Sunday, June 30, 2002

Today I started off with a nice cup of coffee and Sex and The City DVD. Now I am reheating the casserole from last night while the Better Half makes his way from Mass. I am reading, with continued fascination, Martha Inc. She can be quite mean, apparently. Anyway, the Better Half told me last night he got yelled at by one of the CEOs whose company is protected by the security systems he helps install. Apparently a kid threw a rock at one of this guy's buildings, and the police were called. The CEO is the first person to call in case of emergency, and he yelled at my Better Half for waking him up. This guy's store is being broken into. If it were me, and most sane people would agree with me here, I would wanna know. I'd risk a few hours sleep. According to others who work at the security company, this man is a real jackass . He is also very rich.

I hear and read about these overprivilaged brats and it turns me off to big money. People in today's society want big power and big money, but can't seem to stomach big responsibility, big respect, and big integrity. I like working. I have to admit I feel I am paid very well. I feel successful. But at the same time, I can't see treating people like dirt, simply because I have acquired enough power to do so. One of my favorite books of all time has to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, which discusses the hedonistic waste that went on during the roaring 1920s (if you haven't read it, please do yourself a favor...but I warn you, read the book first, don't see the Mia Farrow movie. I love Mia, but the movie really blows). I see it as a clever warning and precursor to what was the most devastating financial time in American History, The Great Depression. Suddenly, all of those wealthy, wasteful people became paupers, selling apples on street corners. And they became "the dirt," the fodder for those who suddenly became more fortunate. It was F Scott's famous "I told you so." I am not saying that I wish this country into poverty of that magnitude, but that I find the idea refreshing that those who exploit will soon become the exploited, in one way or another.

On the opposite side of the coin, I must say that I have encountered a lovely, wealthy man and his family. Unfortunately, I cannot say our encounter was filled with joy, as Mr. B. was losing his battle with cancer. He was a prominent Richmond auto enterpreneur who had recently relapsed with leukemia. He never ever used his wealth against any of us. He always smiled, and took my kidding of his reading of tabloids from his hospital bed with great stride. His wife was a constant presence at his bedside, who always looked beautiful, suntanned and healthy. She must have been a looker in her youth. They could have used our hospital's VIP suites, but settled on our unit because they liked the nursing care. Mr. B died in his room about 3 weeks ago, surrounded by his friendly and gracious family. It is because of the B's that I am not so overly jaded when it comes to stereotyping the wealthy, because I know that out there, someone exists who actually deserves it, who incorporates big power and big money with big grace, respect, responsibilty and integrity. Thanks, Mr. B.

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