Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Post vacation

We returned from Cuba in the wee hours of Sunday morning, not at all tanned, very much exhausted, and desperately missing Miss Baby, who grew 2 new teeth in our absence in addition to nurturing a hacking and sneezing and green-goo sniveling daycare-related head cold, lavished many kisses on her Auntie S. and was apparently unpleasantly startled to see her very own parents at 7am. (She seems since to have reconciled herself to the removal of said aunt and the reinstallation of The Mama and The Dada).

I have a head full of stories and was oft heard exclaiming to Pynchon on the beach: "Must blog about this!" and "Must blog about that" and "I wonder what all my bloggy friends are up to?" Odd then, that I've been completely blogstipated since returning to Canada! There's just too much to say, I guess, too much reading to catch up on, too many conversational strands to rethread, and too much distance between my last post and this.

So as a post, this isn't what I imagined writing--but you've got to get back on that horse somehow, right? I'm slowly getting back to read all of your blogs (heavens and saints above, but did I come back to a daunting backlog of work at the university!) ...

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Tonight was my Mother's Day present--an evening at a reading by Linda McQuaig and Heather Mallick. It's what I asked for. I'm ridiculously fond of Heather Mallick, and always turned to her column (page 2 of the Focus section!) first in my Saturday Globe and Mail. Before she quit, and I was heartbroken. Read her at CBC now--get hooked, too.

I've long cherished dreams of being best friends with Mallick, and I was so excited to get to hear her read and to meet her. She did not disappoint, reading a funny and impassioned defense of taxation: taxes bring civilization, she reminds us, and what's not to love about civilization! Who wants to build their own sewers? I concocted a suitably fawning and hopefully witty question for the Q+A afterward and then quickly purchased her book to join the autograph line up.

It's ridiculous how star struck I am by people I admire. I'm sure I made a right fool of myself--when I recounted our meeting to Pynchon, he laughed and patted my head while shaking his. Not a good sign. I did possibly paint myself in stalkerish colours when I told her I have a rich fantasy life in which she and I go out for coffee and make fun of Leah McLaren. I imagined she would sign my book, and find my chitchat so enticing that we would exchange phone numbers, inscribe each others' birthdays in our day planners, and become BFF.

This (you are likely unsurprised) did not happen. Something equally surprising, however, did. I mentioned (since she has an English MA) that I am an English professor. Her eyes lit up with admiration and ... not envy, because she seems happy and there was no malice ... desire?

"Oh!" (she exclaimed) "What a wonderful thing! To read books and books and books! Oh, I miss classrooms and studying."

And she's absolutely right. I can't believe that someone I admire so much could look at me quite that way, impressed and desirous, about my job.

Of course, now that we are on our way to becoming BFF, it would be impolite of me to tell you that she does, indeed, find Leah as helplessly self-involved and irritating as I do. No, I wouldn't tell you that.

15 comments:

bubandpie said...

Yup. Admiration is a potent drug.

slouching mom said...

I feel the same way about you English professors. I imagine there to be such a pleasant aura around you, an old-book-crackling-fire-19th-century aura.

Ridiculous, I know, but true.

Beck said...

Oh, I'm so jealous of English Professors. I've met all sorts of writers through my dad and the idea that it might be fun to hang out with artists I admire is mostly gone now, sadly.

cinnamon gurl said...

Welcome home! I love my fantasies of meeting famous people and becoming friends... Although when I was younger they were usually men that I imagined falling hopelessly in love with me at first sight and being completely at my mercy.

I hope you can start sharing some of those stories soon...

Omaha Mama said...

I'm glad you are back. I've got a bloggy addiction to your thoughts and adventures. Looking forward to stories from Cuba.

Glad you had a happy Mother's Day - and that you've made a new friend. :-)

Bon said...

isn't it odd to find out that someone you admire actually can be impressed about what you've come to see as your rather regular life?

clearly you're going to be BFF. that's great. can you bring her on vacation down here so i can meet her too? i'm kind of a hack English professor, but maybe she's not fussy. ;)

i too am ridiculously star struck by those i admire. i once made Mary Walsh laugh at a CBC event in Halifax, ten years ago, and i still count it among my proudest moments. she guffawed. because. of me.

preen.

can't tell if your vacation rocked but i hope so.

ewe are here said...

I wish I'd decided to go the english professor route myself sometimes... sigh.

Looking forward to hearing more about your Cuba trip.

NotSoSage said...

Welcome home!

I am famous among my friends for having these very detailed, very intense dreams about famous people I admire where we strike up a friendship, realise our deep connection and then somehow get parted all in the course of one night. I often wake very distressed, and when I was younger I considered that maybe they'd dreamt the same thing and we had a connection on another plane. Weird.

If you and your new BFF are getting together for a bitchfest about McLaren, can I join you?

Jenifer said...

Glad you are back! Sounds like your Mother's Day gift was perfect. What is it about you professors?

;)

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Welcome back! So nice to hear from you again!

My husband and I went away for a day last week & when we returned, my daughter ran and hid under a table. I'm telling myself this is a typical reaction.

Mad Hatter said...

Wow. A few things. First off welcome home.

Heather Mallick was out here giving a talk about a month ago on the sorry state of abortion services in our province. Her talk was, um, weird. It was kinda like we were all hit by the splatter shot from several different talks and the while thing was sewn together with some over-the-top provokative statements. It was weird. But then, a week later, she wrote about abortion services in our province on the CBC website and the column was brilliant, positively brilliant.

Interesting the bit about McLaren. When I was flying home from our visit, I picked up the Mother's Day edition of Chatelaine as light reading for the plane. In it Leah's mom had an article about how much she hated motherhood and if she could do it all over again, she would never be a mother. Ya, it was sugar-coated a bit and she did talk about her love for her girls BUT STILL. It was the only time I have ever felt an ounce of anything but antipathy for dear Leah. How freakin' hard must it be to have your mother diss motherhood in the nation's women's magazing on MOTHER'S DAY?

Oh, The Joys said...

I can't wait to hear all your stories!

Mimi said...

Mad -- I read that column and was going to mention it to you but I see you've found it already. Interesting, your take on her talk, though. As for the Cecily Ross piece, HM pointed me to it last night, and so I'm going to borrow my sister's Chatelaine--and yes, my immediate thought was that it could sure be a burden to have a famous-ish mom to write about you unflatteringly, even when said famous mom gets you a job at the Globe and Mail. Hm.

nomotherearth said...

Welcome back!

I have strange fantasies about being friends with people that I watch on TV. Ok, now that totally sounds weird...It's really just this feeling that we would be friends if we ever met in real life.

It's interesting, though, that the blogs I read most often are also people that I think I would be friends with in real life. The bonus with the blog thing is that sometimes we actually meet.

Bloor West Mama said...

Welcome Back!!!!!