Greetings and bienvenue from Vancouver. I've finally got the last box unpacked and gotten the apartment we're leasing pretty much ready for me, Francoise, whoever's arriving this May and Anthony. Our new place is on the seventh floor of a largish housing block with a great view of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It's kind of nice to see history being made despite the trouble they have building things in a slumping economy. Not that that matters to SOME people. To some people, it's just an apartment of a certain size in a security building that's reasonably priced and is fifteen minutes from someone's job. It seems not to have occurred to that someone that he should have gotten his own daughter (!!) enrolled in pre-school; having to do that because, hey, I have a uterus and he doesn't wasn't all that fun. Guess who he tried to blame for his brain failure; the woman his daughter assumes is the mean stepmother from Cinderfreakingella. Why Mike assumes that he'd be a great weekend Dad if we can't make therapy work is sort of puzzling. It's starting to sink in that he managed to make Francoise behave by sweetly telling her "This is my friend Liz's ass; kiss it or Daddy won't love you no more." Nice.
The only good thing is that I've been touching base with the family members who stayed behind. It's sort of nice to have friendly faces in a strange town. Aunt Emily and her extended family are good people; it's nice to see that not everyone of Mom's generation is a twit. What's more, they've given me an insight into Mom I never had. Grandpa Jim tended to gloss over her chidhood out of kindness but it's clear that I'm not the only one who messed up her life hung on on an illusion. They remember some poor fool who went on to become a tax lawyer with a fondness for motorcycles that Mom had a doomed crush on when she was April's age. Everyone in the world but her knew that this guy was not interested. This led to her doing the same stupid thing that Mrs Poirier did and chasing after him to his dorm room in Victoria to kind of force the issue. Needless to say, she interpreted his "You're a swell kid (the guy, at nineteen, was about three years older) and someday, you'll make a lucky guy very happy but I'm not the man you're looking for" in the worst possible light. This goes a long way to explaining why she really hates motorbikes: they're devil machines ridden by haters who humiliate trusting little innocents.
To get back to little Whatever-we-name-him-her-or-them Caine, the crib Mike and Dee sent is waiting for the newest member (or members) of the family to arrive. I can see why it is that Dad really liked the idea of having Anthony hanging around; he had that thing put together in about half-an-hour. It's not as if he really believed that Anthony had things like wit, charm or a sense of humor despite what he told everyone within earshot. All he wanted was another guy he could talk about power tools with. God knows that's about the only thing they'd discuss. Mom night have saw Anthony in that light but she has low standards and is thus very easily impressed; I remember how she marveled about how creative and intelligent Mike was when he talked like a regular human being. Since Anthony can make bad puns that sail just over Mom's head, he's a pea-packing genius in her eyes. He's also Father of the Year because he doesn't hit Francoise, clothes her and keeps her from starving to death. She never seemed to care about our emotional needs so his blowing off Francie's oh-so-legitimate concerns doesn't register.
It's thus almost gratifying to reveal that she's become the neighborhood crazy lady. According to Mike and Dee's legperson Sylvia, she isn't a danger to herself or those around her so she'll more or less permitted to happily rattle around the old neighborhood revising history. Dee's so frustrated by things and, since her accident gave her a mild case of retrograde amnesia, she's almost started to take Mom's warped take on history seriously. My oldest memories were of a blond girl in pigtails yelling at third-grader Mike for dusting off the fat-as-a-pianna joke so I know that the Sobinskis didn't shuffle off to Burlington when she was five; too bad Dee's so worn out dealing with the nasty little bug they picked up at the pediatricians, she doesn't care how the gaps got filled in. Dad and Phil and all the others are still plugging away trying to get her back to normal but that'll end soon enough. Sooner or later, they'll just let her be contentedly bonko.
Anyway, I've taken up enough of your time with my problems. I'll tell you about how Anthony is settling in at his new job next month.