Thursday, May 25, 2017

Metal Credit Cards for the Rich!

A couple of years back I wrote a post about credit cards for the rich and went on and on about the secretive and mysterious American Express Black Card. In the beginning there were only rumors about the card, no one was really sure if it even existed. The thing is it's not exactly something most of us can apply for.

In fact, it's issued by invitation only to the richest of the rich, and by all accounts the membership list is both unforthcoming and reportedly quite low. But as details gradually leaked out, it seems this prestigious card carried a $2,500 annual fee and required a quarter-of-a-million dollars in annual purchases to keep it active - at least at the time.

The only reason I knew about the Black Card was because the former mistress of the house (who I miss like crazy) had one. In fact, she already had it before she came into the marriage - the end result of several successful divorces, no doubt. She would hand it to me to run errands around town, and boy did I have fun. No matter how hungover or grubby I might have looked at the moment, it was always amusing to see how the immaculately-groomed clerks at Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf's would buck up when I pulled out that card. 👀

But now there's something entirely new on the scene. Thanks to our friend Miss Helen I'm just now catching up to the latest craze about metal credit cards. They're hot, they're flashy, they're sexy, and they're oh so expensive! Here's a link to see what I'm talking about.

Oddly enough the demand for these cards is propelled by millennials who jumped on them like ducks on a June bug. Spokeswoman Lauren Francis at Chase Bank said:

"We've approved tens of thousands of applications for the card. Most of the customers are millennials who typically shun credit cards and are not usually a target for high-fee ultra-premium plastic."

But driven by the internet and social media, it's something new and novel for the millennials - and definitely a conversation piece. As US News & World Report said:

"Calling it plastic wouldn't do it justice. It is a high-end, high-fee, high-reward card made of a metallic alloy that gives it a satisfying heft and an impressive THUNK when you toss it onto the table to pick up the check." 

Personally I have questions about these trendy metal baubles screwing up card scanners or if they cause problems with airport security. But I guess those bugs have already been worked out, right? I'm thinking that it's the thunk on the table that's causing all the rage.

But not to be cynical about millennials, I'm also thinking that perhaps they're being socially and environmentally responsible in knowing that their expired credit cards will simply rust away in the landfills - not sit there like plastic cards that will be around for kingdom come. Yes, I'm sure that's it! Why else would they abandon their anti-credit stance unless for a good social cause?

As always, thanks for dropping by this evening,


Editor's Note: There's additional vital observations of the rich in this writer's book The Billionaire's Butler; Mystery, Murder and Romance in the Wacky World of the Super Rich, available in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Suffering Rich!

While the title might suggest I'm about to launch into a philosophical or sociological examination about the guilt rich people feel for having too much of everything, I promise you it's no such thing.

This is about the physical suffering they go through in their struggle to stay looking young in spite of the ravages of age. Since this entire blog is based on having insider information on how they live and conduct themselves, in this particular situation I have not only observations but personal experience to add to it.

Here's what happened: A couple of years back I took a hard fall on a hiking trail, face down on the rocks. Ouch! And I really mean ouch! Apparently knocked out for awhile (long enough for insect bites and buzzards starting to circle) it resulted in a dizzy-fying concussion that lasted for months. But that wasn't the end of it. It seems the levator muscles were damaged, resulting in increasingly droopy eyelids. (Not unlike Matt Damon, ok?) 😒  But the point is, the decreasing light was beginning to interfere with night driving. The eye doc said it's only going to get worse, and since it would be a medical necessity the insurance company would pay for it - as opposed to elective plastic surgery. But it's the same exact procedure that rich people go through to look younger. Which I felt embarrassed about and dreaded like crazy!

The suffering: First off, did you know they don't put you to sleep for this procedure? Nope! Just stick needles in your eyelids with a pain killer. What? What! Ouch! Then they start cutting away with a hot cauterizing knife to get rid of the droopy skin. But then YIKES - you start to feel both the cutting and the hot knife, and they stick more pain killer into your eyelids! Oh my lord! After a long miserable half hour, they tell you they're all done cutting and will now starting stitching your eyelids back together. Great! But it takes for freaking ever and you're feeling the little needle pricks and the string being pulled through! Help me God! All through the procedure I kept wanting to jump up and run out! But you can't really do that without eyelids, can you? With shattered nerves and a queasy stomach, when it was finally all over they kicked me out and sent me home to recover as best you can on your own. 😓

The recovery: Surprisingly (thankfully!) the post-op pain was easily manageable with gin and tonic. But there's major black eyes and swelling for a good two-to-three weeks, something like Mike Tyson would understand and appreciate, requiring lots of bed rest, propped up pillows, and ice packs.

Reactions from others: This is the fun part and it seemed to break down into three categories. When out and about with my cousin Celene (a tough looking chick) we got weird looks that we interpreted as suspicion of domestic violence! At the gym people generally asked if there was a fight or an accident. But here in my rich uppity neighborhood I got sympathetic 'knowing looks' and smiles, like they understand exactly what I've been through. Which I was afraid of in the first place - and embarrassing as all get out!

The difference between the rich and poor: Of course rich people have these procedures done in luxury resort hospitals like in Switzerland and I suspect they might have sedation of some sort - if nothing other than a couple of gin martinis before the surgery. Instead of being thrown out onto the street to recover on their own, they enjoy a luxurious two-or-three week holiday, pampered by attentive personnel who apply ice packs hourly for a few days to keep the swelling at bay. There's massage therapy to help you relax, and plenty of activities and gourmet food while the bruising and swelling slowly disappears - well before re-entering society with an all new face. In fact, many rich people discretely disappear to Switzerland in deep winter and do this sort of thing before the spring social season begins.

The thing is, I found this whole simple surgery thoroughly disturbing and painful. It's hard to believe that rich people do this on an elective and regular basis. Not just eye lifts but full face lifts, nose jobs, chin jobs, butt lifts, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, and liposuction for days. There is serious pain involved with all these silly self-indulgent procedures - which is why I'm going to say if you don't think rich people suffer for having all that money, look twice! 👀

I hope this post wasn't too dumb. But it's part of the big picture as to what the rich are up to. With all their cash and power, they want to live forever of course! And why not try to look good along the way? 😏

As always, thanks for dropping in tonight,