I Just Love Rich People
I LOVE rich people. Somehow I seem to get on with them so easily. You know with lots of people who are, well, who are of our own kind, rich people just sort of shut up and never confide in you. But they really do seem to trust me and I’ve come to know their qualities.
They’re so good to each other. Oh, occasionally you hear of shooting affairs, but it’s always among their own kind and they’re terribly secretive about them — don’t want the police called or anything. And if there’s sickness they help each other, trotting in with hothouse grapes or the loan of a yacht to take a friend to Florida. And they do stick together. I suppose they realize it’s the only way they can get on at all.
Another thing about rich people — they’re so musical; it really seems to be in them. They just have to have music. Honestly, the sight of the Diamond Horseshoe on a good night — all those people sitting there so patiently, and you think of how they had to have dinner early to get there — it makes me choke up.
They have quaint beliefs of their own, about who goes in to dinner first to keep their luck good, and how to put a jinx on someone, with a raised eyebrow — that kind of thing. It’s grown out of generations’ absorbing wisdom from their grandmothers. Sometimes I really envy them. They’re so close to growing things — orchids and Samoyeds and thoroughbred horses. My dear old banker can tell you exactly how much whiting is legal on a show dog’s coat.
But they’re just like children. My mother had the dearest old dowager for years on the same Civic League committee. The old thing was just like one of the family — used to order us around, you know. Well, once when I was a little girl, she asked Mother and me to lunch. Of course I wore my best bib and tucker. (One thing about getting on with rich people: it’s a mistake to dress down if you ever go to any of their affairs. They feel it.) Everything about the house was neat as a pin and perfectly immaculate. There was that peculiar smell of rich people’s houses — like flowers and seasoned logs for the fireplaces, and it was a little chilly. Have you ever noticed how they always underheat their houses? Her children had given her many of the things she had — an automatic elevator, an electric organ, a small Gainsborough, and so on. But do you know, we had lamb stew for lunch! Of course she may have wanted to impress us, as her guests; but we just don’t, feel we can ever have lamb stew at our house. She had no idea about money.
That’s the sort of thing I mean — they have charm and faithfulness, and skill in their own affairs; but all this business about repealing the Wagner Labor Act and the SEC and Broadening the Base—it’s nonsense. Rich people aren’t ready for it. It would take generations of education, if ever. Anyway, set them up in one of these model two-room flats with windows and a bathtub, and it would only be a matter of a year or so before they’d be back exactly where they started from.