Montreal Getaway – Jan. 29-31, 2016

Places like Montreal are the reason why I regret not taking more French than I did back in high school. I mean I have up to grade 10, a measly year beyond what was required, but that’s hardly enough to get me to a conversational level. Luckily for me, the Montrealians (is that the term?) I encountered were at least bilingual. It warms my heart to know that independent businesses are able to thrive in a big city like this. I recently learned that Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, behind Toronto. During our weekend, I don’t think I saw a single Starbucks and maybe only a handful of Timmies and McDs. The trips here with the Western Mustang Band all those years ago for the St. Patrick’s Day parade seem like forever ago and I never got the chance to discover this city. Not that I think I really have, but this was certainly the first time I got to try. I did a little bit of research before our trip; which mostly consisted of reading blog posts of “15 up and coming restaurants of Montreal,” or “101 restaurants to try in Montreal before you die,” or “Must-try eats in Montreal you can check out in a weekend.” Very food-centric. But before eating our way through Montreal, there was an even more important reason for our visit.

Heather and I are both avid fans of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and when I checked out the schedule for this season when it was released back in October and noticed our team, Les Canadiennes du Montreal were playing at home the weekend of our anniversary, I got planning. I’m not sure I could have anticipated a better set up of games than what ended up happening. Les Canadiennes were playing the Calgary Inferno and prior to the weekend they were both atop the league; Calgary was first and Montreal was second and only a couple of points separated the two. Montreal won both its games that weekend and took the lead; and man they were an intense pair of games. It was a privilege to watch so many Olympians (Shall I name a few? Wickenheiser, Ouellette, Poulin, Labonte, Chu, Mikkelson, Saulnier, Jenner, Larocque) take the ice together and it was nice to know our money was going towards an organization that needed support. Bonus, the proceeds from Saturday’s game and a silent auction went towards a charity for breast cancer research. We also took the opportunity to pick up some Les Canadiennes merch. Nothing like saving on some shipping! Turns out the youth XL hoodie fit Heather just fine so I guess that’s another way of saving money.

City planning in Montreal really is next level. As we made our way during the 6 hour bus ride from Toronto, I looked up public transit options and, lo and behold, there was a $13 weekend pass that went from 6pm Friday to 6am Monday. The subway and bus routes were comprehensive as was the companion app. There were buses along every major road running in a grid-like fashion AND they were dependably on time. I don’t think we once waited more than 10 minutes.

After settling in at our AirBnB (conveniently located across the street from the sport complex the games were being played at), we picked up some dinner and breakfast supplies at a nearby grocery store then headed over to St-Viateur for some fresh bagels.

The aroma of fresh baked bagels hits you as soon as you walk into the place. There are a couple of things in fridges you can buy but the bagels were the star. The place was simple, an isle to allow for a line-up and no room to loiter and a deep wood burning oven in the back that you can tell has been used lovingly for years. Bagels were made fresh on site all hours of the day since it’s open 24/7.

The next day we ventured out to a cafe we’d heard about and were dying to check out: Cafe 8 oz. on Rue Saint-Hubert, just a quick bus ride closer to the subway station we were near.

I think it was here that I started describing everything in Montreal as disgusting and gross because I couldn’t handle how charming this city was anymore. As the kids say these days, “this was my aesthetic AF.”

A short 10 minute walk from the cafe, we discovered a small shopping area that covered 4 or 5 blocks filled with restaurants, boutiques, and bookstores we could peruse. There was a Montreal smoked meat restaurant we wanted to check out and we were really glad that we ended up avoiding expensive touristy areas and got a chance to see more local culture. I know how massive smoked meat sandwiches can get so when we arrived at Le Roie Du Smoked Meat, I opted for the smoked meat sandwich on a bread roll… but still…

After lunch, Heather was on the hunt for more caffeine. So we hopped into a super cute cafe called Candide which we passed on the way to lunch. I think Heather was drawn in by the cute sheep theme while I’m a sucker for musical theatre references. She ordered a large mocha for us to share and got to choose the type of chocolate. She opted for the dark but it was really rich… she ended up drinking it by herself.

I mean look at that! Disgusting.

After the first game, we checked out this awesome microbrewery called Boswell for dinner. I got a sample of this beer that was super sour and I really didn’t enjoy it. The waitress was kind enough to give me a small taste so I didn’t waste it and I ended up getting a more familiar IPA. Unfortunately they were out of some of the daily specials that we wanted to try but we loved what we ended up getting just the same. I got a marinated grilled chicken wrap and some fries but I didn’t take a picture because I was so impressed with what Heather got.


