- Jennifer Z. Major
Marie Kondo, Mozart, and marzipan.
Look, about this whole "tidy or turf" thing going on with that very nice lady named Marie Kondo?
In my humble opinion, the very nice lady sure has never had to deal with 4 seasons of clothes, boots, shoes, socks, scarves, sandals, tanks, sunscreen in varying levels of SPF, or garages with snowblowers parked next to lawnmowers and "summer cars".
Bless her heart, yes, I am certain that she is helping a tonne of people, but when someone has a scarf collection consisting of Spring, Fall, Winter, and Deadly Winter selections?
It's more about frostbite and survival than it is about joy.
No, I am NOT dissing her, but I'm not playing along either. Even though she really does seem very nice.
So, go for it, Marie. Help away, just don't worry about us and our joyful tank of gas at the ready for the next blizzard. Is out garage cluttered? Yup. Is the lawnmower not serving a joyful purpose? Nope, because we won't see our lawn for a few months. Which ain't so joyful.
But, one thing that thinking about Marie Kondo brought to mind was a memory of a lovely place in Vancouver called Mozart's Konditorei. It was just about the most elegant place in all of Vancouver and every once in a while, I'd get to go there.
It wasn't until I was much older that I realized that going to Mozart's involved the careful saving of pennies and dimes for months at a time.
When we did go, it was expected that we were going to be on our very best behaviour. And for the most part, we were. I think. Maybe.
Anyway, it was just the purest joy for us giddy, wriggly little things to hear the doors to the kitchen swing open and then watch as the nice waitress wheeled out the double-decker pastry cart with the white table cloth (a table cloth on a cart!?!? Oh, how regal!) and we got to pick one.
I mean, come on!! Imagine the starving urchins (not quite) watching as a cart with pastries on it came squeaking toward us!!
But, it was a choice of one of those many delicious looking desserts.
I remember always wanting to try one of the marzipan confections, with their pretty colours and smiling faces made of icing, and I was always told "you won't like it". Finally, my curiosity won out , as did my promises that I knew I'd like it.
So, I got to try one, and I HATED it.
But I knew there was no money left for me to get something else, and it would be months before we'd come back, and the disappointment is still there in the back of my mind. I remember that, yes, I still had my hot chocolate with an inch of swirled whipped cream, and I hope my memory of me not complaining is accurate. But oh, my child's heart was crushed.
I'd forgotten about Mozart's for years up until today. And that sadness is in sepia tones now, the colour of the memory long faded away, replaced with brightly coloured memories of all kinds of adventures that layered themselves over the horridly disappointing taste of marzipan.
And yes, of course, as a parent, I've always steered my kids far away from the emotional trauma that is prettily poisonus marzipan.
You're welcome, kids.
Come to think of it, I remember taking my 4 darlings to a White Spot in the 'burbs of Vancouver once, about 14 years ago. Let's just say that based on their behaviour that day? It is truly a miracle that they lived.
A bona fide, hellfire from the Old Testament mixed with The Wrath of Khan AND a dose of The Angels of Death at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark MIRACLE.
They were so naughty that the thought crossed my mind to leave them there for the management to deal with.
Someday, that kind of behaviour from their little darlings will befall them, and if they call me asking for sympathy, I might even be sympathetic. Okay fine, I'll be all ears and counsel them off the ledge that is named Parenting Toddlers and Littles.
Then I might just hang up the phone, hop in the car, and go for a drive. When I find one, I'll waltz into a posh bakery, sit down, order myself a four inch high pastry, order a whole pot of Earl Grey, and raise my fancy teacup to that hard-working, brave soul who took her children to a Bavarian bakery and taught us that elegance wasn't for just the rich, but as long as a person could hold a teacup with their pinky set just right, that we could all enjoy the blessings that were mile-high whipped cream, and properly dusted icing sugar.
And if someone likes marzipan? Just Marie Kondo that stuff onto a plate and take all kinds of joy in it.
Thanks for the sweet memories.