Thursday, April 14, 2011

lifestyles of the rich and miserable...

... a few weeks ago I purchased a home in a rather affluent area. Not that I am affluent, mind you. Quite the opposite, just thrifty and working in real estate helps too. In fact, my home is the smallest for several miles around and the most modest. I bought it for the land and the location. It sits on 2.5 acres and backs up to a marsh preserve so I don't have to worry about being molested by urban sprawl.

My home is an oasis, let me tell you, because the minute I go into town I am confronted by the most privileged and absolutely miserable people on the face of the Earth. And I've lived in DC and New York City.

For an entire suburb of people that have every desire and need met you'd think they could manage a little common courtesy. Instead, they fly through town in Jaguar's, running red lights and flipping off pedestrians. They belittle store clerks and the elderly for driving too slow. Get out their way, they have places to go. They're important you know.

I stood in line behind a man who couldn't even muster eye contact with a local coffee barista and made her and the whole line wait while he took a phone call before completing his order. Later I saw him on the store's patio sipping espresso and berating some local college kid for riding his bike on the sidewalk and not the designated bike path.

It's a scary type of aggressive sense of entitlement. It goes beyond regular douche-bagggery run of the mill snobbery... it's malice.

No body's nice here. Yet they have everything. Million dollar homes on the Lake, private schools for their kids, the cleanest and most sought after communities, the best libraries... what recession? Yet, not a single person I have encountered in over a month has been the slightest bit pleasant.

To possess so much yet have so little to give. It certainly makes one grateful for what they don't have.

22 comments:

Jerry said...

Hey Lady, if it's any consolation you have us who drop by on a fairly regular schedule for a common point of view, great pictures, plenty of laughs and a sense that our wonderful mother church is so because of the salt of the earth like you. Keep looking and you will fine kindred Catholic spirits who will gladly join you in goofing on the high and mighty. Along of course shooting a few deliverance prayers their way :]

Dymphna said...

If there's a place where the people are meaner than the DC suburbs I don't ever want to see it.

Smiley said...

hey at least you get a whole community to pray for and offer up for the holy souls in purgatory :)

Terry Nelson said...

Many of my friends live in neighborhoods like that. They cannot recognize anyone beneath their station. Whenever I go over to feed their cats while they are away, one of the neighbors usually call the police on me - even though we have met at dinner parties.

Lola said...

Oh, the idle rich.

I've heard of them.

Smiley's right spot on.

I think the Good Lord helped you find that little oasis, and it sounds wonderful.

But, he just might have had you in mind to spread a little "Sister Mary Sunshine" in that community in the only the way You can.


I'm hoping you start a little side story of your dealings with the SC jet set. Chapter One, meetin' the neighbors...

NBW said...

One would think they would be happy. The scary aggressive sort of entitlement you spoke of exists in my neck of the woods too. What's even scarier...they go to church and think themselves better than the rest! Pharisees!

Maryjohn said...

I think these unhappy rich are everywhere. The ones of my acquaintance have the attitude that the poor deserve their station, and that only they themselves have the right to govern and legislate. The scary thing is - they are the exact ones who do so! They are Obamas in microcosm, thinking they are 'in touch' because they are horrified by the price of arugula.

Kat - you have been given the gift of being salt and light in your new neighborhood. You never know what good can come of prayer and example.

In the meantime - stay away from arugula and foofy coffee drinks!

Daftpunkett said...

huh, funny I was just re-reading one of my passages from Luke, "Where your treasure is there your heart will be also". I've been thinking about that passage a lot this lent. Very fitting.

Daftpunkett said...

I forgot to mention in my last post, you should totally set up a bathtub Our Lady of Guadeloupe statue in your front yard...you know to cheer up your neighbors and stuff. Yeah that'll do it.

shadowlands said...

I expect owning so much, (altho I don't know, because I don't own much)makes people anxious about losing it, therefore untrusting and unfriendly with others, which in turn leads to ill treatment of those we perceive as 'threats'.
Having said that, if I saw Terry in my neighbourhood, I would probably call the cops too, not for any particular reason, it would just be a laugh and fun to blog about afterwards. (joke Terry, I love you really).

John Seymour said...

I second Daftpunkett's suggestion - a nice shrine in your front yard is just the ticket. Not because it will irritate them (or at least not just that), but because maybe it will jar one of them into thinking about their life.

I live in a similar community with a mix of middle income, upper middle income, well off and really rich. I run on the narrow two lane roads because there are no sidewalks. I've noticed the least courteous drivers tend to be very young flashy women in Mercedes or white Escalades. I don't know whether they don't see me, don't care or are irritated that I have the nerve to run on their road and I'm not sure which attitude would scare me most. The older men with the Maybachs and the like drive the fastest and most aggressively, but since they drive down the middle of the road they give me plenty of room, if only accidentally. The workers from out of the area driving pick-ups often with trailers, lawn care, construction and trades, are almost 100% courteous, slowing down and pulling into the other lane when safe.

Smiley said...

I saw a TV program once two priests and older and a younger new one. The older wise one tells the young one not to be so mean with the rich, because while the poor think they will be happy when they are rich. The rich don't have that excuse they are rich and still not happy so the last illusion (rich = happy) no longer exsist. thus the younger preist needs to be kinder to the rich as well as they are devoid of the final illusion and are more in need of God the true source of all joy

romishgraffiti said...

you should totally set up a bathtub Our Lady of Guadeloupe statue in your front yard

I second Daftpunkett's suggestion - a nice shrine in your front yard is just the ticket.

Thirded. And thow up a Vatican flag while you are at it.

Cruise the Groove. said...

Kat,
I live in NYC for 10 years.
Where did you live?

Smiley said...

Kat

Email me your new postal address I have a letter for you and a book for the boy for his first communion

Smiley/brett

TCN said...

One nice thing about being poor--you don't have to worry about money you just don't have and probably never will.

Plus, all that time in the garden, and leaning over the canner in the fall, and changing your own oil, ironing your own shirts--when do you have time to be nasty to anyone?

Jesus looks out for each of us in His own way. Being happy where He plants us is probably the hardest thing for the rich and one of the easiest of for the rest of us. Prayers and pity go a long way.

s-p said...

I live and do construction and handyman work in AZ for quite a few "filthy rich" people and many of them are the nicest, most charitable, kind and thankful, appreciative people I know. I've worked for a few "noveau riche" paper millionaires and they are arrogant, condescending, cheap and rude. I only work for them once. Their money isn't worth my peace.

Julie D. said...

Just saw that you are one of the "blogging chosen" for the Vatican blog-meet! Congratulations!!! :-)

BriFili Stating said...

Hey Kat,

Good news! You're going to Rome!

http://www.pccs.va/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=388:pccs&catid=1:ultime&Itemid=50&lang=en

Alipius said...

Wow! You finally get to stalk those Swiss Guard Dudes! Congrats!

Kathleen said...

"no body's nice here". I find that a bit extreme. I do not live in that community, but I do live nearby and while I don't spend a lot of time there, I know some VERY nice people who do live there...some are even Catholic...keep looking. I do know what you are talking about, though.

Congrats again on your selection for the Vatican event!

Kathy

k_g25 said...

Shadowlands makes a good point -- possessions are a burden and cause anxiety. My spouse had a massive stroke and is now permanently disabled ... meaning I have to do everything ... lawn care, car care, house maintenance, etc. etc. on and on ... with no backup any longer ... anxiety, yeah. I would love to sell this house and get a little retiree-neighborhood type of place, but not going to happen in this Obamaconomy ... so I pray for discernment and inner peace. Meanwhile, I have lost 10 pounds without trying. Possessions are a form of Hell.