Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff


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Morning sunrise on my drive to Mac's.

My very first adventure into Blog-Land was an entry about the routine pleasure of venturing out for my morning paper. There’s no home delivery of big city newspapers here in small town Southampton. So each morning after getting up, getting dressed, and getting in my car I ventured into town to Mac’s Milk on Highway 21 to see if the Star had made it from Toronto three hours down the road. No matter what the weather, somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00 AM I’d be at Mac’s making small talk with the not-yet-awake cashier. Twice a week I’d pick up some lottery tickets and hope for the best. (No luck yet!)

It was a routine. A boring pattern. A rut if you want to call it that. A totally personal, predictable, pedestrian 4 season habit that unfolded like clockwork regardless of weather. And I was proud of it.

But then the great god of change began to creep into my life. Store ownership changed. Counter staff changed. And newspaper arrival times changed. Sometimes The Star wasn’t there during my window of arrival.

“Fine.” I would say to my friendly Mac’s attendant. “I’ll take the more expensive Globe & Mail. Better paper anyway.”

But just as my morning newspaper quest became routine, so did the lateness of The Star. The 6:30 – 7:00 AM window expanded to 8:00 – 9:00 AM. I complained gently because I knew it wasn’t Mac’s fault. Their answer was a frustrated shoulder shrug. They had no control over deliveries. My only options, at times, became the Toronto Sun (no thanks) or the Globe. I was reduced to calling the store and asking if the paper had arrived yet because I didn’t want to get there and feel the disappointment of a wasted trip. Nothing could be done.

So, I stopped. Dropped my morning habit cold turkey. No more morning paper for me. After almost six years of doing the same thing day in and day out, I was forced to acknowledge a blip in my simple life. It wasn’t all about me and what I wanted – no – had come to expect. It was some cosmic outside influence, a controlling force extending from Toronto all the way to Southampton setting its own schedule and paying no heed to mine.

I no longer rush out before sunrise. I don’t buy the Toronto Star any more. They’ve driven me to the on-line edition. It’s easier. It’s always there on time. And with gas prices the way they are today, it’s cheaper.

If newspapers complain that their losing readers to the internet…its their own fault.

But I do miss the small talk at Mac’s in the morning.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

April 8, 2011 at 5:00 PM

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