Looks like we made it

Dear Calgary,

We’ve been together a year now. And what a year it has been: tattered world economy, the house that wouldn’t sell, moving house….twice, spending 24 hours of every day with my cherubs and growing a small elephant in the process. Really, in the midst of these fairly large changes, I hardly feel like I’ve given you the attention you deserve.

I could say you’ve grown on me, but I’m not sure that’s true. Maybe I’ve just developed a tolerance for you. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t think ‘wow, I hate living here.’ But I don’t think ‘wow, I love living here’, either. I guess I don’t think about you at all. Is that bad? Instead of a love-hate relationship, ours is more like an arranged marriage….or a 50 year old marriage; we make do with each other.

In the year since we were united in matrimony, I’ve found a few things I like about you. I like that you have places like Nectar Desserts. (Really, Nectar should give me free dessert for all the times I’ve mentioned them on this vastly popular blog read by thousands of people.) And coffee shops like Caffe Beano, Bumpy’s, Kawa and Caffe Artigiano. Where, for a mere $4 or $5 you can get a really good espresso drink with latte art. Perhaps you can guess from my tone that I don’t actually frequent these places all that often. That’s because I’ve curtailed my latte purchasing habit severely since moving here.

And let me not forget to mention my favorite neighborhood joint, Jeanne’s Pizza. I didn’t frequent Jeanne’s until a few months ago. Because, font snob that I am, I was severely turned off by the neon signs placed upon her storefront. Even if the neon signs said: ‘voted best pizza in Calgary’.

But one day, I put my aesthetic preferences aside and went in. And, Jeanne is the bomb; super friendly and an excellent pizza maker. She gave my boys 2 quarters last time we were there, so they could get Skittles from her candy machine. Her panzerotti are seriously delicious.

And then there’s the scenery. The prairie/big sky/mountain triumvirate. But, Calgary, you can’t really take credit for your surroundings, can you? It’s like a bride trying to take credit for having incredibly attractive parents, in spite of her own average appearance. If the looks didn’t transfer…..well, you lose bragging rights, I’m afraid.

But it is worth mentioning; that I enjoy driving around you and taking it all in.

I have some beefs with you as well, Calgary, they mainly involve price. Bear in mind, before moving here, I spent four years in Muncie, Indiana. Which could hardly be considered an accurate barometer of what things should cost (population 80,000 on a good day). My mortgage payment there was less than half of what we pay here…to rent a house.

You’re bigger, and Canadian, and I get it that you should be a little more expensive.

But, really, do you need to charge me $8 for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s? Are you the city equivalent of a New York Deli? Fair enough, I now only eat Chubby Hubby when I go back to Muncie, which is probably better for all involved. It being the most caloric, fatty ice cream available to mankind.

Did you know Meijer (in Indiana, much like your Superstore here) often has Ben and Jerry’s….on sale…..2 for $6? Sometimes it’s even a 2 for $5 sale…but that’s, admittedly, less often. Oh you’d better believe I used to stock up. Those were the glory days – 2 pints of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer.

And plane tickets…oh don’t get me started. It’s just all kinds of wrong that I have to pay more to fly to Indiana than to fly to Europe. All kinds of wrong.

And I’m sorry, but I hope I never get to the point where I think $500,000 is a ‘good deal’ for a bungalow. If I plunk down half a million dollars of someone else’s money, I want a tennis court and a pool. And a maid. Maybe even a driver. Though that would require a car upgrade, since the Chevy Venture is not chauffeur-worthy.

There’s also the matter of the Calgary lie, I’ve discovered. It involves veteran Calgarians looking you in the eye and saying (when the weather is particularly atrocious)….’it’s never like this….this is really unusual.’ They also have another little phrase (lie!) they like to toss about….’it gets really cold….but we have the Chinooks….’ Which is a fancy way of saying you’ll freeze your behind off but there are these supposed ‘winds’ that come around (virtually never) that will warm things up. Hypothetically speaking.

Calgary, let me just say that this past winter, I think there were one or two Chinooks. In a four month period. There was snow on the ground for three continuous months (December to March). And let’s not forget: you don’t clean residential streets.

We arrived last August 18th. It was so hot and muggy, all I could think was ‘what have we done…I thought this place was supposed to be dryer and cooler?’ I can still recall our taxi ride in that yellow minivan with windows that wouldn’t fully open, and no air conditioning. Driving to our ‘vacation rental’ in the bowels of the northeast. And then walking almost a mile to the grocery store where things were labeled in Arabic.

But, the next day, when we went outside, it was cold. Cold. And rainy. And it stayed that way for a week. I thought ‘what have we done….we’ve missed summer entirely.’ But you shaped up in September and October. No complaints here – it was magnificent. We were outside nearly every day. Exploring Fish Creek park, Prince’s Island, the pathways by the river. Eating popsicles outside.

It was a thing of beauty.

And then there’s the blur that was December through, well, probably May. The only time in my life I could recall wanting to go insane about something as trivial as the weather.

Put it this way, you make an excellent case for polygamy. Judging from the tanned Calgarians who flood the airport between January and March, clad in shorts and tropical shirts because they forgot it’s colder than cold here…..I’m guessing I’m not the only one who thinks a second city might be a good option. You know, just for the winters.

You can be my main city the rest of the year.

5 thoughts on “Looks like we made it

  1. Alright, sister. You know I am DYING laughing!!!! MY. WORD. Although I loved reading this post, mostly because I feel so much the same, I am saddened that after a title like “Looks Like We Made It” there is no baby news. I just thought for sure!!! Well, I am just going to pray super hard that it happens…like, today.

    1. Yeah, and I don’t even like Barry Manilow…but I always go with the title/song that pops in my head. Jason insists the baby will be born today. But unless I’m in some sort of ‘invisible’ labor…I’m guessing it’s a no-go.

  2. J…Muncie is actually just your old girlfriend from high school – there’s still time for a mistress. 😉


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