Photo of Mayor David Miller by Sarah Marantz/Daily Dose.
November, that graceless period of grey skies and sliding temperatures before winter, shivers impatiently to a close. While the city steels itself for the long cold, we citizens look for ways to steal warmth—the gods know we can’t afford to buy it. Lattes and pints are overpriced, and aren’t Starbucks and bars just as overrated besides? These nights, staying in is the new going out: you’ll read it on Twitter any second, trust! But home doesn’t have to mean alone. After the break, we tell you how to lure friends to your den so you never have to leave your gingerbread-scented candles unattended again.
The Book Club
Last week, we had the privilege and long-forgotten pleasure of being read to, at Get Lit in the Gladstone ballroom. Snow fell outside, and a raptured hush inside, as boldfaces from Mayor David Miller to author-slash-doctor (seriously!) Vincent Lam to the Globe and Mail’s lovely Amy Verner read their favourite words. Mingling in the bar area at intermission, almost everyone we talked to echoed a common sentiment: why don’t we belong to a book club?
Tried, tested, and truly beloved, book clubs unite the erudite in pursuit of higher-minded conversation topics (known, to the uninitiated, as bragging). It’s best to choose the kind of classics that your members—who should number no more than ten—already pretend to have read: Moby Dick, of course, or Midnight’s Children. From there, move to current authors, such as Giller Prize nominees (should you feel a patriotic twinge) or neurotic Brooklynites. Anything recommended by Oprah, Margaret Atwood, or “Heather” at Chapters-Indigo is to be avoided at all costs.
The RIP TV Show Club
Quick, before the liberal media elites move on to the next most-likely-to-be-cancelled-before-its-time, but-only-because-it’s-too-smart-for-the-masses* television show: rent season one of Mad Men and catch up on six months of missed Sunday Styles references. Then, start dialling up your pals—each one will undoubtedly be grateful to find that no, he or she isn’t the only person with half a BA or a brain to not have seen the show. You’ll have a half-dozen bottles of Jameson lined up on your counter in no time. Run to the corner store for more ice, then drink every time the camera pans to Joan Holloway’s ass.
*Previously: Arrested Development; anything with Joss Whedon attached to it.
The Parlour Games Club
Remember charades? See, you’re already smiling.
The Goodwill Club
Cleaning out your closet? Forget donating your duds to thrift stores, where they’ll just be snapped up by vintage pickers and resold to sincere flatterers at thrice the price. Instead, tell your friends to bring oldies and goodies over for an old-fashioned clothing swap. You’d be surprised how often your trash is their treasure, and vice versa. Besides, don’t your best friends always have the best taste?
And when you’ve exhausted your social circle, you can still expand your wardrobe (without inversely affecting your bank account) by swap-and-shopping at 69 Vintage By-the-Pound (1234 Bloor Street West), where popular clothing exchanges are held regularly. Sign up on the store’s e-mail list or join their Facebook group to be notified of the next event.