Wealth by Peary
writing these columns I like to think that Iím objective enough to point out the
positive as well as the negative viewpoints of a specific subject. Take for example
extreme wealth. Iím all for it and would like to see more of it come my way, if
at all possible. There Iíve said something positive; now letís hit the down side.
Since extreme wealth may not happen to me in my lifetime (I donít think
Iíll care too much about it after Iím dead) Iíll endeavor to enlighten you as
to why I think we should abstain from envying those who are plagued by this calamity.
First off there are simply too many choices to be made if youíre a wealthy
person. Imagine how difficult it is when you have several homes scattered around
the globe. Do we do Thanksgiving in San Tropez or Staad? Christmas in the Hamptons
or Scottsdale? Oh waitÖdo we still have that little place in Palm Beach? I forget.
Where are our cars? Do we still have any cars? Do we still have to do that New
Years Party with Mumsy? Didnít we have a dog? Could you have left it in Paris?
We need a new cook; this one uses too much salt. What happened to our old one?
She died? When?
Life is difficult enough without having troubles such
as these. If youíre fortunate enough to live in an apartment and have enough money
to buy food and clothing, then let me suggest that you are one lucky person. Imagine
all of the headaches you have avoided by not having to make decisions like where
you can get the best yield on all of your certificates of deposit or which new
gown designer youíll need for that party in June.
These kinds of issues
would surely tax your strength and test your resolve. Just last week I was in
Europe on business. In the bathrooms the toilets have two buttons, one big one
and one little one. You must make a decision on which one to use. Who needs stress
over flushing a toilet? I certainly donít. Imagine if you had toilets all over
the world in your various houses. Youíd probably need a chart just to tell you
how to operate each one. You surely need an operations manual to figure out how
to use foreign televisions. At home, you have a remote which has buttons that
say words which can be understood such as Öon and off or mute. In Europe you have
buttons with little pictures. None of which make any sense to someone like me.
Itís as if you showed me a picture of a man riding a bicycle with a birthday cake
on his headÖI have a hard time figuring out just what this is supposed to mean.
I end up calling the front desk and ask them to send someone up to show me what
to do. I get a European teenager who presses three or four buttons in quick succession
while covering his fingers (deliberately I might add) so that I canít duplicate
his actions. He waits for a tip. This leaves me with two choicesÖ.call the desk
again and pay out another tip to be shown again or simply leave the television
on for the length of my stay in the hotel. I choose to do the latter. If you were
rich, you would have someone with you to perform those functions for you and thus
save yourself a sizeable amount of grief. Of course, you have to think about how
you get this person from one place to another and what else they would be doing
while not helping with the television remote control. More decisionsÖmore stress.
seen those old movies where the butler or servants are standing in the corners
of the room waiting to be called upon. Can you imagine how tedious this would
be if you had one of those with you even if you had the biggest room at the Holiday
Inn? Seems to me it would be a lot of trouble to have Jeeves or whatever their
name is just standing around all day waiting for you to bark out some command.
I donít think I could do it; Iíd want to talk to them and make friends with them,
which is apparently a big no-no in the world of the wealthy.
So, to sum
this upÖ.I trust Iíve given you some thoughts that will make you consider just
how lucky you are in your present circumstances and that you will reevaluate your
financial position and decide that having mega millions isnít necessarily a good
© Peary Perry
From North America - December 2, 2009 column
in 80 newspapers
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