Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Ivy Lea Club

You've no doubt heard the depreciating adage, "He who can does; he who cannot, teaches".  Reputedly it is from George Bernard Shaw.  I am oddly reminded of the celebrated maxim in the context of the Ivy Lea Club.  The reason? Well, they both bring to mind the disparity between talking about things and living the dream.  Most people will at least purport to favour action to talk - reality to dreaming.  I on the other hand am quite prepared to suffer the indignity of mere imagination - particularly where as in this instance the difference might in my opinion amount to a distinction without a difference. Living the life of a maritime vagabond (with or without a yacht conveniently parked nearby) is just as glamorous to me as a transient interloper as I suspect it is to the real McCoy.  It is certainly less restrictive and far less expensive. Some may prefer (more generously) to characterize the dichotomy as one of vicarious existence; namely, why endure the weight of capital cost and perpetual maintenance when you can have it all for a song?  That at least is my rationality.

As a shameless materialist and inveterate snob I willingly confess that the attraction of money and society is not lost on me.  Where however I redeem myself (if indeed such is possible upon the heels of so contemptuous an admission) is that I haven't at this stage of my career the slightest interest to compete with or match the relentless conviction of those who pursue the real thing. I flatter myself to presume that I am of a higher literary order, a forwarding-thinking individual who can for example appreciate the allure of a moment without actually having to live it. Rather than labeling the deceit as second-hand, instead I adopt the more favourable denomination of derivative. Nor will I allow the condition to be called a substitute; rather an empathy (which nicely captures the ability to understand another and to share their feelings). And even if you're not persuaded by the doubtful altruism, surely you'll grant me that apart from the failure of the means, the achievement of the end is just as up-lifting (and really without any hurtful consequence).

The Ivy Lea Club promotes its own exclusions even if there is arguably no tangible evidence of the conviction.  While lunching there today it required but a moment's recognition of the true nature of the place.  A glance at a nearby table for example left the lasting scent of money - the older gentleman wearing white duck trousers, singularly fashioned deck shoes and of course a dark blue cotton sweater.  The yachts - and visiting Americans - told their own story. It was only a year ago we trod upon the wharf to board a 58' vessel which parenthetically our hosts have since sold - need I say more? The nearby cottages are available for rent by the season only.  Even the servers are almost exclusively university graduates (our waitress today studied in Ireland as well).  All in all it is a heady atmosphere.

Though I have no claim whatever to the distinction myself, I have always been intrigued by the habits and customs of the rich.  This without suffering any diminishment.  As a former lawyer I early conceived it was my duty to look into the hearts and minds of the well-to-do with nothing but interest.  Like the Ivy Lea Club I fashioned it a decision to cultivate what is euphemistically called a niche market.  Of course one of the paramount features - if not in fact the primary feature - is quality. Everything from the venue, the furnishings, the boat slips and the food - right down to the cleanliness and layout of the washrooms.  No small preference, to be sure!

No comments:

Post a Comment