Traditionally, weather plays a starring role. If sleet or a snowstorm is unavailable, a heat wave will step in. This week I adjusted my opening night wardrobe daily. The thought of pantyhose (and therefore high heels) had vaporized by Tuesday afternoon. I could go on, but let’s just say that by Thursday evening I was in no position to play strip poker.
Then there’s the opening night wild card - health - a full-range variable from bruised toes to Ebola. Doing a header off the buffet several weeks ago was an indirect result of this show, as I was trying to make a copy of the painting layout which would have to wrap around a corner. Unfortunately my dismount was a 2.0 and I turned my knees into bags of broken glass; still, bodies heal and I’m much better than I deserve to be, though now with a raw knee-jerk terror of step stools. So it looked as if we had dodged that bullet until Jon woke up Thursday morning with a raging throat. Even though he nursed it with a king’s ransom of echinacia, clearly he was not fit for spousal duty that evening. Besides, someone had to stay home and get the few food survivors into the new fridge. Wait. That meant that I had to drive myself into Deepest Darkest Toronto!
I was right to be afraid. What should have taken forty minutes was an hour and forty. While the QEW was a parking lot, at least out there there was space for the car, something I could not say about the Arts District. Miles of cars sat parked bumper to bumper, street after street. A speeding Moped almost T-boned me. Pedestrians swarmed. Foreign cars honked. After circling and gnashing my teeth for half an hour, I spotted a municipal parking lot and dived for it. It was $5; little does Toronto know I would have paid ANYTHING by then.
When I staggered into the gallery, a good friend took one look at me and brought me a rum and coke. May she live in paradise forever. And suddenly, the trivial melted away as dear friends arrived from all corners of Southern Ontario. So, though I began with kvetching, I write this in celebration —of love and loyalty. It cannot have been convenient for anyone to be there; yet there you were. It touches me deeply. It always does. Many who couldn’t swing it this time have done so numerous times in the past. Please, please, don’t ever feel the need to apologize if you can’t make it. One appearance at an opening wins you my eternal gratitude.
It was tempting to go out after but Grown-Up Z'Anne, who appears now and then, opted to leave before the Jays home game let out. Driving home on a now-clear highway, I listened to the last few innings (Go Tulo!). I admit to feeling happy about the score, but that was nothing compared to my joy at having spent a memorable evening with good friends. I can’t thank you enough; I am truly blessed by your support. Thanks for making the room light up.
And yes, I was pretty darned tired the next morning but coffee proved to be a satisfactory nostrum. I have concluded that the pill would be more appropriately administered BEFORE opening night!