My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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gay wedding, yes; “Avengers,” no

Last night a joyful event – my neighbour Rob, a lawyer I’ve lived next to for two decades and watched in and out of several relationships, and Alex, the young man he’s been living with for five years, got married. The event was divided into two – the wedding itself at 6 was attended by close friends and family, followed by dinner, and then the rest of us were invited at 9.30 for dessert, Champagne and dancing. It was held at Momofuko, Toronto’s member of the prestigious international Momofuko chain – David Sedaris told us the night before that as soon as he gets to Toronto, he rushes to Momofuko.

I, of course, have never been. So, much to look forward to. The dress code was “formal chic,” so I raided my dress-up closet for Goodwill specials before settling, not without much back and forth in front of the mirror, on a little black dress from the Fifties (“Dress Town” is the tag), with a vintage sequinned coat on top and a gorgeous necklace of Mum’s that I’ve never worn and she never wore either – a big chunk of topaz. High heels, but not too high. Danceable high. And an evening bag I bought at Housing Works Thrift in New York. Besides the shoes, which were from Winner’s, the most expensive thing I had on were the pantyhose.

Fellow neighbours and 9.30 invitees Jean-Marc and Richard and I got a cab over together. A heavenly night, soft and sweet, to stand under a tent on a beautifully decorated terrace overlooking all of University Avenue. A friend who’d been at the actual ceremony said everyone wept. Winston, Rob’s aging bull terrier, made a short appearance before being whisked away. And though I was sorry to have missed the ceremony and even more, to be frank, the meal, oh, the pleasure for us latecomers – meeting Rob’s mother from Montreal, his beautiful sister who’d flown in from L.A. and was wearing an Oscar-worthy champagne brocade floor-length gown, and many old friends. Rob is Jewish from Montreal, so there were Jewish rituals, and also Macedonian ones honouring Alex’s background – at one point they broke a big round loaf of bread baked by his grandmother. There was the cutting of the cake, the first dance which we all stood misty-eyed and watched – all the traditional rituals of a wedding.

Talking with Rob’s mother, I thought, she must never have imagined such a day – that her brilliant son would enjoy a solid partnership and a happy celebration of it. To think there are forces in the world that would deny gay couples such comfort and community. I realized yesterday that weddings are as much for the community as for the couple – for us all to celebrate a loving and committed union, to join together in hope for the future. In a world of so much darkness and shame, some things are moving in the right direction.

And then Jean-Marc and Richard and I danced like crazy for ages. Mazel tov, Rob and Alex. I wish you many years of joy.

Today, speaking of a world of darkness and shame – Anna’s Mother’s Day present was for me to take her to the movie of her choice while a friend watched Eli. She chose the new Avengers movie, The Age of Ultron. She loves that stuff. I hate it but feel that every once in a while I should move out of my movie comfort zone. My kids make fun of my taste for obscure indie movies – which I call works of art instead of Hollywood crap. But sometimes I’ve enjoyed their choices.

This time, however, no. Anna loved it, she said, though how that’s possible, I don’t know. She says she goes to movies to escape reality and also was glad there wasn’t a little person asking her questions and plastered to her side. Instead she had me with my fingers in my ears right through the unbelievably loud credits. It was all about blowing things up, smashing things, smashing, bashing, crashing. Incredible special effects, no question – there was a list of thousands of technical people at the end. But to what end? I had thought there would be a tiny bit of humanity – such good actors, after all. But no. Smashing and crashing.

It didn’t help that all these superheroes had complicated back stories which I didn’t know. Anna did, and tried to explain afterwards. It was all lost on me. All I could think, when the ringing in my ears subsided, was, “There’s 2 1/2 hours of my life I’ll never get back.”

But the suffering is worth it if it makes my daughter happy. Once in a while.



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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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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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