My liveblog was so janky from the day we were in Toronto and some of the stuff I had written didn’t post because of service issues and I truthfully was so annoyed that I didn’t feel like even attempting to retype what I had lost. But basically what happened was that we were supposed to have a decent chunk of time Tuesday afternoon to visit at least 2 places on my TO DO LIST (a cafe and a bakery – v. important places). I even made sure to pick two that were in the same area so that we could easily to hit up both. But then we ended up getting in a bit later than I anticipated, and the hotel that Henry had booked was actually a little bit PAST Toronto proper, so that took even more time away. Then we had to check-in, Henry had to answer WORK TEXTS which is my LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT HENRY’S JOB, like he is not a fucking hedge fund guy, you know? There is no reason he should be getting work texts on his day off, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE IS EVEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY.
So immediately, my mood soured. It flipped a switch in my brain and I went from being rearin’ to go to itchin’ for a fight. So I became super disagreeable. Literally kept flinging myself facedown on the bed and screaming JUST FORGET IT. So this was about an hour of that. What it also boiled down to is that I needed caffeine and sugar. Bigly.
Finally, Henry got me to put my coat on and we set off for the Danforth Music Hall, because Henry’s plan was to park there and take the subway to the cafe/bakery destination. So we did this with little conflict, but then I panicked because it was only 4:00 and there was already a line of people outside of the theater. Our tickets were general admission / floor but I am really just all out endurance when it comes to camping out to get a good spot, so I basically at that point had resigned to the idea of being way in the back, unable to see.
Anyway! The lot we parked in was right next to the subway station so that was nice. Except that Henry parked in a spot that had a HUGE puddle on my side so I couldn’t get out, which caused me to have ANOTHER emotional breakdown and start crying, “I JUST WANT TO GO HOME” and he calmly said, “Let me just pull up and you can get out” and after a bunch of resistance, I finally let him do this so that I could get out of the car without stepping in the puddle.
Then we got on the subway, which was fine. I am OK with the subways in Toronto. But what Henry didn’t tell me was that we would then have to get on the STREETCAR and after we had a weird experience the first time we used one of those (the driver yelled at us because we didn’t pay correctly or something, I can’t remember but it was embarrassing and I felt like I was in school getting yelled at by a teacher in front of the class and it was humiliating and clearly something that has squatted in my mind ever since). So we got on one that was still idling outside the station, waiting for the departure time, and some guy was sitting in the back loudly screaming about people looking at him or something and then he was calling someone the f-word and it was soooo uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the whole time I was like, “WERE WE SUPPOSE DTO PAY FOR THIS FIRST??” and Henry was like, “No one else did” but then I saw a guy come on and tap his card and I started to SWEAT.
“Maybe we’re supposed to pay when we get off,” Henry said, clearly not worried about this at all, while I sat there scrutinizing every single person that walked on. And then once we started moving, I paid close attention to everyone who was getting off and still couldn’t tell if we were supposed to tap our card somewhere and also how did we request a stop!?!? I was DYING. Legit wringing my hands. Suffocating on my anxiety. Pubtrans seriously makes me so nervous (EXCEPT FOR THE SEOUL SUBWAY).
Oh, and then!! I realized that at this point, it was 4:50 and BOTH PLACES I WANTED TO GO TO CLOSED AT 5.
“Let’s just get off here, there are plenty of other places around that we could go to,” Henry said at one point when the street car slammed to a stop at a red light and the doors opened. I cannot compute such impromptu instructions so my head was SPINNING as Henry leapt out of his seat and practically swan-dove out the door, and then JUMPED OVER A SNOW BANK to the sidewalk. I ran after him, looking like a thief probably, like, “HEY THAT GIRL JUST SKIPPED OUT ON THE FARE!” literally I was waiting for the driver to come running out looking like Chris Farley in Billy Madison, hollering about calling the Mounties on me.
None of these things happened, but the street car was still sitting there because of the redlight and I just felt EVERYONE WAS STARING AT US so I FREAKED OUT AND LEFT HENRY. I just turned and started powerwalking in the opposite direction, away from the sreetcar and where we apparently needed to cross the street, and proceeded to WALK ALL THE BACK TO THE SUBWAY STATION WHERE WE GOT ON THE STREET CAR.
It really wasn’t that far. Maybe a 25-minute walk. Henry trailed behind me the entire way, I refused to let him catch up with me. He kept trying to ask me what was wrong and I cried, “THE WAY YOU JUMPED OUT OF THE STREET CAR LIKE A PETTY CRIMINAL WAS SO EMBARRASSING” and he was like, “The fuck are you talking about?” and OK, now that we’re a week away from the INCIDENT, I am rational enough to admit that perhaps my mind, reeling from lack of essential nutrients (yes, caffeine and sugarssss) perhaps was replaying this scene to me in blown-up proportions best reserved for balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
I can be honest with you about that. Perhaps it was me, sabotaging this entire day because I am being eating alive by stress in all other areas of my life and God forbid I should allow myself to calm down, relax, enjoy myself.
