Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ground Control to Major Domo...

I love rich people.  I don’t mean people who are financially secure or people who don’t worry about paying for college or retirement or even people who have more than one home.  I mean really rich people.  The kind of people with staff.  Not nanny or housekeeper staff.  But full-time, round the clock, take care of everything staff.  The kind of people who have a major domo.  I met one of those people the other night at a dinner party meant as a social networking function for business women.  I pulled into a fancy property through a fancy gate, handed my car off to a well-dressed valet and was met by a suited gentleman who introduced himself as “the Major Domo of the household” before whisking my coat and handbag away to a closet the size of my bedroom. 

Major Domo.  Sig Other’s fantasy – someone to organize the house, keep the pantry well-stocked, fix the little heres and theres that fall apart, stop working or otherwise fail to function at their highest capacity, someone to bathe and care for the beasts and finally, to bring Sig Other coffee and the paper in bed.  The latter task we sorta figured out.  The papers arrive via internet onto Sig Other’s bedside companion, the iPad.  And most days (though I confess not EVERY day) coffee is delivered to him in bed by yours truly with a smile and a little dance.  In fact, most tasks on the list of things that would be otherwise handled by the Major Domo are, in fact, handled by me.  This is not to say I am without help.  It would be ludicrous to suggest that I work full time AND manage to do every household task on my own.  I have housekeepers and a gardener and pool man and even a part time assistant (though I desperately miss my last household assistant who doubled as a brilliant manny to Child Two – he was as good at Rock Band and Halo as running errands). 

And yet I still consider it a great failing of my personal and professional life that I have no truly rich friends – no friends to offer up their vacation homes or whisk us away on the jet to their Mediteranean-moored yacht or private Italian villa.  I’m not entirely sure how I’ve managed twenty plus years in a city full of rich people and have not one single stinking rich friend.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know some rich people.  I’ve been invited to some rich peoples’ houses.  But I don’t have any friends who are truly rich.  Truly, sick money, filthy nasty full-time staff rich.  Child One has failed us in this manner.  She has lovely friends from her fancy private school.  But none of them has fancy rich parents.  None of them have vacation homes that they want to invite us to so we can all spend grand holidays together in exotic locales with delicious food and indulgent wines.  Child Two has failed us as well on this front as he is simply not terribly social. 

But lately, it doesn't seem to matter much.  Lately, Sig Other and I have reasoned that we would be, in fact, very bad house guests.  We’ve realized that being guests in someone else’s home, no matter how fancy, is not actually our idea of a good time.  We like hotels where there is room service and maid service and a certain level of assumed privacy.  And we like our own home where there is actual privacy.    So the idea of really rich friends with fancy vacation homes may be a terrific fantasy, but in practice would serve us not at all.  A major domo on the other hand…

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