Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Pact with God

Finding a partner is a relatively hard thing to do. Finding a mate in the Village is even harder, considering the average Faux Hillary probably gave hand jobs to a couple of potential partners at sleep away camp or copped a feel in the park outside Forest Hill Village Elementary during high school to a few others. No one wants to go back marked territory, ya know?

So HOW does one find a mate these days? Damned if I know, I'm gay - and it's a totally different world (for reasons I don't really comprehend)... but for the straights there are three primary options:

1) The Set-Up
- a friend says: "hey have you ever met my friend Benji - he's a lawyer at McMillan Binch, went to Associated Hebrew Day School, he's two years older then you, just bought a condo, parents belong to Beth Shalom... I think you'd really get along."

2) A Jew-Do
- picture 500 people who vaguely know each other from camp packed into a bar at Yonge and Eglinton. Can you cut the sexual tension with a Challah knife or is it just me?

3) J-Date
- internet dating, you post your profile and as in the Beach Boy tome Surf City - there are two girls for every boy (if I was straight - man oh man - I'd be married right now, sexually unfulfilled but...), you meet and realize you have 35 common friends on Facebook. The internet has expidated the process... Mazel tov all around!

So what to do if you still can't find a life-partner? You turn to God.

Take my friend - the Village's Favourite Oyster -and her best friend Naomi. Naomi realized that at 23 she'd never had a proper boyfriend and decided it was high time for something beyond a casual relationship. So... eschewing the ever popular J-Date Naomi turned to religion. And by religion I don't mean ditching designer denim for long skirts and the latest edition of Vogue for a Siddur... I mean she lay in her bed, closed her eyes and went directly to the source - God.

"Dear God - if you send me a nice Jewish boy... I promise to keep kosher and I'll join the Sisterhood at Beth Shalom synagogue." [The Sisterhood is the female volunteer chapter... they organize stuff...]

Not a week later did Naomi run into a suitable mentsch and four dates into their courtship things are going so well that the Sisterhood at Beth Shalom is infused with a new volunteer spirit, a volunteer who is still, thankfully, rocking her Rock and Republics.

Let me know if it works out in the long run Naomi, because hey - I'll join the Brotherhood at Beth Shalom if Hashem sends someone my way. On second thought - maybe I should join the Brotherhood regardless?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Post

Look... someone actually paid me for this shit.

My Two Villages = Village Mentalities...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Confessions of a Montrealer

It's a bit hard to mock your neighbourhood and faux friends when you're staying in a three star hotel overlooking the worlds ugliest depressed highway, the Decarie Expressway, in a distant corner of Montreal. So my apologies for the lack of Faux Hill lifestyle updates of the rich and famous (oh my god that Faux Hillary's shameles...). Besides - with Gossip Girl now taking over the TV, perhaps, my raison d'etre is sorta... no more. "Spotted outside of David's by Day..."

The Two-Fer has faced a challenging week, as our patriarch and my grandfather passed away last Tuesday, and with the exception of a couple of emails I sent to friends telling them that my Pops has died (and by Pops I meant my grandfather NOT Papa Len) this really has been no laughing matter.

When you eulogize someone who you know for 25 years but whom you didn't really know (ie... you never once called them crying about the state of your life) an odd dichotomy emerges. On one hand my grandfather was someone who had consistently been there for his grandchildren (to quote Bold: "you couldn't have asked for a better grandfather") but on the other hand friends and boyfriends whom I've known for only a year or two probably know more about me then Pops. Especially boyfriends... once you've fingered someone's ass I'd say your bound to them for life.

On the plane back from Montreal, realizing that I had run into an ex about two hours before take-off, I realized that relationships subsequently seem to come and go, oscillate through time, forever impermanent; while the ties of family are forever binding in a world where permanency is hard to purchase.

So what else is pretty permanent? Moishe's. Moishe's is the grand damn of Jewish Montreal steakhouses, a restaurant that has matured over the years in conjunction with its Jewish Montreal clientelle so much so that a filet mignon is now in the fifty dollar range. Moishe's opened in 1938 on the Main (St Laurent Blvd) at a time when Montreal's Jewish Community was struggling to define itself as a minority group in Canada's then pre-eminent city. Read a Mordechai Richler book if you want to truly understand what life in Jewish "village" around St Urban Street, in Montreal, was like in the thirties and forties.

