Fictional stories can be truer than real life

1955:  Joe and Cheryl

Joe works a regular shift at Canada Wire & Cable, brings home $5,000 a year, is a shop steward for the union. Cheryl makes his lunch, gets the kids to school, does the housework, does the shopping.

Joe bowls on Tuesday nights, has a few beers at the Legion on Saturdays, coaches hockey at the arena. On Tuesdays Cheryl becomes Brown Owl; on weekends she helps with Welcome Wagon.

Their three children are in Leaside schools. Two will attend university and become public school teachers; one will drop out of LHS and become an electrician.

They live in a bungalow on Broadway, for which they paid the then big price of $15,000. They drive a ’51 Chev. Cheryl’s mother has a room in their basement and helps with the children.

1985:  Roger and Amelia

Roger teaches sociology up Bayview at Glendon College, earns $45,000, walks to work, goes on long weekend runs in the ravines. He’s thinking about a marathon.

Amelia gave up full-time teaching to raise their two children, does the housework, earns $5,000 a year doing substitute teaching at the Hugh MacMillan Centre, is a pillar of the Leaside-East York University Women’s Club, a regular at the Leaside Library Book Club, past president of both the Leaside Tennis Club and the Leaside Garden Club, and is thinking of running for school trustee.

One of their girls is a competitive gymnast, about to try out for the national team; the other has just been enrolled at the National Ballet School.

They paid $160,000 for their three bedroom home on Hanna, $5,000 over the asking price. They drive a 1974 Volvo, are thinking of adding a second car. On week-ends they smoke an occasional joint in memory of the ‘60s, but are starting to feel a little sheepish about it.

2015:  Jonathon and Trish

Jon does corporate law downtown at Torys LLP. Trish does general surgery out of St. Michael’s Hospital. Their combined income is $500,000 and going up. They have a daughter at Branksome Hall; she’s a finalist in this year’s “If I Were Prime Minister” contest.

Four years ago they paid $800,000 for Joe and Cheryl’s old bungalow on Broadway, tore it down, and paid another $1,200,000 for a new three-storey, five-bedroom stone home. It includes a nanny suite, currently occupied by the indispensable Imelda.

They like to bicycle to work in good weather, but also own a BMW (mostly his) and a Subaru SUV (mostly hers).

They look forward to becoming more involved in community activities when their careers stable out to give them more free time.

But Jon is thinking of running as a bencher for the Law Society, while also training for his first Ironman. Trish spent last summer working for Médecins Sans Frontiéres in Sudan.

They love Leaside, but privately confess to thinking it might be time to relocate a bit more centrally. They’re thinking of looking into properties in Moore Park and the more affordable areas of Rosedale.

The CBC had thought of doing a documentary about life and love in Leaside based on the lives of Joe, Cheryl, Roger, Amelia, Jon, and Trish. It canned the idea when nobody could find any of them having extramarital affairs. They were just too busy paying the mortgage and raising the kids.