Grilled shrimp on a bed of Moroccan quinoa

Aside from the hockey games, the highlight of our weekend in Montreal has to be our visit to Juliet et Chocolat. Located just south of The Village, we had no idea we were in for such a treat. This place really blew our socks off.

There is a small seating area to the left as you walk in and on the right is the welcome counter as well as the kitchen area where fresh crepes are being prepared; the smells really catch you while you wait to be seated. At around 10pm, the wait wasn’t too bad but they were certainly busy.

Their menu was the most varied dessert menu I’d ever seen. An entire section on hot chocolates made from chocolate from all over the world and at whatever percentage of darkness you’d want. Entire sections were dedicated to cake, brownies, crepes, waffles; even a section on platters of combinations of those sections or a variety of each different section. It took a long time to peruse through but we eventually managed to decide.

We left happily with our bellies full.

I think the aspect I enjoy most about the independent business culture of Montreal is the relationship developed between owner and customer as well as the responsibility they feel towards each other. There seems to be this unspoken promise amongst themselves that a certain standard must be kept in order for them to remain competitive with each other… and that standard is high. We ended up returning to Cafe 8 oz. on Sunday morning and they recognized us! I know this because he greeted us in English.

Montreal served to be a wonderful backdrop for our weekend together and we were impressed at how good everybody’s English was. After all, all of their signage and day-to-day things are in French and they’re under no obligation to know English either. Everyone was so nice too! I was especially impressed with the bus drivers, but then I thought, “it’s probably because no one treats them like shit here.” Good point.

I still have to get my fill of authentic Montreal-style poutine… didn’t end up having enough time to grab some before we had to catch our bus. I wish I took some more pictures of my surroundings too instead of just the food we were eating. Already looking forward to returning!


Social Media and Gaming Cleanse

Heyooo! It’s been a while! Almost two years, in fact. As I do every year, I make the new years resolution to try to write more because it’s something I’d really like to get into the habit of doing. I find it can be quite therapeutic to get my thoughts in writing either online or on paper. It must have something to do with slowing my thoughts down enough to write it out allowing me to process it that I find comforting because if I don’t, I find it’s hard for me to focus and organize myself.

So, let’s start this post with a journal I had to keep for the MIT course I’m taking this semester. It’s called “Social Media, Virtual Gaming, and Networked Life”. I remember being SO stoked to take it when I read about it last summer. Theeeeeen I realized that we would be putting ourselves through 5 days of restricting our own social media usage and gaming time. I was really bummed when I heard about it. The parameters were self-inflicted and we were to describe our own scope in order to see the impact this cleanse would have on us. In it, I also talk a little about my trip to Montreal over the weekend with Heather and I have some pictures uploaded on my computer so that post should be up some time next week, I hope. So that’s the gist of it and the rest is explained in the journal. Please enjoy.


Social Media and Gaming Cleanse: January 28 – February 2, 2016

First Entry:

            I start this cleanse with a sense of anxiety and trepidation. I’d like to think that the gaming aspect of this cleanse will mean more to me but maybe I think this way because gaming means more to me in general than social media does; not that I game more than I actively participate in social media. In reality, I game far less than I desire to because I’m unsure if I can achieve as much as I’d like to in a gaming session so I end up not doing anything. This has been true for me lately in terms of progress in Fallout 3. I spend approximately 5-15 minutes checking social media in the morning after waking up – my phone charger is right next to my bed so oftentimes I fall asleep with my phone next to me. Before going to bed, I spend approximately 2 hours on social media before falling asleep because I cannot keep my eyes open any longer. Every night, I reflect on how severe 2 hours a night is and the hours of sleep I lose because I don’t often start going through the apps on my phone systematically until 1am-ish. I’m very much hoping that this cleanse will force me out of this habit.

I will be spending a large half of the cleanse in Montreal (Friday – Sunday) with my girlfriend for our anniversary; so with respect to gaming, the only things I’ll be missing out on are my 3DS street passes and occasional mobile games to pass the time. I do think I will appreciate how much extra time I’ll have to spend with her without being preoccupied with status updates, Instagram posts, and the like. On Monday, I will be heading to my part time job for the evening and on Tuesday, she and I have plans to spend some time together at home since January has been a whirlwind of events for us. So as peeved as I am about missing the PC launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider or not having time to log onto Blade and Soul servers with my best friend, I think I’m just upset that I won’t have that option open to me. I believe that I’m actually quite disciplined with my gaming so I’m less concerned about what this short recess will mean to me.

