Last week, via my angry sister and an amused friend, I learned that people are mad at me. They heard I was back in Toronto recently for one night (my son has a big mouth), and are furious I didn’t take those hours to go and spend time with them.

The list:

My mother

My sister

My best friend, the crazy lady

A work friend

My aunt

When I explained to my sister that I had only been in town for one night, and alluded to a booty call, she chilled out. My amused friend needed no explanation.

I find it odd, though, that when you move away, you are expected to see people more than you ever would have seen them if you still lived in that city. I see the above list of people, at best, two to three times a year. So far, I haven’t fallen below that quota. I am not seeing them any less than if I lived there. And hello? E-mail!

(The other thing I’ve noticed is that when people come here, they want to see me. But these are really peripheral people I would never have gone out with socially while living in Toronto. I barely know them. So why would I want to socialize with them because we’re in another city?)

Nonetheless, I did my telephone rounds.

Listen to the sweetness and joy that awaited me after the jump.

1. Mother: Rundown of various people in the neighbourhood who have died. Surely I remember poor dead Joan McArthur? Her daughter was two years younger than me in high school and remembers me!! What about Jane Clifford?? She died too and her son said to say hi at the funeral home — he remembers you from elementary school! What do you mean you don’t remember Greg Clifford? He remembers you!!! Recites every scene of the “Everybody Loves Raymond” re-run she watched last night. Bitched bitterly about most of her closest friends, my siblings, the weather.

2. Sister: Terribly broke, hating job, live-in girlfriend only works four days a week, so no money, car dying, hates life, hates my brother.

3. Best friend: Has spent, as usual, the last few weeks in and out of mental institutions because she messed up her meds. Translation: Started taking double doses of her painkillers again. Broke. Might have to sell the house, or, horrors, actually get a job. Can she and her husband borrow some money?

4. Work friend: Regaled me with further dramatic stories about how both parents are close to death. Both parents have been close to death for a decade, by the way. This friend’s misery/drama addiction is the reason I wasn’t calling even when I still lived in Toronto.

5. Aunt: Must change 95-year-old husband’s shitty diapers regularly and put him on the toilet, sponge bathe him. Cannot get him to agree to nursing home. Best friend broke her hip and is also living with her, so taking care of two invalids. Life is hell. No, will not put husband in nursing home. Oh, by the way, I’m coming to visit for a week next week. Not bringing shitty husband.

Huh. I wonder why I needed a bit of a break from these women? And why is it that women get so bent out of shape if you’re not in touch? My brother and my male friends couldn’t care less.