Now that all the Christmas stuff has been banished from the grocery store ( you know, it’s a big store that sells clothes and dishes and toys as well as actual food) it’s time to move on. There were a few straggling artificial branches of firs with cones or holly-looking things I couldn’t clearly identify. They were drastically marked down, as in from $8 to .75 c. Even I cannot resist that. Those remnants seemed more appropriate to a day that boasted impassable plaques of ice in the store parking lot and a sixty kilometre wind coupled with temperatures of minus twenty five. It is winter, the dead of winter where the wicked Snow Queen draws her white furs around her and hurries off for a hot chocolate. One worries about that one pipe in the house that is a little too close to the exposed brick wall. One worries about whether the car will start. I endure street parking with all that that entails. One worries about a mail man or woman slipping on my snowy or icy steps. What is better, the eight-block walk to the metro or the battle for a legal and minimally cleared parking spot downtown?The days are pitifully short, the nights endless. It indeed winter and it will be winter for a long, long time.
But the marketing gurus in the stores are determined to turn over a new leaf ( even if the blasted leafless trees are waving their desperate branches in the gale-force winds). They know that we cannot resist. They offer artificial forsythia, apple blossoms and peonies. Well, there I thought they were going a bit far. But better than the made in China falsies, there they were – spring flowers, seducing shoppers to spend their grocery money on their soft, pastel faces, their silky petals and to hell with cheese and hamburger meat. The only snag was that the perilous journey to the car would last more than the two minutes it would to freeze them to a tragic death. I sniffed, touched and photographed. But I know it is soon, too soon for this to be true. This week in the grocery store, hope is on special.