Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Holidays Are Over! Now What?

"I celebrate everyone's religious holidays! If it's good enough for the righteous, it's good enough for the self-righteous, I always say" - Bette Midler

I don't know about you but I'm totally exhausted from the nonstop craziness that just slammed us from October til January - like a tidal wave from Halloween until New Year's day. And honestly I've still not quite recovered from the excesses of New Year's Eve.

But the craziness doesn't let up around here for one second. As a sturdy Catholic family we started taking down all the outdoor and indoor decorations on the eve of Epiphany (January 6) which finally ends the twelve days of Christmas. But right off the bat there were problems.

Dario our groundskeeper was trying to get the 14-foot Christmas tree back up to the attic when the elevator broke down between floors. I was able to pop the door open so he could jump out, but the repair guys can't get here til next week. So all the housekeepers, our employer and his lady friends in their stilettos are going to have to climb stairs for awhile.

Then the swimming pool dropped half a foot that day, which doesn't look too bad in most pools. But this particular pool has an infinity edge. So apparently infinity has to wait until the pool guys can get here next week. And to top off the day, my employer's jackass son came over with his dog, resulting in a bloody fight with our dogs. So off I went to the emergency vet.

But what's next after all these nutty holidays? Many of us suffer from post-holiday depression, or deep winter blues. And the rich are not immune to this. Of course, they can escape on their yachts or jets for sunnier warm climates for a few weeks or a couple of months. Some of them go off to ski in magical places like Aspen or Zermatt. And many of them choose this time to vanish to Switzerland for a few nips and tucks on their faces and butts before the spring social season starts to wind up.

Other than that, there's a few big football games on the horizon - which requires nothing more than a caterer for the day. Then there's Mardi Gras on February 13 and Valentine's on February 14 coming up back to back. How weird is that?

Mardi Gras, again, can be dispensed with by hiring caterers and maybe a band for the evening. But Valentine's for the rich might require a little more than flowers and chocolates. Like poking around in Tiffany's, Harry Winston, and Cartier for the perfect diamond necklace or bracelet - to stave off divorce for a little while longer.

But football games, Mardi Gras and Valentine's don't provoke anywhere near the stress of Christmas and New Years, right? The next really big thing coming up around here will be when the spring social season starts to wind up - debutante balls, dinner parties and charity events galore. And I can't wait.

As for me, I'll be watching Super Bowl at a buddy's house with his rowdy friends - with plenty of chips, dips and hot dogs on hand, not to mention ice tubs full of the world's cheapest beers. But at least we have fun when we're all together.

Thank's so much for stopping by this evening. I hope our deep winter blues are short lived. After all, every passing day brings us closer to spring.

Andrew


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Sexual Misconduct in the World of the Rich!

"I have nothing but respect for you...and very little of that!" - Groucho Marx

It's all over the news these days - prominent men in Hollywood, the media, and both federal and state governments are being taken to task by women they've sexually harassed or abused on their way to the top. Almost every day we hear allegations about some iconic figure that shakes us to our roots.

Historians will likely tell us that from a sociological and historical perspective, this door was apparently opened when our current president was elected in spite of multiple assault allegations being lodged against him. Suddenly women everywhere, in every industry, are finally standing up and saying "Enough!"

The imbalanced power dynamic between the rich and poor has been around since time began. And don't worry, I'm not about to launch into a sophomoric examination of the master-slave relationship. There are already dozens of articles online about why the rich and powerful think they can get away with anything and their befuddled, if not perverse, psychologies behind it.

But from my vantage here working in a home for a divorced billionaire, I can tell you some first hand jaw-dropping observations about my philandering old employer that might shed some light. He's already up into his 70's but still going strong - as long as they keep making Viagra. And while he's hardly as corrupt as Roman emperor Caligula, his predatory behavior toward women is decidedly questionable.

I've mentioned all the women rotating in and out here, as if we had a revolving door like a fancy hotel. Which keeps us all busy changing sheets and trying to eliminate perfume odors before the next lady friend arrives. Mercifully these days, however, he tends to focus on one woman at a time - which might last for a few weeks or a few months. All of which is much easier on us of course. But here's what we've noticed about all of them, and how he puts them all through the very same paces.

Phase One: He overwhelms them with all his toys; his three-story mansion, the luxury cars in his garages, his private jet and helicopter, travel to his other homes in the US and the apartment in Paris, plus top-dollar shopping and restaurants all over the world. (Due to a queasy stomach he's not the super-yacht kind of guy, thank God. I would seriously loathe being stuck out on a boat with him for days on end!)

Phase Two: After a short while his current love interest is issued her own credit card to buy whatever she pleases. (My spy confidant at the corporate office keeps me informed about these things, as well as the lady's spending habits when the bills come in.)

Phase Three: He buys her a new car. And we're talking a Lexus or Mercedes here, not a Mazda. (I'm the one who has to keep track of all the vehicles around here; routine maintenance, inspection, registration. So this is always a new stress coming in.)

But then suddenly the vacuous old man runs out of toys to intrigue her, or perhaps someone else catches his eye. Which triggers...

Phase Four: "Goodbye, go away, keep the car!" (The credit card gets cancelled. The car title is transferred. And I'm done with having to track that car!)

The thing is, while all his dalliances are among consenting adults, it doesn't numb the emotional pain when he suddenly dumps one of  them and moves on to the next. These women begin to believe they've found their dream husband, and it hurts them so badly to find out they've just been used to temporarily gratify his lust. Sadly, I get texts and phone call for days and weeks from these women, wondering what they had done wrong, or how to get back in. To which there is no answer.

I can't really analyze my employer's complicated psychology beyond the usual narcissistic personality disorder. However, his annoying sense of entitlement apparently allows him to think he can toy with any woman and get away with it - as long as he picks up all the tabs along the way and hands over the car title at the end, like some kind of payoff.

To date, none of these women have stood up publicly to denounce him, like what's going on in the news - much to the old man's relief, I'm sure. While I'm no one's judge, the whole sordid mess seems a little sad and pathetic to me, for everyone involved.

Thanks for stopping by this evening. I hope your holiday plans will be a little more heart warming than all the craziness going on around here. :)

Andrew