“Don’t forget to call!” I shouted to my parents as I waved them off in the driveway, their two cars and a trailer loaded down with precious possessions. As I turned and opened the door to my family home, it clicked: I was left behind.
Last week they moved to Alabama for two to three years. They are off on a grand adventure. My parents have never lived in another country but they’ve always longed to. I was shocked when my mom told me that 20 years ago they very nearly packed up my three sisters and I and moved to Australia to “live like gypsies for a year.” Instead we moved to Mississauga where my pre-teen years consisted of trips to one of the crappiest malls in the GTA – my local – Sheridan Mall, and if I was lucky, Erin Mills Town Centre.
For the first time in my life, I was on the other side. I saw somebody else off on their adventure and questioned why I had chosen to be stuck here in the ‘Saug. It’s only temporary, the house is sold and I’m living rent-free while I get settled (thanks Mom and Dad :)). But I’m car-less in the car-full suburbs. People look at me funny when I get off my bike, green-transit just isn’t vogue in Mississauga yet.
So I’ve been doing a lot of walking. Imagine my chagrin when I realized the closest grocery store was in Sheridan Mall. The place is like a scene from the living dead – zombified. But, on the bright side, there are bargains galore.
Payless Shoe Store is an unfortunate part of life for Canadian girls with big feet (like my size 12 beauties). I was dreading the cheap pleather and ugly shoes. But to my delight I found these fun, white runners and discovered Payless now stocks a few brand names.
When my mom finally called she said Pall City is great, they loved the deep fried pickles at the restaurant the other night. So while they discover new tastes in foreign lands, I’m walking among the living dead, past a string of former part-time jobs, reliving a past long forgotten. But only once a week – that’s my limit.