Kindred spirits to the end.
Chapter 34, Eye of the Magpie
Today I was asked how I could be so nice to Mike’s ex. The question took me aback as I met Mike when he was twenty-two and Victoria was nowhere in the picture. She was his first girlfriend when they were both still kids. Would he be uncivil to my first boyfriend if he met him?
All relationships enrich us and they stay a part of us even when we no longer play a role in each other’s lives. (The odd element in this story is that he kept the gift unopened for so long.) And the bonus was that we raised over a thousand dollars for the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton.
Here’s to friendship wherever you find it.
Let me back up a little bit of give you context on the above. While I was writing Eye of the Magpie my husband became an internet sensation over an unopened Christmas gift he has been lugging around with him for 47 years.
He posted a picture of the gift on the Internet on a Thursday in December, attempting to find out how his first girlfriend Vicki Allen was doing. He was curious of how her life had turned out. To say that the media circus that ensued disrupted our Christmas is putting it mildly. Meals were put on hold, games interrupted, plans changed all so that he could accommodate the many national and international requests for interviews by the media. Many just wrote their own stories based on what they gleamed from others and from his Facebook page. My son began to refer to that small insignificant package as that stupid ****ing present.
People made many false inferences. Many felt he was still romantically interested in ‘the girl’. Others felt she was heartless for dumping him and most annoying to me some felt I was foolish for putting up with his nonsense. At this point I don’t even care to try to untangle all of that. Think what you want; realize it does not make it so.
Through a mutual friend they connected. Mike and I travelled to meet her and we spent a pleasant afternoon together. Mike got the idea that this Christmas they would publicly open the gift together and use the event to raise money for a local Christmas charity. That idea morphed along the way to become a book that both Vicki and I contributed to as co-authors.
Victoria graciously travelled to Edmonton for the gift opening. The event took place December 6th, 2018 in St. Albert at A Boutique Gallery Bar by Gracie Jane. Gracie Jane is an artist who has turned her small space into a very unique venue. Art is everywhere: on the table and chairs, the walls, the ceiling, the piano, even the bottles. The media showed up in droves. We raised funds for the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton through ticket sales, donations, a draw involving replica gifts and book sales. It was a lot of fun and we raised just over a thousand dollars in one night. The Christmas Bureau of Edmonton provides festive meals for those in need; a very worthwhile cause.
What the media want to know is: how do I feel about the whole thing?
-Victoria and I did become friends. Mike, she and I hung around together for a few days during the event and I think we all enjoyed the time spent together. We intend to stay friends and see each other in the future.
The 47-year-old present in itself and the book by the same title did disrupt my life. Any new writings of mine were put on hold while helping Mike with his. Do I resent that? Yes, to a degree I do. Yet it is ingrained in my nature to put family first. That is probably why I am writing now in retirement instead of then, when I was young and full of ideas.
Yet I learned a lot while helping my husband write the book and gained better insights into him. I made a new friend. I was part of an initiative that helped others. And I will probably gain book sales as a spin-off to his notoriety. No small accomplishments for a few months work. ♥