A couple of years running now, Nicole, M and I have gone on the Parkdale Horticultural Society's west end neighbourhood garden tour. It's an awesome opportunity to check out some spectacular views, tremendous landscape style and to peek into the windows of peoples' million dollar homes. (What? I'm human.)
This year provided some show-stopping locations, locations that, in truth, made me want to recoil fetally out of gut-wrenching status anxiety. Let's just say they would have changed the colour of my eyes were they not already green. Seriously, I felt like I'd got trapped in an issue of House & Garden and I could not get out.
Isn't it great when immersing oneself in nature brings out the low-brow emotions?
I asked Nicole, at one point, at the apex of the gorgeousness, how she was managing. Did she, as she inhaled the fragrance of the outdoors and observed the happy flora and fauna nestling amidst greenery, want to poke her eyes out in sympathy? Did she too feel less-than?
Whereupon she told me the most fascinating thing: Apparently, in B.C. - on Vancouver Island where she was raised - that isn't the inculturated social lesson.
See, in TO all we know from birth is how to work hard to get ahead to acquire stuff to show off - in print if we're lucky. (We never enjoy it because we're either working more - to maintain - or we're at the lakefront cottage, taking care of another property designed to make people anxious about what they haven't yet accomplished.) Probably Unnecessary Note to Reader: I'm not one of those... But before any of my metropolitan neighbours sends me hate mail. I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about the people in Lawrence Park.
I looked at N with true admiration. Here she was, I surmised, able to enjoy a level of beauty she might never attain personally. Then she followed up with: In B.C. we don't have status anxiety. We just feel envy.
Good to know.
Let's see what you think...