roommate J and I went grocery shopping. Such being the nature of our relationship, we debated for a full fifteen minutes on which grocery store to go to, weighing considerations such as the availability of kosher food and unsweetened soy milk versus the presence of Tim Hortons branches and aisles of unnecessary consumer goods for me to grab at.
Leaving my roommate to rummage delightedly amongst the vegetable section, I went in search of vegetables I could persuade myself to eat. Naturally, I ended up brandishing a piece of cod and a block of cheese. Clutching these, I searched frantically for her – for nothing is so ungraceful as actually holding food items in your hands. Being a control freak, she refuses to ever let go of the shopping cart. I tried once and she emitted several worrying whimpers and I thought it best to hand it back.
In an attempt to prevent such unseemly wandering, I have agreed with my roommate on a specific whistle to attract her attention in grocery stores. This is something my Dad and his friends adopted in university and was then foisted on his innocent family once he had one. I am now no longer embarrassed by being seen cocking my ear like a dog, turning in my tracks and trotting obediently towards a middle aged man. It is this gratifying humiliation I wished to see J display. Let no one accuse me of not bringing diversity and culture across the Atlantic.
In any event, I was not required to do any whistling. I even managed to wrest control of the shopping cart for a few brief minutes. Arriving at the checkout counter, the cashier viewed askance J’s package of seaweed. Call me ridiculous, but I do not believe that things that come in A4 pages are for human consumption. That’s letter size for North Americans. So I was delighted to see that other people felt the same way. Not any of J’s explanations could induce the cashier to lower her puzzled eyebrow.
So then I went home and spent 1.5 hours or so stuffing grape leaves. That is my traditional recourse when offered time to study. If you give people a week off in the middle of February, it can hardly be seen as anything less than coercion to study, not enjoy themselves. They do not even dissemble about the purpose of this break; “spring” break here is called Reading Week.