Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Won't You be my Neighbour?

This morning at breakfast Sim Sim Sima went on a bit of a rant about our next door neighbour, Gail, until Papa Len interupted her and said - "we could have worse neighbours - like the ones across the street." You get down with your bad self Papa Len.

We don't like the neighbours across the street, because they leave their dog outside on the front porch, park their car in front of our house and blah blah blah. These aren't things that ONE does in the Village, FYI. According to street gossip: they moved down from Thornhill after a family windfall. How dismissive is that?

On the surface the Village is a seemingly bucolic place of tidy lawns, botoxed beauties and SUV's. Walk into Banfi on a Saturday night and you'll be greeted with a chorus of "You who! Sandra, how are you? How was Florida?" It's almost like they care about your trip to Florida. When they don't. They just ask you about it, so they can make sure that their trip to Florida was both better, longer and more expensive then yours. This also allows them to talk about how their children are smarter and prettier [and less gay!] then yours. It's a cruel cruel world over here. Dripping below the surface of such friendlness is the constant fear of one-up-manship and SUV jealousy. Literally Gail once knocked on our door to show my mother her new vintage planters. Sima didn't know what to say except to trott out her new tropical planter in retaliation. Yikes, bring home the troops please, I'm sensing a domestic.

Such simple one-upmanship is nothing compared to some of the other shit that goes on round here. Just the other day, as I ran into the local subway station, I spotted an old classmate from elementary school. Seeing as most of the people who I spent nine years with in jewish day school live in the Village or in the Other Hill, this is no big surprise. It's also no big surprise to find someone my age still living at home as why move out unless you're getting married?

Well hello Ilana Lipman! I stopped to say hello and ask the patented, "So how are you doing?" Ilana smiled, nodded her head and told me how great she was doing, before turning away and opening her book. No asking how I was. No nothing.

Woah you might say, well isn't that a bit cold? And you'd be right, especially, since not a year ago - I was Ilana Lipman's newest bestie. One year ago, I sat, unemployed and in the Village Starbucks thinking about my life, when she ran up to me and started telling me about her boyfriend who really wanted to work at my brother in laws firm, and maybe I could set something up. Not a big deal, I was particularly happy to help a fellow job seeker thinking that by paying it forward Karma would come back to reward me.

You'd think after all of that - she'd have been happy to see an old friend on the St Clair West subway platform. No dice. All of this would have been fine, had I had the time to move past her on the platform. Alas, as she turned, fate interveened, the subway arrived and fearing missing the train, I got on to the same, empty car, that she did. So there we sat, across the way from each other, not talking.

Lovely. What would Mr. Rogers say?

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