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With inspirational credit to Kelly Stout of The New Yorker Magazine.
(Dec. 15) Got a Not-so-merry-Christmas letter from Canada Revenue Agency. They say we owe mucho dinheiro. Talk about bad timing. M. hasn’t said much but he is polishing the chandelier. Reasserting his dominance over inanimate objects makes him feel powerful. Pretty sure this means Cuba is off the table.
(Dec. 25) M. gave me books for Christmas: The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition and Farley Mowat’s Ordeal by Ice. He says I can’t “white knuckle it anymore,” I need to “learn to love the cold.” Also have no choice but to accept husband’s winter zealotry.
(Jan. 17) Neighbours are going to Disney and asked me to get their mail. No shoveling, just mail. Phew—dodged a bullet. Not feeling jealous in the least. Really happy for them. Hope they have a great time standing in line!
(Jan. 26) L.’s assistant says he can’t meet ‘til April—he’s on sabbatical in Belize. Would have preferred she leave it at “sabbatical.” The Belize part is way too much information. Must confess, am starting to feel a little bitter.
(Jan. 31) Told M. I need to get away. He took me to Amherst Island. It was less than the cruise of my dreams but, unlike E. Shackleton, the ship did not get stuck “like an almond in a chocolate bar” in the ice which was something to be grateful for, I suppose. M. says next weekend we can go to Sydenham, “it’s “lovely there this time of year” he says. He’ll spring for a tchotchke at Trousdale’s. CRA left us enough for a tchotchke.
Chunks of ice grind against the ferry’s hull and M. asks if I like Mowat’s “enthralling chronicle of terror, tribulation and triumph.” I tell him as far as I can see ice has been torturing and killing people for centuries, except at the equator, of course, like where Cuba is—“You have heard of Cuba?” I ask, rhetorically. I say, “Cubans don’t have ‘ordeals’ with ice, they just enjoy it in cube-form with a nice mojito.” They’re clever that way, the Cubans.
(Feb. 9) Facebook is ultimate buzzkill! Every day is a fresh parade of creamy Canadian flesh set against a lush backdrop of sea-foam green. If I ever go someplace warm I will exhibit myself modestly, if not a touch boozily, in a pair of loose, billowy pants like the ones Zulily is trying to sell me.
(Feb. 14) Tried to call K. but still no answer. Got an email with subject line “Monterey Bay”—her latest destination—and a pic of her and B. squinting from “The blinding hot sun”—as if I didn’t already know the sun is both blinding and hot. Does she think I’m stupid? Then she zings me with, “Hang in there for spring!” which is loaded with sibling subtext. Clearly she is still sore about the Duran Duran T-shirt incident. Sisters can be so vindictive. Will the emotional blackmail never end?
(Feb. 21) Clicked on the paisley pants from Zulily (stupid!!!) and now Mark Zuckerberg’s algorithms are harassing me 24/7 with “vacation-ready” outfits. Am going to turn up the space heater and dance by myself to some reggae in that graphic-print top I bought last July in Westport when I was hammered on Shiraz. Am starting to think I might be going a little bit crazy.
(Feb. 23) Took H. to the Hotel Dieu Eye Clinic. We were like sardines in a can—HDH should move the waiting room to the K-Rock Centre. Who knew so many people would voluntarily show up to get needles in their eyes? There was a loud-talking woman who wouldn’t shut up about resort hotels and swim-up bars and that “awful time” she had to buy a fleece pullover because Las Vegas was “so cold.” Gave her stink-eye for a whole hour which gave me a massive headache. Beyond bitter—now becoming hostile and, possibly, aggressive towards the visually impaired. Not a good situation.
(March 1) Happy Feb is over but why is there so much March? There is just way too much March.
(March 2) Battery is at all-time low—am fading fast. Ran into J. at the store. He’s not going to Florida, but has fooled himself into believing he’s going to Florida. There might be something to that. Will practice his self-delusion technique in the bathroom mirror tonight... if strength holds out.
(March 6) Pulse is weak... slight fever... can’t make deadline... so sorry... will send diary... hope you can...
Michelle Hauser is a former professional fundraiser turned humorist and freelance writer. She lives in Eastern Ontario (Canada) with her husband Mark and their son Joseph. Please click here to sign up for her monthly Newsletter.