My scope and limitations for social media for myself are quite severe. I have decided that during the cleanse I will not go on the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Reddit, Tumblr, and WordPress for personal reasons. Texting and emailing is fine, as is my AirBnB app to message the homeowner in Montreal. As I’ll be in an unfamiliar city during the weekend, I’m allowing myself to visit the Facebook pages or Twitter feeds of the places or events I’ll be attending, or to do research on possible activities, like Yelp. I considered allowing myself an hour a day to peruse social media for myself… but knowing me, I’d end up using all of the time just before bed and possibly going longer than the time allotted and reason with myself that I would not go on the following night. Taking that further, I would then likely take up the full hour of the next day’s so that I wouldn’t have “lost out” on allowed time.

Day 1:

I’m noticing much more about the world around me now that I’m not consumed with thoughts about what people are doing back in Ontario and I’m more present in my surroundings. Did you know that public busses in Montreal do not announce the next stop on speakers? I wonder how much of an impact this has on citizens who have sight impairments.

The itch to go on social media is certainly still there. Prior to the start of the cleanse, I put all of the platforms I was restricting myself on in one folder and all of the games in another. Furthermore, I went into the settings to stop all notifications from popping up on my phone. The little red circle next to the app telling me I had a notification would drive me crazy. After eliminating that and not having the screen blinking all the time has certainly helped. On my laptop, the only change I made was to make my browser open a new tab every time I start Google Chrome instead of the preset tabs I had before. Unbeknownst to me, little Facebook pop-ups show up even if Facebook isn’t one of my open tabs, it just happens if I’m logged in. I haven’t clicked on those, however, and it hasn’t bothered me too much. I also don’t consider being aware that I have notifications to be “cheating” – of course I’m going to get a couple notifications.

I did look up a restaurant’s Facebook page earlier today and glimpsed at exactly how many notifications I had and similarly with my Twitter notifications too when I was looking at event feeds.. At least I didn’t clear them or look at what they were about. I hope this will get easier as the cleanse continues. I still find that my hand reflexively will unlock my phone and flick to the screen where my social media apps used to be.

Day 2:

            Today felt a little easier to manage. I realized one of the places where I go on social media without fail is in the bathroom. Without going into too much detail, my bathroom time has decreased. Maybe it’s this thing that young adults can’t deal with nowadays – the inability to allow their hands to be doing nothing. It’s like if someone had left their phone in their coat pocket and went to the bathroom, “oh no, what will I do with my time while I’m in here.” Turns out, just sitting there being present for the task at hand is an option too. By significantly reducing the time I’m spending on social media, the time I waste in general with things unrelated to social media has decreased as well.

On a continuing negative note, it’s still difficult to keep in touch with social media of events that I’m attending or people I would only be able to contact through Twitter. While traveling and eating my way through Montreal, I’ve found Yelp to be a huge help in finding places to eat away from touristy zones. While I’m still taking pictures of my food and enjoying it, I’m allowed more time to process my experiences at the restaurants. I think I will be collecting these pictures and writing a blog about my trip after the cleanse. I already feel as though this blog post will be infinitely more satisfying to write and read back to myself than a quick Instagram post. I also think it will be more engaging between myself and my “audience.” On a related note, I think I may post this journal series about my experience of this cleanse on my blog as well. Not looking forward to Monday and Tuesday as those will be my real challenges because I’m really not checking my social media as much as I did prior to the cleanse in my daily routine.

Day 3:

Went on my IGN app today to read some news about gaming before realizing that it was about gaming and one of the things we’re technically not supposed to do… Is reading about gaming still gaming? Anyway, I felt guilty about it and stopped after about 30 minutes of perusing articles and reviews. I mean, I was already on the site, might as well get my fill of interesting news while I was on there. Most of today was running around Montreal trying to get the last couple of things in that I wanted to do or see.

Day 4:

It’s becoming less easy to manage as I’m back in London and back to my regular routine. I’ve noticed that my general level of anxiety has gone up because I’m unable to stick to the routine I normally keep going through school, home, and work. My primary means of communication with one of my best friends is through Facebook chat due to its ease of sending links and quick correspondence. Without that, I feel like we’re on hold for a couple of days while we’re both collecting things to tell each other about when I go back on Facebook on Wednesday. Another aspect of this cleanse that’s been increasing my level of anxiety is a disconnect with the world around me or things I care about in general. Twitter and Youtube have been my main outlets for news for years since I’ve become disillusioned with mainstream media outlets. I also don’t have cable at my place because we’re all so dependent on the internet. I’ve always believed that the internet can provide anything I’d want, entertainment-wise, that TV, radio, newspapers, etc, can provide.

