Saturday, March 24, 2012
In our last conversation entitled What Do Rich People Talk About? I was telling you how the rich (at least at parties) dodge any talk about money, business, health and politics. But to add to that, I'd just like to say I always find it amusing the way they sling around numbers in their conversations!
For example: If I said to you I bought a decent table wine for "nine fifty" at the local supermarket, you'd immediately understand I mean nine-dollars-and-fifty-cents, right? ($9.50)
But if you heard "nine fifty" from the lips of the rich, you can be sure that would mean they paid nine-hundred-and-fifty dollars for that bottle of wine! ($950.00)
Likewise, if you hear a number like "seventy-five" tossed around, depending entirely upon the context of the conversation, that could mean anything from:
- A decent cigar for $75.
- An inexpensive off-the-rack cocktail dress from Neiman Marcus for seven thousand-five-hundred dollars ($7,500).
- A haute couture cocktail dress for seventy-five-thousand dollars! ($75,000).
- Or a prime piece of real-estate, suitable for building an office tower, for seventy-five-million. ($75,000,000)
So if you're in the business of eavesdropping, it's absolutely essential you pay attention to the context of the conversation. I mean, to my knowledge there's no such thing as a seventy-five-million-dollar cocktail dress, right? You've gotta know what you're listening to in order to interpret it correctly.
I hope that shed more light, and thanks as always for stopping by.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I love this question. And they do talk about the damnedest things. Here's a few juicy items I've overheard at cocktail parties:
- How much longer they have to live, according to their actuaries!
- Who's the best lawyer in town to break a prenuptial agreement?
- "Is your runway long enough for a weekend visit?"
- "Is that from Cartier's? Or did you find it in a taxi?"
In general, however, conversations among the rich (whether at intimate cocktail parties or huge events) are seemingly limited to trivial topics: the weather, wines, cigars, the best caterer in town, hors d'oeuvre recipes - and non-stop, profuse compliments upon their evening's attire, hair styles and the selected jewelry for the evening.
One of the funniest conversations I ever heard was when the Missus, during a late-afternoon cocktail party, escorted our local Grand Dame out onto the terrace. (It was autumn, and fall colors were at their peak - reds, pinks, purple, yellow and gold - absolutely beautiful.)
Said the slightly inebriated Grand Dame, "Your grounds are lovely, my dear. Who does your trees?"
Now, you will rarely hear rich people talk about their money, or their success. In fact, using a cocktail party or event to network (such as handing out a business card) is frowned upon, if not altogether forbidden.
And you will never, ever hear the rich talk about their illnesses or medical problems! As every human being has their own ailments, not only is this the most boring conversation known to mankind - but among the rich, any mention of ill health can collapse fortunes, frighten investors and possibly bring about social ostracism.
Having said that, they have no problem at all talking about their nips and tucks: "Who did it? Where? How long was your recovery?"
And one final thought: you rarely hear politics discussed, unless it is absolutely certain that everyone in the room is of like mind. Political debate is simply not an option at social functions.
Hope this shed some light, and as always, thanks for reading.