If you sensed in my last couple of blogs a sense of irritation, I guess you would be right. My Chinese monkey personality is one that doesn’t like injustice. I like to play fair and I have a hard time biting my tongue when I see or hear that someone has had their toes stepped on - especially by a steel toed boot. I try to practice compassion and that ole turn the other cheek thing, and even though I'm not prone to violence, there are days I feel like doing some serious ass kicking.
Today’s rant – the affliction sometimes known as “I’m better than you are” – and the only reason I am, is because - “I have money. No sweetie, not just money, but much more money than you’ve ever dreamed of.” Toss of the hair.
It seems that my dear sweet Keith, whose stellar hospitality skills are more refined than any I have witnessed on the planet, had a complaint made about his service last weekend to the host of the party. The snobby woman’s complaint was that Keith had used the terms “Mademoiselle” and “Madame” a time or two during the evening. Now, the fact that Keith’s first language is French, shouldn’t matter I guess, but I’m having trouble seeing the offense here. The fact that this woman was so miffed that she had to run and “tell” on Keith boggles my mind. Really? This bothers you that much?
I just left my last position at a fine art gallery up valley, St. Helena, to be exact. I am now working at an art gallery in Napa (which is “down” valley and many stuffy St. Helenians call it “the armpit of the valley”) you know, because we have a Target and farm workers and Longs Drugs. Real People and real life, ick. The gallery I am now working for is owned by the artist himself. Someone who is authentic in what he does and really doesn’t care if you like him or his art – there are enough people who do. And I so appreciate that. I am tired of kissing ass – faking that I like you or care about your three estates and in which one the Anoro painting would look best. Hello? You are not better than me. You are not better than anyone I know. Or for that matter, anyone that I don’t know. Get over your plastic little self.
Money of course trumps all other “accomplishments” in this society. You can have more money than God and have the most messed up family life, have a criminal past (i.e., Martha Stewart, Mike Tyson, etc.), be arrogant, cruel and tasteless, but you still get this undeserved respect and “make way for Mr. & Mrs. so and so” – can I have your autograph please? I don’t get it. On the other hand you can volunteer your time at the Alzheimer's Center, send your monthly donation to feed a starving child in Africa (when you yourself are only earning minimum wage), care for wounded animals, clean up the filthy beaches, save the whales, share your gift of love with the world. And those things are all done in addition to working the regular shifts you need to work to pay the bills. These aren’t silver spooned philanthropists. Where and how is respect shown for those really deserving of it? We still bash the poor sod/sodette for not making enough money.
I don't like having these feelings, and I am not extending them to every rich person on the planet. There are just too many of you in my town. If you are going to come here, visit the valley, have us wait on you, serve you, sell to you, talk and share our lives with you, then show some respect.
Noah Needleman -