I guess I’ll start with Friday. I went to my niece Tia’s grade 12 convocation in the morning. She’s a smart one; she graduated Magna Cum Laude (average of over 90%) and got the highest marks in a couple of subjects. She also received scholarships and was the valedictorian of a graduating class of about 350 kids. I hate to brag (well, not really), but I’m a proud auntie.
I was supposed to attend an all-day work meeting on Friday. I tried to get out of it because of Tia’s grad and then I wanted to pick Neve up after her last day of school. I thought the organizer of the meeting would tell me it was no problem and that I needn’t bother coming, but instead, she strongly encouraged me to come. It turns out it was our fourth annual staff appreciation day (Click here to read about the first one).
Fortunately Tia’s last name is in the first half of the alphabet, so as soon as the F’s received their diplomas, I zipped over to Polo Park to meet up with my co-workers (they had met for breakfast at The Fort Garry, found out it wasn’t a boring staff meeting after all, then hopped on a limo bus to Polo Park). We got $400 gift cards to the mall, but there was a twist this year. We had to spend $100 on a co-worker (we picked names) and the other $300 on family or friends. I’m not the greatest shopper ever, so at first I was somewhat overwhelmed at having to spend $400 (for others) in two hours. Luckily I quickly overcame my stress and ran around the mall like my pants were on fire. I bought my co-worker a bag from Danier Leather and a top; I bought Dale running pants; Chloe and Neve got tops from Lululemon/Ivviva; and Spencer got a Dr. Who T-shirt, a DVD, and a mug with a Princess Bride quote (kind of weak, but there’s no bookstore in the mall so I worked with what I had). But I felt pretty successful and my family was thrilled … I think I’ll give myself a two-hour window to do all my Christmas shopping this year and see how that goes.
After shopping, the limo bus took us to Tavern in the Park, where we had a lovely lunch and took turns giving each other the gifts and then we all went home. So that was a good day. If all employers did that, there’d be a lot less job turnover.
The good times didn’t stop there. After lunch, I actually went back to the mall since I’d seen a few things I liked but didn’t have time to try on. I bought myself a swimsuit; in a miraculous turn of events, not only did I find one that I liked, they actually had it in my size, AND it was 50% off! That never happens. Usually the only one that even sort of fits me is the only one not on sale. Then I went to pick up the kids from my sister’s and had a little happy half-hour, followed by ice cream at Marble Slab and a bonfire in the evening with Jim & Sabrina. Unfortunately, everything we try to do lately gets wrecked by rain, but we carried on and roasted marshmallows while the rain fell. Then we went inside and played cards. At least the rain couldn’t take that away from us.