Ah yes, the whole Men are from “Mars and Women are from Venus” issue arises once again. Except it is now re-coined the “Sarah is from Nelson, Dad is from Barrie.” 

I sit here in the family room at 137 Shanty Bay Road lost in papers. No really, I mean I actually can’t find my foot in this room. For those of you who know Dad and his idiosyncrasies, you’ll know that to say he is a bit of hoarder is like saying Trump is a bit of a moron. It’s a common occurrence when you come into the Calvert household in Barrie to find issues of the Toronto Star from June. 1993. I used to try to tidy up and pitch newspapers that I deemed to be “old” into the recycling, until one time Dad asked if I had seen the “special” article he’d been saving about the new Miata, which featured him on the front page of a local publication. Oops. 

It was kind of like the time that Mum finally got rid of 2 old bright yellow Yamaha snowmobile helmets that had been downstairs in the basement for decades. We never even owned snowmobiles, so don’t ask me why we had them. They’d been split up for about ten years by that point, so Mum took the bits and bobs that remained to the Salvation Army and left them outside the doors as it was closed.  No word of a lie, but Dad called later that night, as if his junk radar had been activated, and told Mum he was coming over to get the helmets. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me” was her response and she told him she had just, and I mean, just taken them to the Sally Ann. “Christ Gloria! Those are worth about 80 bucks!” And so, Dad drove down to the Sally Ann and actually retrieved the helmets that were sitting outside on the step, and to this day, they still haven’t been used, and are now sitting in the garage, like 2 yellow beacons reminding me how nuts our family is. 

And I’m not exempt from the nutso factor either; just ask Dad. He can’t believe the cash that I spend on food, and he also can’t pronounce most of the stuff I eat.  It’s always an entertaining culinary experience when I come back to visit Dad in Barrie. His fridge consists mostly of edible oil products and various Kraft dressings that are used on salads, as well as a replacement for ketchup when he runs out, on grilled cheese sandwiches and fried eggs. Keep in mind that many of these condiments are in line with the papers strewn about the house: from 1993. Dad has a stomach lining made of steel and can typically ingest just about anything; I think he was a goat in his first life. We used to quote the line from the old Life cereal commercials when pawning food off that we didn't want, "Give it to Mikey. He'll eat anything." 

I digress. Back to the whole notion of eggs. He doesn’t quite get “dairy free” and always assumes that I don’t eat eggs. I’ve made us poached eggs every time I visited for the past ten years, but every time he goes to make them himself he says, “You don’t eat eggs do you?” He’s not the only one mind you, I’ve had several people question if I eat eggs, once I inform them I don’t do dairy. I’m not sure of the connection there with the cow and the chicken, and I guess they’re not too sure either. One thing is for sure, my eating habit drive Dad crazy. 

The last time I stayed with him for a lengthy period of time I did all my own shopping to avoid arguments in the grocery store about organic foods.  Last time we shopped together and strolling through the produce section he pontificated, “I watched a show on 60 Minutes once,” he yelled while pointing at the organic spinach, “which said that that organic stuff is a bunch of bullshit and a rip off. I’m not buying into it!” One night he was looking for a late night snack in the fridge and I could see him bent over, moving stuff around on the shelves, “I don’t know what the hell you have in here, but I can’t even pronounce anything. What the fuck is ‘kiy-nay -oi” anyway?” When I told him it was actually and ancient grain from the Andes called quinaoi, and that it was a full protein he huffed, “It better have steak in it then. Christ! Look at the price of it!” i started removing the price tags to various food items to avoid a repeat. It’s hard for him to understand how a perpetually underemployed artist would choose to spend her money on organic foods. I think he assumes I should be shopping at Price Chopper and picking my fruit and veg from the bargain bins. 

He kindly offered me a tomato sandwich last week and when I told him I don’t eat night shades anymore he barked incredulously, “Nightshades?! When the hell did you ever eat curtains anyway? I don’t remember that!”  

Needless to say I am thinking about starting our own reality cooking show which would involve combining creative dishes made of what we both have in the fridge. One dish might be something like hot dog atop amaranth, simmered in Kraft Bbq sauce with kale chips on the side. 

Let me know your thoughts on this and I’ll pitch the Food Network asap. Until then, I’ll continue to laugh at our differences over my spirulina smoothie in the morning as he eats his Shreddies, and continue to take my overpriced supplements with a smile on my face. If only I could find them under all these fucking papers!

Question for YOU: Can you share a story that shows a quirk one of your parent possesses? 

As always, thank you for following and joining me in this journey. 

Much love and light,


Santokh September 17, 2016 @09:20 am
Sarah, I can relate to you on the food issues. When my family gets together we've boiled the whole thing down to our catch phrase "Never tried it. Don't like it." Everyone uses it and it keeps us smiling instead of getting offended when someone doesn't want to try your dish.
Allan Hobden September 16, 2016 @01:47 pm
Ha Ha Delightful read...I am a Dad to three healthy eating daughters...and I still ask the one vegetarian...if she wants to share a hamburger...thanks for this..still chuckling..Allan..Woodbury Village, Kootenay lake.
Lorraine September 03, 2016 @08:29 am
I'm still chuckling over this one. Best video ever as well!

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