Relay: Moving On Out

This year I’ve decided to move to Canada if I don’t get the gift I’ve asked for for many years on Mother’s Day

Every election season there are one or two celebrities who threaten to move to Canada if their favorite candidate doesn’t get elected. It’s an idle threat because none of them follow through with it. I think they think us real folk will care that they plan to leave the country. But at this point there are far too many celebrities in the world, so to quote my father-in-law, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.”

This year I’ve decided to move to Canada if I don’t get the gift I’ve asked for for many years on Mother’s Day, a rose gold Rolex watch. I hear it’s very nice in Canada at this time of year. My children are old enough now that they could have started a Rolex watch fund like the Christmas club accounts that banks used to offer and that beauty would be resting on my wrist, glistening whenever the sun hit it in a certain way.

Mine is not an idle threat. I’ve run away before, many times. But not from my children. It was when I was a little girl and my parents wouldn’t allow me to keep something I wanted to keep, a certain pair of boots, a stray dog, or an envelope of cash I found once that they made me take to the police station. I remember being just tall enough to see over the officer’s desk when he said that if no one claimed it within six months it would be mine. For six months I fantasized what I would do with my windfall, which, of course, I never saw again. 

When I ran away from home I don’t think I went far enough, or at least far enough for my parents to worry about me. Once I found a little kitten and my mother said there was no way I could keep it. With the kitten wrapped around my shoulders, I packed my bag with a change of underwear and a bag of cookies and said I was leaving. My mother looked more amused than worried. Probably because she knew I wouldn’t go very far.

The kitten and I ran all the way across the street to a grassy area on our neighbor’s lawn where we sat for hours waiting for my mother to change her mind. At dinnertime she sent out a plate of food for me with a side of canned tunafish for my little friend, but still wouldn’t allow me to bring him in the house. Later, as night set in and I got scared of the darkness, I snuck him in our garage for the night and returned to my bedroom, which was much more comfortable than the soggy grass spot I had chosen for my new home. And in the morning the ungrateful little guy had run away, never to be seen again

Since I’m old enough now to enjoy the comforts of home, I, too, will probably not follow through on my threat. But if there’s not a big basket of flowers sent to me on Mother’s Day on Sunday, someone’s in big trouble. And I will run away, right down to Gosman’s restaurant for a big, fat lobster.


Janis Hewitt is The Star’s Montauk correspondent.