Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ostentatious Displays of Wealth

One of the more, um, interesting aspects of living in the south is that ostentatious displays of wealth are not considered tacky. This has a long history, going back to the days of plantations and the Lord of the Manor. Keep in mind the south was settled by some of the biggest losers in the old world who were eager to ‘get theirs’. The displays toned down during the War (that being the Civil War, to you northerners) and the Depression, but came back each time. I fully expect them to disappear again soon. In a severe recession/depression, such displays are stupid and dangerous. But in the meantime, I still have to put up with displays like the one I witnessed on Sunday.

Sunday afternoon is house shopping day around these parts, and yes, people are still looking and buying. We haven’t really been hit yet. Unless the government goes out of business, we’re fairly well insulated. So I usually have to clear out with the dogs come Sunday afternoon. The cat stays and tells off anyone who comes to look at the house. (She is Siamese when I please, she is Siamese when I don’t please…) So, this week I went to a nearby coffee shop. I’m not a big fan of coffee shops –overpriced coffee not being appealing to someone in my financial situation. But this one is a local store and as much of a community center and hang-out spot as a coffee shop. They also allow you to bring your dogs out on their terrace and patio.

And I will admit, I had another reason for going there: I have a huge crush on one of the baristas there. She is incredibly beautiful, smart, funny. You know the type: the ones you know instinctively are out of your league but can’t help but fall for anyway. Well, lo and behold, I was lucky and she was working. The shop has this new rule that says you have to buy something to hang out there and while I don’t much care for that, she was working so I decided to stay, and hang out inside for a bit. I had to pay a buck fifty for a cup of hot chocolate. Yeah, I shouldn’t have done it, but trying telling that to my hormones. It’s cheaper than asking her out to dinner. At least it was good hot chocolate. And she gave me whipped cream and didn’t charge me for it.

So anyway, I sitting there sipping my overpriced cup of hot chocolate and trying to think of something (anything, but preferably something that wouldn’t make me sound like a moron) that I could say to this girl when an SUV pulls into the parking lot. This was one of those fancy ones –the kind that costs more than a lot of houses. A woman and her daughters come in. They are dressing in designer clothing. The woman has enough jewelry on her hands to buy my house, including a ruby that would choke a horse. They come in, acting like they own the place (which I know for a fact they don’t) and proceed to not only flaunt their wealth (the ruby was a Christmas gift and she made sure to shove it under everyone’s nose) but treat the staff and others present like absolute crap. Obviously, these people do not care about any ‘recession’ and how its affecting ‘the little people’.

I had to resist the urge to fling my hot chocolate in the woman’s face. Hey, I’m human. I’m not sure if the impulse was motivated mostly by the display or by the way she was treating the girl I’m crushing on and probably never will. So here’s one good thing that may come out of this: less annoying rich people.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jacques de Beaufort said...

pretty soon the rich will not mingle much with the poor

get a good look while you can

12/19/2008 8:29 PM  
Blogger Jacques de Beaufort said...

probably the best time to throw hot cups of coffee at them will be about mid 2009.

this is maybe the last moment you will see them without bodygaurds

12/19/2008 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R.A.S.,

I love this.

So much better than boring scripted television... (and no, I do not just read your blog for entertainment value, I read for reality insight value, which is priceless...)

Siamese cats, Houses for sale, Budget hot chocolate, Baristas, Rude affluent customers with better than others snobbery attitudes and of course desire...

I say ask her out to dinner for heavens sake. Desire and love know no boundaries or leagues. Or at least should not be separated by such things. Keep us posted!

And by the way, I have a feeling that those that feel that they are more valuable than others, especially more valuable than those doing real jobs are going to have a whole new world to be awoken to. Well, maybe not all of the special people will have to come down to earth, those that can sell their televised celebrity nasal discharges [laced on a tissue on ebay for thousands of dollars, ala, Scarlett Johansson, well, I am sure their disturbing world is well insulated from reality...

Good house selling..

And most importantly, Happy Solstice!!!

12/20/2008 3:05 PM  
Blogger SoapBoxTech said...

Whomever you do end up walking beside, Ras, I hope they deserve the brilliant soul we all get to see here.

Thank you.

12/21/2008 2:42 PM  

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