I’m proud to say that I don’t owe anyone for my personal success in life. My parents financed my education and raised me with cultural exposure, and I’m grateful for that. But it was up to me to utilize that knowledge and create the life I wanted for myself.
I was born a dedicated, independent, hard worker. I didn’t need to be supervised because I had such an innate structure about my life. My parents never worried about me, as they did my brothers. They knew I was responsible and would take care of myself and do well.
I wouldn’t even let my mother dress me when I was younger; I always knew what I liked and what was right for me. I like being the boss, which is why I became one a year after graduating college; it’s why I was appointed president of a few clubs in prep school. I am a leader; not a follower. I have opinions that are usually on-point with the market when it comes to business. People often don’t trust my opinions…oh so much money lost. Not my probz.
This is not to say I don’t like creative collaboration. I just hate working in corporations where my professional opinion is not considered, especially as a female and a person who knows a certain demographic very well. But getting back to the point…
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Some people get more tragic with age.
So many older boys I seriously crushed on in high school are seriously not hot now that they’re adults. Adding to inevitable hair-loss or weight gain or what have you, some guys never really grow up, acting like frat boys when they are 35+.
Age doesn’t favor many well in looks so why detract more from what already isn’t working for you? Part of growing up is, well, growing up. Those who actually do are far hotter than those that try to maintain their college personas.
I’m not sitting on a high horse — I’ve certainly lost swagger over the years — that’s part of ageing. Youth is something you cannot regain, whether through acting or dressing or going under the knife (and you shouldn’t!). Nothing truly gives you back the natural aura of youth.
But there is beauty with age that more people should embrace. You (should) gain new perspective and a higher level of emotional maturity. There’s value in that. And there’s also value in taking care of the body that houses your mind like healthy adults do. Strive to be beautiful on the inside; it will radiate outside tenfold.
Welcome to the UES, where old money gents are mellow yet insecure because they didn’t earn it themselves, or, even worse, it is from their wife’s side of the family and hurts their di(ck)nity.
Moving down to other generations, like mine, which I think have a slightly better grasp of the real world, I am still bothered by the double-kiss, or the improper way of not switching hands (fork only in your dominant hand; knife down resting diagonally on edge of plate) once you cut something while dining. If you are not from Europe, why are you following European etiquette?! One kiss, and switch hands.
Seriously, for everything old-money privilege buys in education and smart connections, you should know better. I am always appalled to see how the most wealthy are so dumb when it comes to proper etiquette and manners. Simple things like introducing people or being able to connect with new people through the art that is known as conversation.
I think it is safe to say that many children of old money are ill-trained in manners and the value of hard work (I mean very hard work with long hours, not doing community service for your current DUI or coke-induced altercation). I don’t know if your parents encouraged you to pursue anything you wanted, or just told you you could do anything you want. There is a difference.
This isn’t necessarily about a sense of entitlement, but being raised with a sense of how to speak, how to act around others, and how to treat other people, no matter from where. I’ve found that many of the 1% don’t get it. These are invaluable lessons that will hold you back from pursuing your dreams, no matter how connected you are. If you cannot connect to people, they will not be connecting back.
I feel sorry for you fortunate enough to have a few generations of inherited money, because often that means you were not encouraged to develop inherent people skills.
Anyway, my two-kiss lover from Europe…well, I just found out he has four names! So now I really can’t make fun. Except for those table manners 😉
But take a moment to think about every aspect of your public persona, as well as your audience in any setting.
And behave accordingly FTW.
It’s hard to keep everybody’s secrets, but I am loyal and have only spilled when the confiding person threw a number on me.
Imagine not speaking to a soul about what you know. An abortion or secret love child from an affair (so many with infidelity scenarios), a reputation-harming fetish or sickness, the cheating on a major major major exam, money laundering, or (accidentally?!) killing someone (j/k, luckily don’t know anyone with that last one). What do you know about other people than you cannot share? And how does it haunt you?
It is hard to know things, but when you give someone your word, you give them your word. I have kept many secrets from daylight. Most are those I wish I had never known in the first place.
