First, Friday night. AB had to work so I went out with CW. Had a glorious time shopping, eating and sipping delicious smoothies from ‘Fresh’, a veggie restaurant made for Ezmy. Strange: CW was not only all grown up but also living less than a block from where I lived my crazy three years in T.O. She goes to the same shops, eats at the same restaurants, and even gets lost in the same areas as I always did (curse you, confusing-yet-oh-so-amazing Kensington Market!). And while I have never really thought of CW as a kid, given that she’s always been incredibly wise beyond her years, it was still mind-bending to be back in the old neighbourhood with what is, I suppose, the next generation of finding-their-way early twenty somethings.
On Saturday morning, I went for a quick little brunch with KM, another cousin from the other side of the family who really has it all: great husband, cute little boy, new place and nifty job. Little A. was cuter than ever, even if he wasn’t as big a fan of brunch as we were. Strange: KM looks like a mum. In a good way. Which I guess is what happens when you have a kid and whatnot. But it was crazy to be sitting across from her, chatting about houses and kids and all manner of adult topics, while she balanced a 1 year old on her knee, deftly avoided the fork he was wielding and calmly removed butter patties from his fingers (I wonder if the capacity to multitask comes to mums along with breastmilk). I had a wonderful time but left feeling quite inept – I can barely handle my cat and schoolwork for crying out loud.
After a lovely Saturday afternoon of shopping with a side of tea and cake, AB and I went to Mandarin to celebrate another old roomie’s birthday. All-you-can eat chinese/japanese buffet = fantastic!! I ate my weight in garlic veggies and fruit sushi (I am so going to try to make fruit sushi at home…stay tuned). Strange: Sitting there with the old Zen Lounge/Velvet crowd that I had spent every Friday night and Sunday brunch with for much of the time that I was living in Toronto…but a modified version of this crowd. I say ‘modified’ in that everyone is married/with long term partner from outside of the group. And while there was a lot of good conversation, I couldn’t help but feel that the group was really growing apart. After dinner, instead of all heading to a local pub for pitchers or an old skeezy dance bar, everyone sort of just parted ways in slightly awkward fashion. Which was fine but just…strange.
Sunday afternoon, AB and I went to a girly party to celebrate a friend of ABs recent engagement. Great company, great food, and perfectly cheesy movies (‘Clueless’ and ‘The Sweetest Thing’). Strange: seeing AB with a baby. Not her baby, mind you, but a friend’s baby. And she wasn’t holding it like a foreign object, but rather like a….mum. SO strange. And cool, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that AB and I have, for as long as I can remember, avoided babies like the plague and generally agreed that the mum/baby relationship is more than a little parasitic. And yet here she was, not only holding this kid in the cutest way, but fighting off other women at the party who wanted to hold the baby. Checking on the baby when it was sleeping to make sure all was well. Jumping up to offer a spit blanket when the baby was about to puke on mum’s shoulder. Be-yond strange.
All in all an excellent weekend, but a strange weekend. So much was the same and yet so very, very different. Which is to be expected, I suppose, when one returns to the town they lived in for the first time in 6 years. From my perspective, time has sort of felt frozen over the last 6 years – I live in this alternate universe where I remain perpetually 23, largely because everyone around me in Ottawa is in their early twenties and worried about student loans and their first grown-up job rather than bibs and mortgages. This visit to Toronto reminded me that time is ticking by, that people around me are growing up and leading different lives, and that I am still. in. school. I don’t feel bad about this. But I do feel strange.