Or maybe I’m just doing this experiment wrong and the way I’m doing it now isn’t allowing me to live my life more fully and is actually showing me how integrated social media has become to my day-to-day.

Day 5:

The day is winding down and I find myself doing a mental countdown every time I remember to look at the clock. The anticipation of the clocking hitting 12:01am is almost as anxiety inducing as the cleanse itself. I’m proud of myself though; I did exactly what I set out to do and aside from trip and work related social media I was able to abstain from it for the duration of the cleanse. I know I set out with the goal of decreasing desire to impulsively check social media before bed, but I don’t think I achieved that goal… hopefully I’ve at least reduced it to less than 1 hour rather than the crazy 2 hours it was before.

Final Thoughts:

             I’m not sure what I was hoping to get out of this cleanse because I don’t think I got it. Instead, I noticed a general upward shift in my levels of anxiety as I felt less and less connected with media and news outlets that I cared about. It took away the routine I had developed over the years of when and how I would access information around me and the sudden and severe abstain from it took a toll on me mentally. I don’t think this is a sign of the importance of social media for me because it’s not like I’m constantly posting about what I do every day or my every thought on it all the time. Instead, I use social media as a means of communicating with close friends privately and to receive information. In that sense, I think the cleanse may have made an impact on me different than the one I think it was intended for: to live day-to-day without distractions of our virtual selves.

On the other hand, abstaining from gaming has had little effect on me since it was so short and I was so busy. If it had been longer and had I had copious amounts of free time, I think I would have been irked but dealt with it by reading or watching TV or movies, but this was of little consequence to me. This, however, did not make any real impact on me at all. The lack of phone games was a little annoying, but it wasn’t like I was playing Kim K every day and needed to keep my in-game relationships going so there was nothing pressing I needed to do.

I’m not sure if this is naive of me to think this way, but I really don’t think I am of the demographic that a social media and gaming cleanse would target. I enjoy living “on the grid” and it allows me to make informed decisions about my life, whether big or small.

Mis-gender Me Some More

sexy and she knows it

sexy and she knows it

This is my beautiful girlfriend. Lately, I’ve been getting increasingly distressing texts from her about the many times she’s been mis-gendered at work, school, and the gym. Today, she said, “enough is enough” and wrote this piece on gender representation and body image positivity. Please take the time to read this, and encourage kindness and acceptance. We grow up in gender enforced spaces. We know where we’re supposed to go and where we “supposedly” belong. It would mean a lot to us if you would also reblog this and help get the word out. I have a feeling she is not alone in the way she feels and that people you know, or you, may also relate to her experience. Thank you. Her letter is below:


To the employee in the women’s locker room at the gym who felt it was appropriate to walk past me four times to leer and have a good long quintuple take in assessing my gender…. Seriously in what world is that remotely appropriate? Leering at any paying customer in a change room? I don’t care that my gender presentation may not be 100% obvious to you; it is not your business to leer at me. Especially when I make eye contact with you the second time you walk by to indicate I have noticed your assessment of me and I am unhappy that you’ve chosen to police my presence in a gendered space. Upon your fourth trip past on the head-to-toe assessment of the person tying their shoes getting ready for their work-out, I stared back at you again and asked “if I could help you with something?” because you are not conducting yourself within socially acceptable norms for locker room behaviour, you had nothing but a shrug in response. I guess the pitch of my voice was the missing link for you to determine that apparently I belong in this space that I have been told my entire life I am supposed to use (female gendered washrooms and change rooms). Let me be clear, when going to the gym I wear soccer shorts and a unisex t-shirt, if my hair is a disaster when I wake up I wear a ball-cap to tame the bed head. I do not do anything to accentuate my gender but that is because I do not go to the gym to perform gender (not that I really do anything to perform gender…). I go to the gym because exercise is important to me and I find the clothing I choose is conducive to the regime I have created for myself. I do not buy into the lululemon female form accentuating fitness apparel. I think if I chose to wear such clothing I would spend my entire work-out feeling self-conscious and wondering exactly how much of my butt and breasts are on display to everyone in my general vicinity. Also according to the gym’s modesty policy no one is supposed to wear tank-tops anyway, so really, what I choose to wear should not be a cause of concern to anyone as it does not violate policy and is reasonable athletic attire. I should mention I’ve grown quite accustomed to these looks now, I’ve been getting them for about 6 months, and I know exactly what they mean. I receive them at work, at the gym and most recently even at school. Entering gender spaces frequently is an inherent part of my job. It is impossible for me to go to the gym and not enter a gendered space if I have any desire to lock-up and safe guard my personal possessions. I have also been blessed with a small bladder which means it is practically impossible for me to get through a 4 hour day at school without using a bathroom at least once (oh look another gendered space). I am not about to give up any of these things because individuals feel uncomfortable or confused. My question is: why must you stare so penetratingly as if I am less of a human being because you can’t tell what is included in my genitalia on first glance? Doesn’t that make you less of a human being because you treat me as less than human because I don’t fit right into your quaint and antiquated gender binary? I have news for you, the binary is bullshit. I use the women’s washroom/change-room/dressing room because according to my sex at birth that is where I belong, and I have been raised to abide by the norms of that space. I am not a man, society dictates that I do not belong in exclusively men’s spaces and for that reason I feel very unsafe encroaching on them. So tell me, if I don’t ‘belong’ in the space that society has told me is the one I am permitted to access, where is it that I should be going? In addition to all of this and most importantly, I really like the way I look, I am blessed with positive body image (a truly rare thing in women these days) and I am not about to change it to please a bunch of strangers who judge too quickly and stare too long. So maybe if the general population could learn some common courtesy that I (and most other people I know) do not want to be leered at when I am minding my own business going about my day that would be truly great… I guess this makes me androgynous?

