Wednesday: Rooftop Shenanigans
Last year, the lovely roof garden I had been hoping to see bloom that spring had been torn out and was slowly replaced by a roofing crew whose antics were quite befuddling. There was a porta-potty which may or may not have been a time machine, judging from the way workers would enter it, stay in it indefinitely, then emerge looking thinner and much more sprightly. There was the foreman, whose area of expertise seemed to be showing the other guys how to lie on the ground and use their thumbs to gauge distance. And there was that one missing tile they all seemed to obsess about…. At any rate, the roof was finally completed in the late fall. All that had been done was to lay concrete tile down in two colours—light gray and dark gray—so that the dark gray looked like a kind of track. No flower boxes, no trees, just a fairly barren, sterile space. Pretty disappointing.
Then, this spring, I came home one afternoon, and there were bright orange pylons dividing the roof into quadrants, and even more bizarre, there were plastic deck chairs lined up in certain areas. It reminded me of a really cheap cruise ship deck. Over the next few days, I would wake up and the deck chairs would be in new patterns thanks to the wind, but they would be back in position later in the day, so I assumed that SOMEONE was deliberating positioning them, but for what, who knew? An obstacle course, maybe? By late spring, there was one lonely plastic flower urn at each end. At this point, I was dying to know what the plan was for the pylons, deck chairs, and plants. Rooftop steeplechase? (By the way, this photo was taken with my cellphone–the roof is actually closer than it looks).
Then the weather suddenly got warmer and people began to appear randomly on the roof. At first, it was a single person taking pictures of the skyline, or a mother letting her child run around the pylons a bit, or two elderly women walking the track. But once May came around and the weather became more summer-like, it was young couples sunbathing. Or doing OTHER things, if you catch my meaning. And don’t forget that my condo directly overlooks said roof, and that I have floor to ceiling windows, so if people are getting affectionate with each other and stealing shy kisses, I have a front row seat, not that I particularly want one. In fact, I’d rather not be in the actual theatre.
The final straw came this past Wednesday, when I got home from work. There was a young couple on the neighbouring roof in their bathing suits, drinking something they’d brought with them in a large pitcher. I sat down at my kitchen table to do some work and realized after a few minutes that things were getting pretty heated. I don’t want to sound like a porn writer here, but he had her up against the wall with his hands in her bikini top, and…well, I’m sure you can picture the rest. I thought about banging on the window, but it’s thick shatterproof glass and I doubted they could hear me. In fact, I was worried that if they saw me doing that, they might think I was cheering them on, which would be even more disturbing. They finally broke their clinch, and he paraded around while she went back to her plastic lounge chair. But I got to thinking—what if they really had no idea that anyone could see them? From the outside of my building, all you can see is the reflection of the city against the glass. And who would possibly imagine that you could be seen 25 stories up on a roof? That poor girl might be appalled if she knew she’d had an (albeit unwilling) audience. I decided that the next day, I would go to the building next door and speak to the concierge.
After work the next day, I went to the lobby of the building. The concierge’s name was Gerard which would have been more awesome if he was a butler instead of a concierge. Gerard Butler—you get it, right? Anyhow…
Me: Hi. Um, your building just had a roof renovation, didn’t it?
Gerard: Yes, it did.
Me: So, I live next door and my unit overlooks your roof. I just wanted to let you know that there are people having “sexy time” up there. I don’t think they realize that they can be seen.
Me: Yes. This is the third time. It’s—well, it’s very distracting. I have floor to ceiling windows and it’s hard to avoid seeing it.
Gerard: Good lord! Can you describe them?
Me: Describe them? Well, it’s been different couples each time, but last night it was a male and female, young, wearing bathing suits. She was blonde, um, he was—well, he seemed to be quite well-endowed, if that’s any help. I just thought maybe you could put up a sign in the elevators or something. My building does that about not throwing cigarette butts off the balconies.
Gerard: OK. I’ll let the management company know.
Me: Thanks. I’m sure they didn’t realize that everyone from the 23rd floor up could see them.
Gerard: And probably the Holiday Inn across the street too.
Me: Oh yeah! You guys could be the next new tourist attraction.
Gerard: Uh, no. We’ll take care of it.
He took my name and contact information (just my first name…also maybe one of the digits in my phone number was wrong—I don’t want to be known as the prude who shut down “the Romper Roof”). Later that evening, I saw a security guard up there patrolling, so here’s hoping that the shenanigans will cease. I can only imagine how they’ll phrase the elevator sign. Also, I just googled Images for “No Sex on the Roof” and a picture of Donald Trump giving a thumbs up was one of the hits. This could be his new campaign slogan: “I am the Roof Sex candidate. I will make Roof Sex great again. A lot.”
Thursday: The confusing world of feminine hygiene products.
As a woman of a certain age, I haven’t had to use feminine hygiene products for a while. But after my hysterectomy, I was forced to re-enter the confusing world of “lady gear” during my recovery. It started at the hospital, where the nurse sent me home with some “supplies”. It was like in Jaws when they see the shark for the first time, only instead of a bigger boat, I was like, “Holy sh*t—I’m going to need bigger underwear.” I withstood that for a couple of days, then I dug a package out of a cupboard from years back, and sent Ken to get the same, or equivalent, product. He took the package with him for reference, but when they ran out, I was forced to go shopping myself for something acceptable. In fact, it was my first actual trip out of the house after the surgery, which was a bit of a letdown because, Liquor Store, am I right? Then we got to Shopper’s Drug Mart, and you could tell I’d been out of the loop for a while and that Ken was quite the expert:
Me: I think they’re this way.
Ken (on the other side of the store): No, honey—you’re going the wrong way! The Feminine Hygiene aisle is OVER HERE.
Me: Oh my God!! Could you say that ANY LOUDER?
Random Guy (laughing): Don’t worry. I heard nothing.
After that embarrassing moment, I was then faced with the actual aisle itself. It was over 20 feet long, and full of colourful boxes and packages in all shapes and sizes. It was certainly different than when I was younger, and when you basically had two choices. Suddenly, there were products for every occasion. I looked at one box—it said “Up to 10 hours”. I was like, “I have to wear this thing for 10 HOURS?! No way!!” So I looked for something less intimidating, and less like a toddler’s diaper. And let me tell you, it was HARD. There were “flexi” products for the active lifestyle—not for me, since I wasn’t planning on riding a horse any time soon. There were things with wings and things with strings and things with super-absorbent cores. And there are now CUPS. I don’t even want to know how those work. And the names! Stayfree, Carefree, Always, Anytime—I’m sorry, but I was feeling NONE of those things. I was looking more for products called “What the F*ck?”, “Paranoia”, “Never Again” or “Sweet Jesus, Are You Kidding Me? At My Age?!”. And then, to make things worse, on Thursday I was in the Shopper’s Drug Mart near me in the city, and they are currently renovating the store, so the aisles were all mislabeled. I went down the Feminine Hygiene aisle and it was all greeting cards, and I knew that was wrong, because what kind of greeting card would accompany feminine hygiene? Instead of a little slot for money, you could put a tampon in it? Like “Hey, thought this might come in handy!” or “Use this for something special!”? Anyway, it turns out that what I was looking for was now in the next aisle over, which was currently labelled Family Planning. Do have any idea how hard it is to pick out a product when men are constantly wandering around you, looking for the condoms? I’ve never seen so many men looking so embarrassed in my life. The only thing that could have made it worse would have been if Ken was there, yelling “The condoms are in the next aisle over!!” I just hope I can get back to my “Footloose and Fancy-free” days soon now. Which, as I think about it, would be a great name for a feminine hygiene product.