These are the people in my neighbourhood.

Proving my theory that every single day is special, yesterday was International Kissing Day, followed by today’s festivities – International Chocolate Day. I think I can get behind this romantic turn of events. Just this morning as I was opening up my drapes, I noticed my across-the-street neighbour walking his girlfriend to her car, kissing her goodbye. Awwww! Sweet! My across-the-street neighbour is not exactly the grand prize to womanhood, so I’m very happy to see him with a lady friend. In related news, I am now in the running for the nosy neighbour on the street. I’m in competition with all of the octogenarians in the surrounding houses.

Years ago, one of my across-the-street neighbours was a man in his eighties, and he had a girlfriend who was probably about 65. They were both widowed, and every Saturday night they would go to 5:00 mass together, then to the Legion for dinner and dancing. It was one of the cutest things ever. One Sunday morning I was opening the drapes to witness Henry walking Frieda to her car and kiss her goodbye; moments later Henry’s adult children pulled up for a visit. It made the romance a little more illicit in my eyes. The moral of this story is that romance is ageless. This is good to know for those days in the future when I’m an orange-haired old lady with bleeding lipstick in my slacks-and-pumps with plastic white purse containing a roll of mints and a change purse.

Ah, romance. It’s everywhere, from the sanitation worker across the street to the teenaged ride operators at the amusement park, from the elderly man down the street who told me his secret to over half a century of happy marriage was saying “Yes, Dear” right to my own home. Yes, the romance is alive at the Boyhouse, even if no one appreciates my kale chips or my version of The Greatest Love of All.

I’ve been re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series, which I haven’t read since I was a kid. I love them as much now as I did then; maybe more. I love the old-timey romance and the descriptions of the college girls entertaining their gentleman callers decorously in the parlor, I love the descriptive details of the landscape and the furniture, but most of all I like how it follows a woman throughout what is really quite an ordinary life. All of us ordinary people are stars of our own stories; everybody’s life is book fodder.

The only thing that’s not great about the Anne books is all the ejaculating. “Anne, what do you think you’re doing?” Marilla ejaculated. Awkward!

It’s been warm and sunny here, happily enough. I’m driving around with the windows open in the car and wearing sleeveless shirts, and it feels wonderful. A man riding a motorbike was stopped in front of me at a red light, and he was wearing a shirt that said boldly, across the back, “Go Big Or Fuck Off”. It made me think of my across-the-alley neighbour who frequently wears a t-shirt that has a picture of a clock on it and the words “Fuck The Time”. I was driving the kids to school one day when he was wearing that shirt, having a conversation with the elderly lady from three doors down. He cheerfully waved; the boys were fascinated. Did you see his shirt, Mom? Do you think that Mrs. D noticed what it said? Yes, I did, and maybe? Then again, maybe she has cataracts.

The other day I was working in my back garden, and I could hear my next-door neighbour talking with her next-door neighbour – that’s Beeps’ “daddy”, for those of you who have been reading about the Boyhouse for a while. My ears perked up when I heard my name mentioned. Did Nicole change her hair? Beeps’ “daddy” asked loudly. Because it sure looks different. Was it always that colour? It seems awfully…red. I thought of Anne Shirley, and how she would flip whenever her hair was referred to as “red”, rather than “auburn”. I’m just glad mine wasn’t being referred to as “orange”. I wondered if I should make my presence known, but then I decided to stay quiet just in case they started gossiping about me. Sadly, the conversation moved on to tree pruning and the weather, so I never did find out about my hair’s approval rating in the neighbourhood.


For the record, I did not change my hair. But my roots ARE out of control.


  1. You’re so funny! This whole entry made me grin.

  2. I have an umbrella that belonged to my father-in-law. It’s incredibly sturdy, which umbrellas need to be here on The Windy Coast. It’s huge, helpful in a land where the rain tends to fall sideways rather than straight down. It reminds me of my FIL, and always makes me smile when I use it.

    It also says “Shit, It’s Raining” on it in huge block letters.

    I take it to the bus stop, and the other moms judge me, but the kids think it’s wonderful. I’ll hear them whispering “shit, it’s raining” and then snickering to themselves at the illicit hilarity.

  3. People are often ejaculating in My Antonia, which I used to teach. I guess it used to be used commonly that way.


  1. […] It’s been a fairly uneventful week. I had planned to take the kids swimming but it was a bit chilly this week; instead we went to the library. I picked up a copy of The Tipping Point and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in socioeconomic phenomena and epidemiology, which I am. Lest you think this sounds terribly pretentious, I just finished reading the Anne of Green Gables box set, which was lovely, excessive ejaculating notwithstanding. […]

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