Saturday, September 17, 2005

ain't we got fun!

I’m sitting before you at my computer (well, as before you as it gets, without a webcam to show you) looking pretty darn dolled up for a rainy Saturday afternoon. No, I’m not going out (I think the videos I got from the library—Best in Show and Good Will Hunting—are more tempting than any show at the Harvest Blues and Jazz festival; yes, I realize how lame that makes me sound, and no, I don’t care), and no, I’m not expecting male company (the only male I want to entertain is, ahem, in Montreal). I’ve got a lot of reading to do, which unexpectedly feels like a blessing, not a burden. All of my classes this year (touch wood) are exciting, and taught by professors who are excited by their subjects and are therefore inspiring to an aspiring academic such as myself. So I’ve come to see the amount of work I have to do this semester as the necessary workload of an apprentice, rather than the drudgery allotted to an ordinary person off the street.

But I won’t bore you with the details of what I’ve got to read, except to say that it’s all about philosophy, sociology, women and men, and Beowulf. Woot! Instead, I will bore you with the details of how I got to be dolled up on this rainy afternoon.

Step 1: I woke at a decent hour, got dressed (my comfiest blue jeans and a black top, with my favorite silver bangles that belonged to a female relative on my mother’s side), and walked downtown with three girlfriends: Marlo, Krista and Meaghan. At this point it hadn’t yet started raining, and was kind of windy and grey, the moisture imminent. The Boyce Farmer’s market was packed with folks, plying their wares or shopping for them. It really is a wonderful place to watch people and be watched: professors with their families are hauling baskets of apples away, regular joes are looking at things, young hippy women wear interesting clothes, immigrants are selling interesting foods, farmers from the country with beards and big glasses and friendly smiles are selling all manner of vegetables under tents and off the backs of pickup trucks. There was one stand/truck that was entirely gladiolas, in their various pastel and bright hues, in plastic bags, waiting to be picked up by some happy person for a table vase or a present.

Step 2: After our market purchases (Krista and I got tomatoes and a big bag of basil; we’re going to make tomato sauce tomorrow) we went downtown to a little café/market called The Happy Baker. This place is oddly tucked away on the ground floor of a big corporate building, and feels like you’ve walked into another world: vats of steaming soups, glass cases filled with gleaming, sugary squares and fancies, and of course heaps of bread. We had lunch here, laughing about infomercials and avoiding the rain, which had begun to fall.

Step 3: We all went our separate ways after the library. I headed down the street under my big black umbrella to Sue Lawrence Hair and Spa, a long thin shop with walls painted in bright colors and interesting iron scultptures doing double duty as coat racks and mirrors. This is my twice-yearly splurge—they are a little more expensive than your average barber shop, but they know what they’re doing, and I like to have my hair cared for. I joked with Mélène about music and men, and got my hair cut and then straightened, just for kicks. Now my dye job (which had grown out and looked funky, and not in a good way) looks like I dyed the tips of my hair, on purpose. Yes! I am accidentally hip!

Step 4: I waited for the 3:15 bus in my favorite coffee shop, reading the weekend Globe and Mail. I’ve been getting into a pattern that I like: I buy the weekend Globe and leave it on my couch, and take a whole week to read it, in bits and pieces, here and there. There’s so much there!

Step 5: Upon returning home, I applied eyeliner and put my new, flipped-out-and-straightened hair back with a silver clip. Marlo and I made tea and soon I’ll join her in the living room, to listen to the rain falling in our back yard and quietly read our respective assignments.

And how, you ask, do some of these steps contribute to my overall dolling-up? Simple…the ones that have nothing to do with how I look make me smile in remembering. And a good smile, ladies, is the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble.

(Perhaps I do read a little too much Vogue. But that’s better than a lot of other addictions out there. So I like to think.)

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