I enjoy the smell of fresh linens

I was completely set on going to class this morning… a clear indication that I set myself up for failure. Tuesday is the most important day of class I have. It’s only one class, but it’s a two-hour class so there is so much that I’m missing by not being there. It starts at 10:30, which, by my current standards, isn’t even that late. My sleep schedule has been normalized, it’s just that I close at work every Monday and I usually don’t get home until 1:30, sometimes even later. By the time I’ve gone through my little routine and my head hits the pillow, I’m pushing 3. There was supposed to be a supervisor meeting this morning too, something I relied on to get me to campus so that there’d be no doubt I could make it to class. No meeting, no class. Saving grace is that my prof will upload the slides online and all I have to do is read the accompanying readings in the primary sources textbook. Will I do that? Let’s be honest.

Instead, I guess I’ll take a personal day. There is a pile of laundry that needs doing, and my eyelids are still so heavy as I’m sitting here writing this after 12. I can’t even say it’s morning, it’s the afternoon. Who knows, there’re still a lot of hours in the day, I can still turn today into a productive one. I’m working on getting my personal life a little bit together and perhaps at this point in my life, the motto that suits me best is: make the most of it. I want to be the person that isn’t put off by little set backs and to have them just roll off my shoulder. Eventually though, I’d like to be an opportunist. That would be the next level. I know that making the most of something and being an opportunist sound really similar, but I think there’s something a little sad about someone who can only ever make the most of something. It’s like something is always going wrong. I haven’t had the greatest start to 2014 (destroying my ankle and my computer, among other things), so that makes sense for me. Whereas being an opportunist, you’re always looking for something to take advantage of. You’re always on the up and up!

I’ve got a long way to go though and I’m going to start today by finishing my laundry and going to get myself a cup of coffee.

A scatterbrained post about the Olympics

I promised, over two weeks ago, to make blog posts every week, and then I went back and edited that post to say that I would make bi-weekly updates and I’m STILL late! Perhaps my girlfriend sums me up best: “Why do you always make promises to set yourself up for failure?” If you know me, you know I’m really good at procrastinating, like scary good. So the fact that this post is even happening makes me happy. 

Team Canada entering Opening Ceremonies – Sochi 2014

I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics Coverage over the past week and being at Heather’s place for reading week is extra nice because she has access to cable. Though it’s not too big of a factor, Olympics coverage on has gotten progressively better and better, to the point where I think it’s made TV coverage obsolete. You don’t need to watch anything online on a set schedule, and it’s there when you want to watch it and you get to pick the points to watch or skip. Seriously, I wonder how much longer it’ll be until internet coverage becomes the staple. The fact that we’re still watching shows on someone else’s schedule is crazy.

