The Cottage

I really hate the cottage.

In this small pocket of Canada, in a smaller pocket of Ontario, sits “cottage country”. An even smaller pocket of Toronto hosts the population who own, rent, and feed this cottage lifestyle. These cottages are not cabins in the woods. These cottages are grand estates. They are vestages of a bygone era of steamships, railways, hoop skirts and spats. They remain funded by decades of tradition and money.

It all sounds terribly romantic. Stepping back in time, like walking onto the set of a silent movie, or the deck of the Titanic. I suppose the Titanic is a more apt description given the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that hits when plans shift seasonally to the cottage. Who will be driving, who will be shopping, who will be cooking, who will be cleaning, who will be there, who will yell this time, who will argue and who will cry? The romance fades quickly when the movie is not silent and the water begins to seep over the deck boards. Hurt bubbles up and each Spring my brain is flooded with painful memories.

In the end, I came second to the cottage. There was a choice to be made and I wasn’t as important as tradition and money. How do I accept being less important than a box made of rocks, wood and glass? How am I less important than a box that does not open itself to change?

I suppose I move on and I discover my importance elsewhere. Maybe even just inside myself? It sucks to be second. It hurts to be passed over. It is shit that this lifestyle exists to exclusion. I suppose I am angry too. But there were some Titanic survivors right? Some people escaped and made it to shore. Some people moved on and found happiness beyond tragedy.

I can do this. But first, in the upholding of tradition, I will be sad inside for a little bit.