This isn’t about monks or whirling dervishes, it’s about me living in the wealthiest section of New York City.
There was a lady jogging along Park Avenue while her limo followed behind. It got me thinking.
All around me live the affluent. I’m talking mega-rich not just comfy cozy. I live among them but with an entirely different lifestyle.
One could call it modest, in comparison.
Frankly, I’ve never yearned for the trappings of wealth. The more you own the more headaches one seems to have. Money for me has always meant freedom but the kind you can stuff in your carry-on bag.
I’ve never wanted, for instance, a house in the Hamptons like most of my neighbors. The desire to rush away on a Friday to a crowded place just to be able to say I did has gratefully eluded me. I especially love when I hear the complaints of the 4 hours in traffic coming back on Sunday night. Rather than a summer home you’d have to worry about why not just stay at a lavish inn or good hotel? You have everything you need without the responsibilities. That’s what I call travelin light.
Less is more may very well end up being my epitaph since it’s how I feel about everything: style, food, recreation.
Just give me one great dress over 15 cheap ones. For me, going to a museum or an art gallery where I can be readily inspired is preferable to that inane, noisy party we’ve all attended at one time or another. You know the one – with the cheap wine and ‘can a peas’ as they say in The Godfather. We already know I’d take a book over a boring man any day of the week.
As far as food goes, I do eat sparingly but only buy the best.
But I realize that my preferences don’t necessarily require much currency. If you’re only eating an avocado for dinner so what if it cost 5 bucks. I’m very happy with very little providing it’s of quality.
That’s the thing I take umbrage at, why so much?
Big appetites produce big bills, a lesson I learned the hard way.
I remember an impromptu trip I took to St. Lucia. When I think back I must have been higher than a kite, as they say. I was dating a set designer from Saturday Night Live who invited me to go providing I’d pay my own way. I remember he had another girl he was seeing who, come to found out, he asked first, but she said she couldn’t afford it. Neither could I, but did that stop me?
To make a long story longer, we had a fight the day we landed so me and my indignation flew right back home. It cost me 4500 dollars on a credit card and that didn’t include my Delta bar bill. He also soaked me for half the hotel, the little creative villain.
I think it did something to me because ever since then my need to follow love wherever it leads has left me.
When I hear women standing in front of my building juggling spoiled kids and shopping bags bitching about the help I think, well Susannah you are in a different tax bracket than they are, especially these days but guaranteed, a whole lot happier. Plus, they’re all so fat. Too much unleashed spending expands a woman’s waist line it seems.
He said, ‘I’ve never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind, being broke is only a temporary situation.’
See, that’s very much how I feel.
Camille calls it Cinderella Syndrome, me and Mike call it smart…