Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Divide

So today Dad and I went on the House & Garden Tour which is a fundraiser for the Alberta Ballet. It's not that we are passionate about the ballet, heck, I am not sure if either of us have attended the ballet. But I do love open houses. I love seeing places people live. Not just fancy places... I mean, I love going to open houses in my own humble little neighborhood. There's just something about seeing people's sanctuaries. The places people go to lay their heads or to read a book or watch a movie. So a couple years ago when Stinx was just a small wee babe I heard about the Alberta Ballet's House & Garden Tour. I really wanted to go but Stinx was just too small. Now that he is a "big boy" he had plenty of fun with grandparents while Dad and I enjoyed our tour.

I was expecting big fancy homes with beautiful gardens. And that's pretty much what we got. Million dollar homes in fancy schmancy neighborhoods. Two of the homes are currently on the market. One for 3.5 million, the other for 5 million. CRAZY. All of the homes had crazy huge en suite bathrooms and gigantic walk in closets which were more like the size of a normal bedroom. Seriously! Who needs that much closet space? No one wears THAT many clothes. It was ridiculous. They all had beautiful kitchens too.

In one home there was 3 children's rooms which each had en suite bathroom and walk in closet. Dad commented, "Just imagine all the extra cleaning they must do!". I was all,... "Honey, these people don't clean, they have maids... silly!" And it's so true. The work it would take to clean these houses would be a full time job in itself.

We went to an "eco-friendly" in-fill that was pretty cool. I liked the design on that one quite a bit. They had some really cool art work that was truly inspiring. They were clearly creative people, or.. they just have good taste.

There was another home in the lovely neighborhood of Scarboro which had a really modern architecturally design. Dad really liked that one.

So most of the houses blew us away, but the gardens... not so much. Out of the 7 properties, it seemed only 2-3 had nice gardens, worthy of attention. I mean, they all had nice landscaping and everything, but to be called a House & Garden Tour, I was expecting more from the gardens. Oh well.

It was a fun day despite my cold, morning sickness and exhaustion.

Afterwards though, I really couldn't help but think, of how differently MOST of us live. And I was definitely thinking of my friends who live at the shelter. It's crazy what a rich city I live in, yet the homeless population is always on the rise.

I've spent years of my life working with the homeless. Most of them only own a backpack full of their possessions. If they're lucky they have a locker to store extra things in. Maybe some clothes, shoes and books. Certainly they don't fit fancy cars, giant flat screen tv's, or king sized beds in there. It's just crazy to think that someones "closet" is the size of a room that would hold 8 people at the shelter. Crazy to think that people have such huge closets full of clothes they probably don't wear when people are in need of clothing.

It's just crazy. What a crazy city I live in. Tons of millionares. Tons of homeless.


Alisha said...

That is so true. There is such a huge disparity in Calgary. :(

Kelly said...

I was wondering if you guys went! I know what you mean about looking at other people's houses, I go on kijiji almost every day and look at rental houses, mostly just to look at pictures. I found one really close to your house that we could afford, but we won't be able to move until the fall at the earliest.

Anyways, I don't think I could deal with the rich homes for the same reasons you stated. Even when I look at some rental homes I'm like, we could totally have 20 people live with us! Haha, we're just not used to having a lot of space, and whenever we have, we have ended up taking people in.

Kimberley said...

It really is amazing how much space that alot of folks waste on housing that they do not even need or could easily fit three families in one house for the rich neighbourhoods.