Almost every time I look at the clock, it says 9:11. Every single day, sometimes twice a day, I see this number. As if I would ever forget. I will NEVER forget.
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.
The popular (senior) boys in high school were called The Crunchies. They were a mix of highly preppy, privileged stoners with major sideburns and long hair, though this was not the seventies, just 1998.
They listened to The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Cream (and Eric Clapton on his own), and developed a love affair with Phish that they’ve sustained for life. They preferred bow ties and Nantucket Red pants.
The Crunchies were an interesting type of bad boy, and all of the freshman girls, including myself, were fascinated. The Crunchies, in turn, were fascinated with us. While we had the youth card to our advantage, we were our own off-the-cuff breed that diverged from previous generations of our prep school’s girls. We were loud and opinionated (and maybe, yes, cringe-a-little tacky), but we ruled.
Perhaps part of the appeal was the opposition. They brought introspective chill into our lives and we brought the festivity & flair into theirs.
The Kent Crunchies in their photo glory…
After reading a very poorly executed article my brother shared on “the book,” I decided to take the concept and create a better list. I kept a few tidbits, but essentially rewrote the entire thing.
I present to you the G version of “25 Signs You’re Not Ready To Settle Down”:
Click below to continue reading…