Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Island Diaries- Part 2

With a whopping google reader of over 500 (argh!! *insert convulsions here*), I am officially back in Internets-ville and all that other fun day-to-day life stuff that the end of a holiday entails. The snippets below are just a few random thoughts that came about during my week away when my laptop and I had some quiet moments. More coherent narratives (including photos and bachelorette party escapades!) soon to come. 

***

I have a certain affinity for small town newspapers. I think there is something about the unique combination of kitschy advertisements, local news bits, and blatant opinion pieces that remind me of home.

Take the actual title of the paper, which always includes some sort of semi-witty pun. Small town papers and puns go together like pancakes and maple syrup. Or the front page headline. While the big city paper box will be emblazoned with tales of multiple murders or drug busts, here, the month of July is accompanied by the announcement of the Annual Church Fair. Obituaries are not a generic few square inches of text, but rather half pages with large, smiling photos and anecdotes. There is even an elegy for Lucky, Doreen and Dan’s beloved dog. Letters to the editor tell of the latest controversy over the Island Improvement Committee’s recent meeting. A half page ad, accompanied by a photo of a laughing woman in horn-rimmed glasses and a lei, declares “When U are 21,915 days old, should U be having this much fun!?!? YES…. If you are Lois!”, and proceeds to invite the entire island to Lois’s 60th birthday party at the community hall.

My favourite, however, has to be the RCMP report, written by the island’s apparent sole RCMP constable. It informs residents of the newest speed limit signs and warns them to “please stop when you see me jump out from behind the bushes with my handheld radar gun”. It also details a case in which a man selling $20,000 worth of Snap-On Tools passed away, and his family is unsure of whether they were stolen or sold prior to his passing. The highlight, however, is a personal plea for information regarding the islander supposedly cooking Ecstasy in their home.

***

Some days love feels like more of a tragedy than others. Today, I sit on a ferry bobbing away from him. Normally, I make a particular point of covering up that heart on my sleeve, but today, it feels a little inflamed and exposed. My practical mind tells me it is only a matter of weeks at most, yet the sunlight sparkling on the water still seems a little phony. Perhaps it is the dramatic goodbye, rife with movie-perfect embraces and spectacularly blown kisses. Perhaps goodbyes, even the little ones, are meant to always sting a little.

***

Staying in a house with parents always has a bit of a regressive effect. The Duke’s parents are fairly liberal folk, and thus are accepting of him and I sharing a bedroom, given the fact that we do so in our day-to-day life. However, given the close quarters, we’ve taken what feels like a step back into Grade 12 in our tricks to get a little “private time”. Living together involves a certain neglected freedom, meaning that shutting the blinds is the biggest concern when the urge strikes. When staying with one’s parents, it involves a careful planning, that of whispers and excuses (“I think we are feeling a little tuckered out, so we’re thinking of going to bed early.”), of murmurs and bitten tongues, and of creative locations (“We’re just going for a short hike!”). I’m suddenly reminded again of being ten years younger and in the back of a cramped station wagon due to sheer lack of other options.

29 comments:

Rachel said...

Here's some irony, before marriage we used to do it all the time in their house, but now that it is more "acceptable" (we were trying to make you more grandchildren!) we don't have the guts....

Bayjb said...

Yes the urge to get your groove on when parents are around is very difficult. I love small-town newspapers too, especially reading the front page. My favorite was the front-page story at home about the Weinermobile in our 4th of July parade. Big news.

distractedspunk said...

You know, the back of a station wagon can be surprisingly fun when it's not the only place to do it anymore.

It's sort of a throw back to another lifetime.

Also. We are SO overdue for a long discussion. When are you free?

Caz said...

Yes we went to 4 games over the last two years I was in Vancouver. We were lucky the first season and managed to get 2 sets of free tickets. The second year we had to pay for them, so could only afford to go once (considering it's $80/ticket for the very very back of the top level! seriously...)

Jenn said...

I worked for a newspaper in a really small town. I remember being surprised by the length of the obituaries. They were biographies of that person's life. While sad, they were sort of fun/interesting to read.

lspoon said...

You'd love my hometown newspaper then. It only gets published once a month :)

Nilsa S. said...

Don't remind me of all those excuses! Sweets and I are about to go on vacation at my parents' beach house. With my parents. And his!!!

Alexa said...

i dont even want to think about what my google reader will be at when i get back from 7 days of no internet. oh lord.

i love school newsletters and church bulletins for the same reason you like small newspapers

Yoda said...

I'm sorry, but those excuses are the worst, 'coz the parents know what you're doing and worse still? they know that in advance, just so that they can grimace when its about time. LMAO!!

Jess said...

We totally pulled that short hike stunt last time we visited Torsten's parents. It was great. It's too bad that the AWK around this topic never really goes away.

Marianne said...

Really good description of the goodbyes- it does hurt. Hopefully it's not for too long.

Carrie said...

My brother and his fiancee were living together, then moved in with my parents for about 6 months to save money for the wedding and a condo purchase. My parents made them sleep in separate bedrooms - I don't know how they did it...

Doni said...

That was a beautiful good-bye, or more to the point that was a beautifully written good-bye.

Beth said...

Don't even consider reading all 500 of those posts - you'll never catch up!
Welcome back.

Katelin said...

yeah i still have to sneak around parents from time to time, man i can't wait to move out, haha.

Sheila said...

I was born in a really small town and my grandparents continued to live there up until their deaths. Not only were the headlines cute, they also had an evening paper - for those breaking news items that occurred since morning.

As for stolen moments - I am not so brave. When either my mother or my husband's mother stay with us, there is no "alone time"!

Dan Mega said...

They certainly are a whole different ballgame aren't they? When I was going to school the paper besides the school one were all small towners. You'd be amazed at the headlines: "Man shot! But he is ok!"

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

I think that is where men and women differ...my parents didn't care about me having women over, as long as I was respectful. Of course, breakfast the next day would always be a bit odd...as my parents are really liberal with stuff like that.

Brett said...

It can be very embarrassing to find out years after the event that you made the light in the living room swing, much to the amusement of mum and a number of her friends!

NamesAreHardToPick said...

I love small town papers too; especially all the grammatical errors that can be caught. I think one of the appeals of love is the missing and the absence making us want more. But once people spend all their time together, it starts to feel less real in a way.

EF said...

Don't you think who ever is home-growing ectasy would be pretty obvious to figure out in a crowd- unless you are at a rave? Look for the really happy house!

surviving myself said...

Getting creative is the best part about sex.

Psychgrad said...

Love the smalltown paper tidbits. Makes me wonder how people in big cities compensate for what seems to be less importance attributed to each individual.

S'Mat said...

Some hikes are shorter than others. But BC, in the summer, out in the 'wilds', that's the quintessential carnal recipe!

The description of the ferry ride back made my heart ache a little bit.
You two are sweet.

Misfit said...

Sneaking around while visiting parents is always funny! And I agree, some days love feels like more of a tragedy.

Elaine said...

I left the internet for one week... and i had 1000+ on my google reader. I looked, got discouraged and just said that I read all and started fresh. There was no way i'd be able to read them all. so overwhelming.

Crashdummie said...

well, is that of any comfort of saying that all the greatest loves have been tragedies?

Hmmm, nah, didnt think it would. oh welll :)

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

I sure do love your writing; you have such a gift!

lissa said...

i love small-town papers too. i used to work for one -- that was a great time.

i winced at the part about your google reader list. i'm so behind too. i don't know if i'll ever catch up.