You may recall that in a previous Huff Post story, I reported that my good friend Phil, a 50-something Richmond Hill accountant, just prior to Christmas, had come to the rescue of his favourite client, “D”, a gorgeous, but quirky Toronto publicist. A dynamo with energy, class and sass.
Phil, an average pudgy Jewish guy had saved Christmas for D by surprising her and winning her heart with a Christmas tree for her place. The first Christmas tree any man had ever bought her.
But now, for Phil, New Year’s Eve, had come and gone. Uneventfully.
The new year of 2014 was looming.
In the past, Phil, always believed that the new year was a time to be reborn. To reinvent himself.
One year Phil took salsa lessons. Another year, hot yoga.
Another year he spent a ton of time on JDate. Phil told me that he initially met some very nice women of the Jewish tradition. One such woman actually liked Phil. And wanted to take their relationship to the next level. By trying to change Phil. By making him look younger, hipper, thinner, richer.
And ironically, less Jewish.
This year Phil decided he would pull a “George Costanza” of Seinfeld fame and do the opposite of all his natural instincts.
Recall in that classic Seinfeld episode, perennial loser George, famous for his nodding acquaintance with the truth, contrary to his natural inclinations, told a beautiful woman, the ugly truth about himself. That he was unemployed and living with his parents. And lo and behold. George scored a date, a job with the Yankees and his own apartment.
Phil told me that he was impressed with a Huff Post article by local self-help guru,Victoria Lorient-Faibish, who advised in “When Family-Culture Gets In The Way of Me-Time” that we should develop an attitude of selfishness or “selfyness”.
That is, seeing yourself as your top priority. Or as Faibish advises, “taking personal responsibility for your own self-care. ”
In other words, don’t say yes, unless you look after yourself first.
Phil’s natural inclination was always to help others and give joy and pleasure to others, before himself.
So he decided he would be totally selfish and self-centred for 2014.
He would embrace Ayn Rand, and her “Fountainhead”, the bible of absolute self-interest.
The laissez-faire capitalism of Adam Smith. And the selfishness of TO union garbage workers during a stinky summer garbage strike.
Phil’s new year’s resolution lasted about 3 hours.
In the new year, Phil received another desperate call from the lovely and very persuasive D.
The ice storm had cleared. The roads were passable. And D wanted to see her parents in Windsor, for a belated Christmas. But her car was in the shop.
Would Phil drive D to Windsor to see her parents?
Faibish’s philosophy of “selfyness” unfortunately could not compete with “D”‘s captivating hazel eyes. And her milky soft skin.
Phil’s resolve crumbled like Smitherman’s hopes against Ford in last election.
So once again, Sir Philip of Richmond Hill, powered up his trusty steed, a 2008 grey Hyundai Accent, and transported the very fair maiden to her parents in the outskirts of Windsor, one cold and freezing Friday night.
And a very touching reunion.
D’s mother, an older version of D. Smart, beautiful, feisty. D’s father. More cerebral, exuding warmth and quiet intelligence. The luscious apple did not fall far from the tree.
Before his very eyes, he saw the tough, competitive, “eat what you kill” D, transformed into a young girl again, with her loving family around the Christmas tree.
Gifts were exchanged. Tears were shed. Parents and child embraced. Previous mother/daughter battles- forgotten memories. Bonds re-established. As Phil was leaving, D approached him. Her eyes still misty. She embraced Phil. Very warmly.
Intimately? Phil was not sure.
“Let’s hang out when I return to Toronto,” D whispered.
Phil smiled. He thought, this moment will be as good as it gets. And he was fine with that.