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Senior’s Day at Shopper’s

Grey, gloomy drizzle out there – mild, though. In a bit, I’ll put on something sparkly and, carrying champagne and chocolates, walk over to Bill’s Lobsters on Gerrard, to pick up some live lobsters. Then I’ll cab to Louise Binder’s who will cook them for herself and friends. I’m such a hypocrite – I hate carting these creatures to their deaths so am telling myself that their lives aren’t worth living in that crowded little tank. Being eaten by an appreciative crowd is better? I guess I could take them to Lake Ontario and set them free, but that wouldn’t make me very popular with Louise.

Watched the annual Kennedy Center Honors the other night, which gave recognition and a medal for lifetime artistic achievement to Dave Brubeck, Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Robert deNiro and Grace Bumbry. I haven’t watched the event for years because it meant having to look at George Bush, who wouldn’t understand an artistic achievement if it bit him in the butt. But the beautiful new couple – they understand. What joy to see them there, elegant and appreciative, Michelle sitting next to Springsteen, nodding and clapping, Obama moving his head to the music.
It made me proud, for the first time in decades, to carry an American passport as well as a Canadian. All of those great artists are uniquely American, could not be from any other country. What other country could produce the broad and goofy Jewish comedy of Mel Brooks or, especially, the downhome honesty and ache of Bruce Springsteen, working class rocker hero?
The speech honouring Springsteen was given with meaning and grace by another uniquely American artist, our beloved Jon Stewart. Springsteen is a man, he said, who in every performance “empties the tank” – for his family, his audience, his country. And I thought, even praising an artist for emptying the tank is particularly American. Springsteen’s handsome, weathered face, with his earrings, soul patch and jutting lower jaw, was so beautiful, shone with such empathy and gravitas as he listened to Stewart and then to musicians like Sting perform his music, that it was hard to look at him. Michelle Obama didn’t have any trouble looking at him, though.
And below, in the audience, a relaxed Meryl Streep, Donald Sutherland, Alan Alda, Philip Seymour Hoffman and many others – artists who must feel they’ve crossed an endless desert to the Promised Land. A troubled Promised Land, but my God, so much better than the desert. The best event of 2009, for me and IMHO for the planet – the election of President Barack Obama – and his wife and children and mother-in-law, and the dog too.
Last night on PBS, I watched another mundane, flat little trifle – Tosca, from the Met.
Today, you will be happy to know, is Senior’s Day at Shopper’s Drug Mart. What a way to bring in the New Year – shopping with my elderly neighbours, even though I’m much, much too young to get the 20% off. They gave it to me anyway, for French anti-ageing moisturisers and a heating pad. It makes me feel 100 years old just thinking about it. But there’s a racy new lipstick, too, for tonight’s lobster.
It was a good year for me, with short trips to Halifax, New York, Florida and Ottawa, and my spectacular journey through Europe. Not so good for my children, especially my son. I hope his star is in the ascendant, and his sister’s too. Am I allowed to hope, selfishly, that mine continues its steady upward course? And that yours does too, my dear readers? One of you sent me this very nice message the other day, as a welcome New Year’s gift:

I take a drink daily from your blog, and enjoy the words you choose to share with people like me who you don’t even know. I have had more fun reading your blog than I can say. Thanks for all you share … I count myself lucky to be included.

And another wrote, “I’m really enjoying your recent instalments and wonder whether you could turn your blog into a book. Could be the makings of one anyway. You just need a central dramatic event or spiritual awakening around which it could revolve.”

I thank you, Pamela and Ellen. Thank you all for reading. As my beloved Wayson likes, often, to say: ONWARD! Onward into 2010. Happy New Year. Even to the crabby cat lying curled up beside me, who has barely moved a whisker for all of 2009. Happy New Year to us all.

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One response to “Senior’s Day at Shopper’s”

  1. I really had a great time with your post! I am looking forward to read more blog post regarding this! Well written!

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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