Ha, you’d think after attending university for nine years in Waterloo, I’d have gone at least once to Oktoberfest in Kitchener. The image in my head was beer, and I don’t permit myself to drink, so I never bothered. I’m not a partying-type of university girl. But I underestimated the sneak of Andrei’s mother, and by extension, her son. ;) I mean, I’ve seen her in action before at the K-W Fall Psychic Fair (I never did write a post on that, did I?), but whoa.
After a disappointing venture into Waterloo, we ended up back in Kitchener. Our first stop was the official Oktoberfest store. Apparently there’s something about hats, but I had no idea. She insisted on buying me a hat. Uh, okay? She insisted on a pink hat, but those were no longer available for adults. So I had free rein to choose a colour, and I went with red. Odd, but I swear the red hats were calling to me. Then I had to select a big feather. She pointed out the pink. I did briefly wonder why the mother-son pair were smirking, but sure, I played along. I love souvenir shopping.
Then came pins. I stared at Andrei who was deeply absorbed in examining pins. Yeah, I still didn’t understand the significance. But sure, pins are jewellery, and I like making the odd thing now and then. A pewter one caught my eye, so I pointed it out. Clearly I stood out, because a woman dressed like a fancy barmaid asked me if it was my first time.
“Those pins are a tradition, you decorate your hat each year with them.”
“Oh!” I squealed. “That’s so neat!”
“And speaking of tradition, if it’s your first time, you’re almost required to get the Oktoberfest Virgin pin.” That mother-son pair hovering oh so protectively? Nope, they’re cackling at this point. Shock must’ve shown on my face, because the woman quickly added, “You don’t have to. It’s just tradition.” Took me a moment, but I swallowed my embarrassment enough to whisper in Andrei’s ear after we were finally left to peruse the pins, “Uh, I’ll take the Virgin pin. Hey, if hats are a thing and these pins, where’s your hat?”
“Left it at home.” Figures I wouldn’t catch on until it was far too late. And yes, I had to wear the red hat with the big pink feather the entire time. But I didn’t mind, I thought it was fun. I swear his mother took a million pictures. Thank goodness I’d given her a scrapbook kit. :P I had to pose, stick my head through wooden posts to be portrayed as some female mascot character. But it was in good fun, and strangers smiled at me, one even gave me a thumbs-up gesture.
Oh God, the food. FOOD. I’m not even going to try to spell this, but I had some kind of chicken sandwich dish with cabbage prepared in a particular way. I wanted a deep-fried cheesecake too, but my stomach had enough (not to mention turkey dinner waiting for me courtesy of Fairy Godmother aka Andrei’s mother). Itis (slang for “food coma”) was on the prowl, I would’ve fallen asleep in the warm sunlight all content, but then his mother suggested dancing as a couple in the square. I shot out of that chair before her equally devious son could take her up on that idea. “Maybe next year,” she pouted.
Makes me wonder sometimes, who would win in an epic battle of evil? Mother or son?
Yeah, there was no way we’d make it to the Thanksgiving Parade. Even if my ‘drastic measures’ got him up earlier (I was granted permission from her to use such tactics), she’s not too fond of the wind’s chill.
We finally made it back to Charles Terminal. I recall drifting off, but then I heard the sound of clicking. I forgot she’s armed with a camera, and wait, when did I engage in PDA (public displays of affection) by snuggling into Andrei and falling asleep? AAH!
Coming off the bus, Andrei and I encountered a strange, stray cat that quite frankly, suited the cait sith. It was almost identical to the cat I envisioned last month. I was first to point it out (which strikes me as food for thought because I completely missed a black dog resting during another one of our walks). It was occupied with squirrel hunting. I crouched to appear less threatening, admiring the way it was waiting for the squirrel to descend from the tree.
I don’t know what came over us simultaneously. I just knew we had to touch this cat. No thoughts of disease or germs or uncleanliness or aggression crossed my mind. I was completely focused on the cat and Andrei. Once again, everything else blurred but the trio of us.
I was about to tell Andrei that his taller form wouldn’t help matters, but he made a strange sound, something between clucking and cooing. The cat considered us, then the squirrel. I figured it would assume the squirrel to be of more immediate attention, so I was readying myself stand up again when Andrei commanded the cat to come. I was incredulous as the cat abandoned the squirrel and cantered over to him.
“Sure,” I muttered, “you can go to Oberon and purr for him and lick his hand and rub your face all over him. I see you first and no love for me?”
“Is Titania jealous?” Oy, don’t you rub it in my face, and wait, you heard me? “Go on, little kitty, say hello to her.” I was about to make a mocking expression, but the cat did come, and for a few moments I was in bliss. I adore black cats. They’re quicker to warm up to me than other colours for some reason.
The squirrel took its chance and ran for dear life. The cait sith (yes, I decided to just go with that) leapt after it, then stared into the distance before peering at us again. “Come,” went Andrei, and the cat actually returned, this time to me first. Lost in the pleasure of bonding with the feline kind, I almost didn’t notice Andrei at my side until his hand was stroking the cat as well. I wasn’t aware of time passing us by until my legs began to cramp from my somewhat awkward position. The cat gave me one more caress with its tongue, rubbed its head against Andrei one last time, then slowly picked its way around us to disappear into the street soaked by the approaching sunset.
Casey, that great big fluffy puppy (he’s a puppy at heart, that dog), met us and yep, there was that camera and a great big smile on Fairy Godmother’s face again. She gave Andrei his hat laden with pins of all kinds, including the mask from ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’ A couple seconds went by before the explosion.
“YOU DIDN’T TELL ME YOUR HAT WAS RED! AND IT’S THE SAME RED AS MINE!”
All I got was a fanged grin in reply. Yes, fangs. I refuse to call his distinctive canine teeth by any other name.
So Casey was able to indulge in wearing his master’s hat for his mistress’ love of photo shoots – I’m pretty sure he could smell the cait sith on us. Everyone went inside, and Casey hung out with us until his mistress ushered him back downstairs. “Don’t leave me!” I complained as the big cuddly puppy was escorted out of Andrei’s bedroom. Casey! I thought you were trying to steal me away! What happened to our plans for world domination and enslaving Andrei?! I guess in the end, Casey’s loyalty ultimately lies with his master. Shoot. There goes that idea.
Needless to say, turkey dinner was more like a late supper by the time I saw The Light again. And Casey? He was more than ready for a grand performance of puppy eyes and cutesy appeals.