Wilde times

Yesterday I was reminded of a line from The Importance of Being Ernest. As previously noted, earlier this year I lost my grandmother, or more specifically, my step-grandmother, Jane. Last night I came home to find a letter from an Dublin solicitor regarding the loss of my paternal grandmother, my namesake*, Margaret McDonnell. I must be getting careless.
I have wonderful memories of Ireland. I remember looking into my Aunt Bernice’s eyes for the first time when I was 19, and seeing my own eyes looking back. I remember eye-wateringly strong Irish coffee before bed on chilly winter nights. I remember hours of singing and laughing at Nick’s, my grandparents’ local. I remember taking the long way home to avoid the Garda road blocks!
It was in Ireland that Dr. T bought me a ring, and got down on one knee on a sidewalk and proposed.
When my father, Brian, died in 1998, I got a phone call from my uncle in Dublin, who let me know. That call, as per my father’s request, was made after the funeral. I have not been back to Ireland since, and I often wonder, if I had been given the opportunity to be part of the family then, by which I mean, had I been invited to the funeral, would I have stayed in touch with my grandparents and my aunts and their families?
For my part, I hide behind the excuse that I am angry with my father. I feel that he deliberately excluded me from his life and death – which, given his track record, is not altogether surprising, but that doesn’t make it right. Part of me is very hurt, though, that no one – not a single aunt, cousin, uncle, or grandparent – ever tried to get in touch with me.
I was sad to hear that Madge died, and sadder still that I heard it from a complete stranger. I remember her very fondly – she was tiny but full to overflowing with life and love and laughter.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again
*I’m not convinced that namesake is the right word here, as it implies she was named for me, which obviously is not the case. The closest “right” word I can think of is eponym, but I think that’s usually reserved for things, not people. Anyone have a better word?

Irony, thy name is woman stuck in snowbank

In the past 24 hours, another 30 cm of snow (about a foot, for the non-metrically minded) fell, fast and furious, on our fair city. This was a true blizzard, with high winds turning the snow into a blinding sheet of white that hurt when it hit your face.
Yesterday was also, coincidentally, International Women’s Day.
In our house, this convergence of events played out as follows:
~ As Dr. T relaxed on the couch, watching a testosterone-fuelled Indiana Jones battle evil-doers and rescue the incessantly-shrieking Kate Capshaw, the doorbell rang and I raced downstairs to open the door, and find two women, obviously mother and daughter, on our front porch. The mother explained that she and her two daughters had been trying for ages to get their car out of a snowbank on our street, and had given up, and ours was the first house to answer the door. They were hoping to find something to put under their tires so they could drive out of the snow.
~ I turned around and called for Dr. T – at which point the woman’s face lit up and she exclaimed “A man! Yes, that’s what we need!”
(to clarify, she meant that he could help, not that she needed a man to put under her tires)
~ Dr. T threw on his boots and jacket, grabbed a shovel, and headed out; he was back within minutes, having successfully and manfully extricated the damsels in distress from their snowy metaphor.
~ Less than an hour later, the bell rang again. This time, a young couple were stuck in the snow in the middle of the street, and once again, Dr. T braved the elements and helped them out. This particular operation took a little longer, so the wife took refuge in our house, where we chatted for the half hour or so that it took the men to solve the problem.
~ Apparently in an attempt to add to my bemusement, the young woman told me all about her coming to Canada from Bangladesh to marry the young man based on the recommendation of her sister’s husband, who had met him once and thought he was suitable. A year and a half later, she, a physiotherapist, and her husband, an engineer, were both working at a restaurant to support themselves while they went back to school to take courses to become, respectively, a physiotherapist and an engineer.
~ We took the fact that two sets of complete strangers had now called on us to help them navigate our snowy street as a sign that our plans to drive the kids to the babysitter’s and then head out to a much-anticipated party were perhaps less than realistic. I called our erstwhile hostess and regretfully sent our regrets, he called the babysitter and did the same, then we settled in with our supper (made by me) and a nice bottle of red, and enjoyed family time (including the final scenes of the Indiana Jones flick) instead.
On the other hand, the soft, buttery dinner rolls were made by my son, so I guess that balances everything out, right?

Ten points for style, minus several million* for…

So on Thursday, one of my classes had to hand in their rewritten essays. Naturally, a few people didn’t show up, presumably under the (mistaken) impression that if I don’t see them, I don’t notice that their papers are not on time.
Ten minutes into the class period, there’s a knock on the door. I open the door to find one of the missing students, who hands me her paper, coughs, and then says she can’t stay because she has bronchitis, but she wanted to get her paper in.
So yes, kudos for demonstrating that you respect my deadlines and take my class seriously, but I’m not sure about the whole pulmonary infection thing. Also, I believe this is your plague rat.
*I have a leftover, unopened roll of rockets from Hallowe’en that goes to the person who first correctly identifies the reference in the title.