the early years the friends the family the mom the wife the TV producer the ham the driver

It was 1982. I was a Montreal girl who came to work in the big smoke, at CTV -the network, the big break -but I knew absolutely no one in Toronto. I met Sue working at Thrill of a Lifetime, and we have remained friends for a long, long, long time.

But it was a period a few years after the Thrill days that stands out in my mind, when I was without work for the first time in my life! I was 26 and I thought my life was over. I would spend my days trying to find a new job while Sue was still at CTV counting backwards, amongst other things. Frequently after a long day, Sue would call me to see if I would go out for dinner. Shocking as it may seem we were both at times without boyfriends -- ok lots of times without boyfriends. As my bank account was dwindling, I was faced with a difficult decision, to frivolously dine out, have some company and share in the day's stories or pay the phone bill. But I was a sensible girl, I chose to go out. As extravagant as it sounds, we dined at Cibo's restaurant most week nights. You're thinking maybe antipasti, pasta, osso bucco, bottles of wine -but no. Dinner comprised of one Cibo salad and one glass of house white wine -it was about $9 each, before tip. I'm surprised they let us keep coming back. Of course there was the time Sue went to Cibo's without me and some strange guy brought in Bruce Springsteen. I would later marry that strange guy but that's another story. There have been many other evenings out, before and after that period. I will always remember the brief white-convertible period, the long Karaoke period (Sue would sing "Crazy" and Kim would sing "Paper Roses," every week. Oy!). And of course we'll try to forget the very brief but frightening incident of Sue throwing yogurt covered raisins at a certain apartment window on Church Street.

But those Cibo dinners will always stand out in my memory -- nutritionally perhaps insufficient, financially irresponsible -- but emotionally very sustaining.

Happy Birthday Sue,
The next salad and glass of wine is on me.


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