Curling has been ruining my sleep schedule. Our teams are so good! The women’s team just became the first ever women’s curling team to come out of the round robin undefeated – Go Team Jones! Our hockey teams are also doing really well (obviously). We’re doing well in skating too, unfortunate that Yuzuru Hanyu exists… was hoping Patrick would win gold, he’s such an explosive skater – he’s either the bomb or he’s bombing, and he was the bomb this time! But that silver is more than deserved. Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue were robbed in the Ice Dancing though. ugh. It’s so unfair that something so subjective is left to a judging panel at the Olympic level. At least structure it in such a way that removes personal bias! The American’s free skate was arguably better, but the short program? No way, the Canadians were better, I didn’t understand how they were behind by as much as two points after the short program. 

Many people have called for a boycott of the Sochi games because of the human rights violations that have surfaced over the recent years especially concerning LGBT rights and the “Gay Propaganda Ban Bill” that passed recently. One of the athletes said it best, that boycotting the games would be a disservice to the countless athletes that have dedicated their lives to their sport. Being gay, straight, bi, queer, or anything under the LGBT umbrella is intrinsically part of who they are, but it is their excellence in sport that they have chosen to excel at. The IOC preaches that they support all aspects of fair competition and human integrity, but their failure of changing venues for the competition has made their stance clear. Some would even say that the committee itself is corrupt. Boycotting these games is not a good way of protesting Russia. I’m not saying that there is a ‘correct’ way, per se, of protesting these human rights violations, but personally, I don’t believe the Olympics are a platform for discussing these matters. 

Besides, we’re Canadians, we practically own the winter games! AND we’re awesome while we’re doing it. 
Insert completely relevant Buzzfeed article.

A monthly reminder? Let’s make it bi-weekly…

Got an email this morning from WordPress. At first I thought it was one of those generic ad emails telling me that a bunch of stuff was happening on my reader and that there were promoted posts by the people I follow. Upon closer inspection, it was an email reminding me to make a post because I had asked it to, hoping it would motivate me to write more. (it’s working, good job, old-me)

I wonder if this means I’m going to get a reminder at the end of every month to write something… If so, it will be very easy to think of what to write. Hint: they may just be recaps of big things that have happened to me over the course of the month and finishing off with hopeful thoughts for the next. But that’s kind of a cop out. Check it out, over 100 words in and I’ve said nothing of importance. Why can’t I transfer this skill over to essay writing?! Nope, there’s no better time to write an essay than the night before it’s due… *ahem… or you know… a week after the fact.

To be completely honest, I have a couple of blog ideas floating around in my head. I think I may buy a journal and use it to jot down thoughts and ideas as they come to me. I will try to write down, literally (ha. word puns), everything that comes to mind. That in itself could be a good blog… showing you the weird shit I think of. Anyway, you will know the topics of the posts as I write them. No use telling you what they are if I don’t even get around to it… I’m unreliable that way. Or maybe I’ll up my post reminder… perhaps once a week? or twice a month? We’ll see. Once a month seems a little sparse, especially since I’m trying to expand my online portfolio. I have aspirations , people!

Ugh, now I’m really upset I don’t have a journal to write these ideas in RIGHT MEOW.

EDIT: I am already super late for my weekly post, I will go back in time and change things so that I can be on time for a BI-weekly post! Oh, how appropriate… =b Anyway, the post will be right on time for Valentine’s Day. I’m so ready for Reading Week…

Story Time Sunday

When I was little, I had really messed up ideas of how the monetary system worked. I believed that buying things was a continuous give and take exchange until I was able to pay the amount asked regardless of what happened between us. Allow me to elaborate.

All through elementary school, we had regular book sales in our foyer and library to promote literature and I LOVED going to them. I remember seeing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on the table when Scholastics came to visit. It was also at these book fairs that I bought my many Roald Dahl books… The Witches, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to name a few. Anyway, to get to the point, on a parent teacher night one year, (I was maybe 7 or 8?) we had a book sale running at the library at the same time. My mom was there with me while my dad was waiting in the hall and I picked out a book and went to pay for it. Mrs. Woodruff, our librarian, said some number (let’s say $6), and I gave her a $5 bill and waited. She gave me a weird look and said something to the effect of, “that’s not enough.” And I was like, “yes it is, I gave you $5, so that means it’s $1 away from $6, so if you give me $1, I’ll have the $1 to give you.” I was completely convinced that I was right. But eventually, my mom dug through my little change purse to give her the remainder of the amount.

What confuses me to this day is why my mom didn’t jump in to correct me? Or teach me how to pay for things properly? What a weird scene this must’ve been, to see a little me arguing with an adult about how she needed to give me money so that I had enough money to give to her.