Anyway. We took the subway BACK to the street where the Danforth is located, and I had SORT OF calmed down a little bit by then but was still craving things. I had really just wanted a coffee and baked good, but then we started to walk past a vegan chain called Fresh which I knew a bit about, and I saw CAKES in the window, so I said, “Let’s just go here.”
For some reason, I didn’t realize this was a sit-down and order type of place. I thought it was more of a Panera, but no – as soon as we walked in, we had to wait to be seated and I fought the urge to turn around and leave because Henry HATES it when I do that even though I point out that people do it all the time and just because I walk inside somewhere, doesn’t mean I’m stripped of my right to change my mind!?!??! (Granted, I have also down this after being seated and ordering drinks, so I can see how he would be feeling some type of way every time we enter a restaurant lol.)
I basically willed my mind to just shut down and allowed myself to go with the flow. That’s sad right? That I have to use mind-control on myself to just follow a host to a table? Oh, to be a normal functioning human. What does that feel like!? I guess I could just ask Henry.
RIGHT AWAY, I had to fight another urge to flee because Henry, and I can’t believe he did this, took the seat at the table that was on the banquette side, leaving me to sit in the regular chair with my back exposed to the foot traffic of the restaurant.
I NEVER SIT IN THIS SPOT!!! I ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE MY BACK TO THE WALL! IT IS THE INNER FBI AGENT IN ME!!!
Oh, I was furious. I think our server could tell too, and I was trying so hard to make friendly eye contact and smile naturally every time I interacted with them.
Now, instead of just getting a dessert, I felt obliged to order actual food. I suggested that we just get an appetizer to share and Henry, knowing he was on THIN ICE, LIKE WE’RE TALKING COMMUNION WAFER-THIN HERE, quickly sputtered, “Whatever you want!”
We agreed on the dumplings, but when the server came back, I said to them with the most confidence I have spoken with in months probably, “We’ll have the ONION RINGS” and then I shot Henry a tight-lipped smile across the table. His expression was priceless. He let out a silent “You bitch” laugh and then said, “Oh, OK. And I guess I will also order the dumplings.
Can I just say that those were the best fucking onion rings I have ever had in my life? They had QUINOA in the batter and were sooo crispy and totally perfect. We are both still talking about them!
The dumplings were fine.
Food aside, it was one of the most awkward dining experiences I have had in a while. First of all, the staff was CHAOTIC. So many different people were flitting about but there weren’t that many diners, and then everyone seemed like they kept distracted. It was like being in a restaurant run by Sims. Every time our server would come to check on us, they would ask us something and then start looking all around the restaurant, over their shoulder, anywhere but at us, while we were talking and it felt like every since interaction ended on a cliffhanger. I felt I had whiplash. The food came out super fast, but the service was sooo strange and disjointed. Couldn’t be more impersonal unless I, Erin Rachelle Kelly, was every server.
Secondly, some guy was dining alone right next to us and I had to face him since Henry took the seat I wanted. I think he might have been waiting for someone and then ended up ordering for himself once he realized he had been stood up, because he was already seated when he got there and didn’t order until much after we did, because he was looking at his phone the whole time. He ordered this big nacho plate which looked and smelled amazing, and then afterward, he got a huge hunk of chocolate cake which also looked like something I could easily demolish on my own, probably while crying.
I wanted to also get a slice of cake, but was starting to panic about getting in line for the concert so we opted on getting a chocolate chip cookie to go. Henry didn’t like it but I thought it was fine.
Those onion rings really saved the day, though. That and the candied ginger that came speared on a toothpick with Henry’s housemade ginger ale, which I immediately plucked from his glass and popped straight into my mouth while he watched with mouth agape. I was such a fucking bitch on this day, moreso than I typically am.
(I know, I know, so many people who know me IRL think I AM SO NICE, SO SWEET but Henry knows the real Erin, the one who grew up being called Sybil by her family. SMILEY FACE.)
I would like to go back to Fresh for a full meal COMPLETE WITH CAKE but probably in a different location where it hopefully won’t feel like the entire kitchen staff is going to self-implode around me. My chai tea and onion rings helped right the wrongs of the day, rewire my sizzling brain, and get me in READY MODE for the Kang Daniel show. Who knew adding quinoa to onion rings could be such a game changer?!?!?