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December 03, 2010

Trading Places on Salt Spring

Here are my dear friends Tom and Linda leaving their cute little paradise on Salt Spring Island via a Salt Spring Air float plane via YVR to Puerto Vallarta because they found an amazing deal on TravelZoo

The thing is, their going on holiday equals me going on holiday (sort of). They wanted me to stay in their house and look after Fluffy, their cat, whom I love. I love Fluffy. It's the easiest house-sitting/pet sitting gig in the world. Fluffy and I are like this (visualize fingers wrapped around each other) as much as you can be with a cat because, well, we all know about cats. Bon voyage mon amies!

Suddenly, I have a whole house. A full-sized fridge. A freezer. A bed with a box spring. A full oven. It's heaven. I love their house. How long are they gone? ha.

It's as if I've become one with the couch because, hey, they have a big screen T.V. and I no longer have a T.V. and late last night, I hate to admit it, but I tuned into this show called Trading Spouses which just going by the name seems despicable; the lowest of the lowest reality show common denominator.

The thing is, I'm just going to say it once, really quickly: I like watching this show. It's a sociological experiment. They take the most unlikely families and switch the mothers for a week. Think Mormon Mother meets The Kardashians.

Think of yourself. Think of how you live. Put yourself in a situation that you'd absolutely despise and there you have it. It would be like me going to live with a family of 5 guys who all participate in monster truck rallies and them moving into my cabin on Salt Spring surrounded by new agers and healers and having to attend a zillion craft fairs being forced to give up Miller Light for Yerba Mate.  Mother Teresa meet Lady Gaga. It makes for fantastic T.V. (to which I'm sure many of you will disagree wholeheartedly).

Take a couple from Thousand Oaks California both raised in India. The woman has  a Ph.D. and works as a research scientist. The husband is a successful businessman.  A porche and a Hummer are parked in their driveway. They have one daughter. The family the research scientist mom is going to live with lives in the country with horses and participates in medieval re-enactments. Gettin' the picture? One word: Nightmare.

The thing is, the Indian father and the 12 year old daughter are the whiniest, most pampered, materialistic shallow snobs that have ever walked the earth.  They don't ever cook. They only eat out (perhaps so they can complain bitterly about every morsel.) They stay in only the top hotels and the suite they took their "new mom" to was unbelievable but they described it as "trashy".

They take their new mom to Palm Springs where they spend all day wandering from shop to shop and every single time they eat, they have nothing good to say about the food. The new mom showed incredible restraint. Even when she made them some homemade sushi, they were grossed out and wouldn't eat it, digging instead into some ice cream while she had to throw out what she had just made.They're judgmental and rude and the epitome of what's wrong with wealth in the bank accounts of the spiritually unconscious.

It's fantastic to have nice things and to be really comfortable and for your home to be your castle. I'm all for it. In fact, not having that stuff, I am beginning to see, is incredibly motivating.

Trust me,  when it comes to trading places, it's much better to be "Trading up"than "Trading down" but not at the expense of graciousness and gratitude.

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