There are secrets that are merely gossip-worthy, and you need to unleash on at least one party not involved because that person has no one to share it with—or at least no one that matters where it would circle in the relevant circle. [Or you may just be an unloyal beyatch who has nothing to talk about other than gossip and needs to share it. Ya’ll are dumb and not part of my post so be gone.]
But the real test of being a secret-keeper is thinking before you speak when an unknowing third party mentions something uncannily related to the very secret you’re harboring in conversation. You cannot forget that your knowledge is secret and that an utterance of a single word will do plenty harm and no good.
Harboring is exhausting. It is shocking and hard to believe what some people have gone through/are going through. I need not add to their issues and talk about it. More importantly, people confide in me and I respect their trust in my loyalty. My lips will be zipped, but sometimes knowing is overwhelming.
I remember my mother telling me about a former friend of hers who said, “If only I get that new Mercedes, I’ll be happy;” “When I get that mink fur coat, I’ll be happy.” The thing was, she got those things and countless others, and was never happy.
When it came to materialistic things, she got everything she wanted. There was no financial issue holding her back from obtaining what her heart(?) desired, yet acquiring those things did not make her happy—at least not in the way she thought they would. She had a void that could not be filled by accumulating beautiful objects. Neither could it be filled by her loving husband and amazing daughter.
I feel extremely sorry for people like her. Take a look around you and look at everything that you do have.
Who cares about that shit when you have been blessed with health, happiness, and love (naturally!)?
I think this country needs to get Back to Basics, and I say country, because this is not just some local problem of my parents’ and their friends’ generations having wayyy more money than they knew what to do with, spending lavishly (read: foolishly) and running out of things to spend it on in the boom-boom eighties and early nineties. No, this is something that has contributed to ruining of the US of A on a national level involving everyone, regardless of economical level. Something that I do not see when I travel elsewhere. #Ungratefulness #ShameonUS
The introduction of “reality” TV and social media birthed the hideous term fomo (“fear of missing out” Oh, the horror [eye-roll]), and media use this as their tool to instill our spending weaknesses (money and time), all of which have only heightened our anxiety and dissatisfaction with our own lives.
Moving on from my childhood of Material Eighties Excess, there is a much bigger beast in the room: Knowing everything others have and are doing In Real Time. Smartphones and computers have not only allowed us to be connected 24/7, they encourage us to be involved in the diaspora, to live in the false sense of world that others create, the stories they write about themselves, and tactically entice us to partake in a Jones game rather than be aware of real life.
It’s embarrassing that technology, which has helped us in so many ways socially, has truly hindered the human race in actual, real-life social communication. I was trying to watch a football game and everyone in the room was on their phones—including (sad to admit it) me.
I especially appreciate how people beg for my one-on-one time and then when I finally carve out an afternoon in my crazy-busy schedule for that person, they need to call their boyfriend/gf to update on “Gia and I just saw this. We are having so much fun” or snapchat or interrupt their own story because “We must take a photo here” or some such. We are all guilty but STOP. I don’t get to talk with you every day; I made the time; and I don’t want to be present if you are not.
I am here; I am now.
And I will not be here next time because you are wasting my time to communicate with someone you see every day (when I could be working on my infinite creative projects in the works that I tear myself away from to spend time with you).
I will not be here forever.
The time is way overdue to Get Back to Basics. Be here, be mindful, be present. Look around you. Life is happening Now.
As I still have to remind myself time and time again, edit people out of your life! It’s a continual process, like deleting your spam. Yet oh so necessary. There are those that you realize you don’t have anything in common with, there are those you have grown apart from due to distance or different life choices. And then those toxic people in the world that eat up all of your energy and only bring negativity to the table.
I recently spoke to a very wise 88-year-old woman who asked me how many friends I had. Interesting question. There are close friends, then your other friends, then friends by association of friends, coworkers, loved ones or family. There are lots of levels of friendship and therefore way too many “friends.”
But Magdalena Mercedes’ point was that it is important to have only a few friends and make sure they are very good ones. Otherwise, she says, I will spread myself too thin. In her opinion, you cannot truly be a good friend to many people, and if they have too many friends, they cannot be a good friend to you. Quality over quantity.