As did the Jewish population grow in numbers and prominence so did Moishe's. Just as Duddy Kravitz moved further and further up the Westmount Hill... so did the prices of a Moishe's shrimp cocktail. As Papa Len said jockingly - when we were growing up in Montreal, we always wanted to meet a Westmount girl. Papa Len grew up, of course, on Park Ave, deep in the heart of Richler's St Urbain street melieue and yet - today - Montreal's Jewish community are only too happy to call Hampstead and Westmount home... Westmount FYI has out Fauxed the Village with its own Ugg store.

Last Friday night found the Faux Hillary family around a table at Moishe's eating steak and telling stories about our beloved patriarch. There was something quite telling about the whole situation almost as if our ability to spend hundreds of dollars on a meal was in thanks to my grandfather's struggle. Pops, like many Jewish immigrants, worked in a Montreal garment factory, putting in enough hours so his son could become the first in the family to go to university and law school.

It was that sacrifice which made Pop's death so hard for the family, as you realize, upon burial, just how important one person can be to your morals, values and sense of self. And as the family left Moishe's I decided that we are, however, Peter's greatest legacy and as we move on - we cannot help but carry a little bit of him with us, not to forget our past, nor live in it - but to carry it forward.

Funnier news to follow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This is How It's Done in Faux Hill...

I am a fairly obnoxious person. I have no student debt, I lived with my parents for two years after McGill and should I ever truly run out of money I could hop on the subway for one stop and borrow some cash money bling from my parents. Fuck... sometimes I still borrow wine from my dads wine cellar. I'm pretty sure the only thing that gets me by in life are my eyelashes which someone once referred to as "disarming"; certainly its not my looks as a lovely man at a gay bar pointed out to me the other week - "you're not going to be pretty forever, I can already see fat on your face" (don't worry - I purged as soon as I got home).

For the Canadian norm I am a spoiled brat in a pair of $200 jeans and a cashmere v-neck. Fair enough right?

But... in my own defense and much to Sim Sim Sima's surpise at 25 I'm pretty much self sufficient, save for the Tropicana Orange Juice I sometimes steal from the two-fer. And certainly while I finally do pay for my entire lifestyle cutbacks have certainly been made. For example - over Christmas break, as most of my brethren spent a week down Mexico way - I spent a week on an air mattress entertaining houseguests. The only tan this JAP has is from self-tanning (not that I do self-tan, but if I did have a tan you can bet your last sheckle it would be fake as I spend too much money at the Rebel House, Le Paradis and the Bloor Street Diner to afford vacation...) So while life at my above average Canadian wage is doable I have had to cut out some of the perks of a Faux Hill lifestyle.

Not so for some of your favourite Village rat's, because why cut your expenses - when your parents are still willing to foot your bills?

Meet Daniella (or Dr. Daniella as the case may be). The good doctor is a first year resident and making a first year residents salary. She has no medical school debt, because her top of the line lawyer father paid for medical school and her housing costs are minimal at best because her parents bought her the condo she shares with her lawyer husband. Unfortunately Daniella is used to the Pusateri's side of life and as a first year resident she doesn't yet make enough to keep her in the lifestyle to which she's been accustomed. I know what most of you are yelling at your computer: STOP SHOPPING AT PUSI'S DANIELLA, or DO YOU NEED ANOTHER COACH PURSE, DANIELLA? But... just as you yelled at Drew Barrymore in Scream - DO NOT GO OUTSIDE, such insight has more to do with objectivity then anything else... and clearly you nor I have not been spending enough time in the Village (where friends like S. have noticed that long-time Village stalwart Davids by Day has closed up shop, don't worry - I'm sure whatever opens in its place will offer a mesculin mix salad).

So what does a good Doctor of the Village do who is living beyond her means? She asks for an allowance, of course. Silly reader, self sufficiency is for chumps.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bard of the Village - I'm not a Bard, not yet a Laureate

For awhile the poetry went out of my life, then a celebrity stylist tried to hump me on a dance floor at Alibi as Rhianna sang, Please Don't Stop the Music, and I thought... maybe its time to bring back some music? And maybe if I found music - I'd rediscover poetry. So in 2008 Haiku Friday's return!

What Makes Bubbie Kvell with Naches?

Did you hear about
my grandson the doctah? His
girlfriend, the Lawyah?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Village People

Shana Tova.

