July 26, 2011
Last week I found myself in Ibiza, where the car of choice is an economical mini-class SEAT Ibiza or its rental equivalent. When I saw a Rolls-Royce, I wanted to shout from my window, “Go back to St. Tropez, dum-dum—we don’t want your kind here!” Geez, don’t you get it? Throwing money around like you have the power to make it rain in the desert is offensive. Furthermore, people who’ll pay 100 Euros for something that’s only worth 40 are jacking up prices and making things that were once affordable totally out of reach for the reasonably well-off.
Money doesn’t come with an owner’s manual, and the only culture you can buy comes in a yogurt cup. Since the nouveau riche obviously need guidance, here’s a bit of culture for those who are just getting in the game:
Drive a normal car painted a normal color.
It’s cooler to be super-rich and drive an average car than to let everyone know you’re super-rich because you can afford the sort of flashy car that screams, “Look at me—I’m so cool I don’t go anywhere without my three Aston Martins!” Dude, you’re not James Bond, so don’t take your cars with you on holiday. Who you are is not tied to the car you drive. Only teenagers and insecure people hate to be seen in a crappy rental.
Get a decent watch.
Sure, an expensive watch is cool, but a guy who wears a plain old Rolex or a Swatch is way sexier than a guy wearing a watch so big he forms muscles every time he answers his cell phone. Since you’re so flush with cash, commission a clock tower like the one in the Piazza San Marco instead. But because you’ve probably never heard of the Republic of Venice, hire a professor to lecture you on history for a few hours per week. You’ll feel so clever afterward you might not need a new watch that day.
Ditch the Jeroboam.
Nobody wants to see your ugly hairy ass drinking straight from the bottle like a big baby. Whether you’re 16 or 36, you look gay and obnoxious near a bottle that big. Maybe you think obnoxious is cool, but it isn’t. Clearly you stopped drinking from the trough last week, so unless it’s beer, drink from a glass.
Servants are not slaves.
Don’t treat waiters, maids, and any other type of person in service like they’re subhuman. Only Neanderthal arrivistes with zero self-control scream and treat their staff like crap. A noble soul has respect for others, particularly those who serve. You don’t need to eat dinner with your maid to treat her as an equal. Be firm but kind and you’ll have a lifelong employee.