I am sick. I know dearest readers - especially the 15 year-old girl from Branksome whom I have angered - (although part of me thinks she is perhaps a ruse that a friend is playing on me to ensure that my self-aggrandization is complete) - are quite worried about this latest turn. Don't worry - I think I'll be ok. Actually according to Bold, I'm totally fine.

I have received some hate-mail in recent weeks and for a time I was worried that the JAP population of the Lower Village had declared Fatwah on me, and that one day I'd be found dead, hung by a Gucci purse at Starbucks. KB gets my cashmere collection.

But on to a 2007 year-in review.

Postings: 49
Hate Mail: 3 (can anyone send me some Hot Male instead?)
Outings: 1.5
Heart Broken: 1
Restraining Orders: 0

So far more successful then my fourth year of university.

And now to 2008 - where we run into a visitor from Beantown: Mona, which coincidentally rhymes with Simona - the lyric from that awful James Blunt song I had on repeat for most of the summer as I sat in my apartment drinking red wine wondering my no one loved me. Then I moved on to Hilary Duff instead, since boyfriends are really... "So Yesterday".

I once argued with my friend Kitty Kat as we pranced through RosedAle, [before she left me for that awful place people call - Calgary] that not everyone if given the choice would reside in the lovely hood we like to call Faux Hill. And I wasn't talking explicitly about my future husband's family who clearly has set-up roots on Douglas Drive in the Ale.

"Nonsense," she argued. Who wouldn't want to live in the Village? Kitty Kat insinuated that EVERYONE, if financially able too would choose to buy a mock Tudor on one of Faux Hill's many Wooded named streets (Elderwood, Silverwood, Robinwood)...

I vehemently disagree. I know people who have loads of money but who wouldn't be caught dead at the corner of Spadina and Lonsdale. Or people who probably make as much as my parents do, yet choose to live in the West End or in the Beaches, most likely because they don't really see themselves as Village People. And what are Village People?

Village People run the gamut of being exceptionally wealthy to those who are simply scrapping by; scrapping by of course in designer clothes. Village People subscribe to a lifestyle. A lifestyle of granite counter-tops in the kitchen, and a late-model German sportscar in the driveway. Because of course even the most over-extended shprintzah can afford the above, the Faux often is Faux.

So on to Mona. Mona lives in a Boston equivalent of the Faux. Her neighborhoud is a 1920's garden suburb filled with Mock Tudors, Georgian Revival's, big Oak Trees, and this being America - there's a Whole Foods down the block (and flags, flags as far as the eye can see). God bless America.

Mona came to visit Sim Sim Sima and My Other Mom (Mom) for a couple of days over the Christmas Break. She arrived in quite the spirits, as she had been at a bridge game the night before. Mona plays bridge with a group of neighbourhood ladies, whom I have nicknamed the Brigade. The Brigade is a group of exceptionally, stupidly wealthy socialites who are Mona's neighbours. The Brigade plays a weekly bridge game that depending on the week, Mona may or may not be invited to. See Mona is a stand-in for the group. Whenever one of the ladies calls in sick, or has to attend some sort of event - she gets bumped up from the minor leagues to play with the big girls. Mona, although a neighbourhood gal, is clearly of a different social class then her over the top friends and so spends most of her time biting her nails hearing all about the lavish trips and parties her friends are planning. The Brigade has never had to work, while Mona secretly supplements her husbands income with teaching. her friends consider her a noble soldier, as she instill Yidishe values in the next generation of wealth, but hey - a paycheck's a paycheck. And so Mona arrived to be with her friends who were just like her and yet the whole time she seemed impressed with what her other friends were doing with their lives. "The Brigade is planning this trip in the summer..." Mona lamented her tenuous inclusion with the group desperately wanting inclusion. The problem of course is that she's not really one the Brigade. She's their poorer cousin, suitable for temporary fun, but never to be considered one of the girls.

And really - therein lies the problem, or one of the problems, of life in the Village. There's always someone who has more money then you and in the Village chances are there are a lot of people who have a lot more money then you do. Sure you can fake it, but you know you're still Faux; and sadly if you live your life like Mona, always at the edges of the inner circle, you'll go crazy. Trust.

So my news years resolution for those who care - Be Happy With What I Got. (And as I write this - Sublime popped onto my itunes - Love is What I got). Fate! Huzzah!

Coming up this season:
- I introduce readers to: The Bird Lady
- Haiku Friday's Return

~Faux Hillary