It was Errand Day and I was walking to my neighborhood bank. At the time that I was heading to the front door of the Commerce Bank, a mother and her teenage daughter were on their way out.
The daughter was scowling at what looked like a deposit (maybe a withdrawal) slip or receipt. The girl was wearing very short cut off jeans and had long glossy hair in a ponytail. She could have stood to lose a couple of pounds, because although she was the exact height of her mother, she was a good 20 pounds of puppy fat heavier. Like Sara and Bristol Palin.
The mother was wearing some kind of work-out outfit, very form-fitting so she could show off her figure (which was very fit for a woman old enough to have such a big bratty kid). She had a huge leather handbag with gold-tone chrome hardware bits attached to it slung over her arm, almost an attache case, that was far too dressy for the outfit even if the sweatpants probably cost $200. The mother looked exasperated, and as they passed me I heard the mother say to the girl (in a half-lecturing, half-annoyed tone of voice, clearly rebutting something the daughter had said shortly before):
“We are not poor.”
I made a quick U-turn and followed them into the parking lot to see what kind of ride the “poor” kid had.
It was a white Mercedes SUV.
I said to myself, I have got to spend more time paying attention to Long Island life. For these are my people, and I have been ignoring them for far too long. I’ve been immersed in my own little French world for the two years it’s taken me to write the Damn France Book and it’s time for me to take the Summer off and pay attention to my real life.
So here is my first dispatch from deep inside my Long Island Life:
I call to order the Long Island Iced Tea Appreciation Society. Although, as I am not quite the consumer I should be, with neither a Mercedes nor a big glitzy leather hand bag to my name, my version of the hallowed local drink is made without the vodka, tequila, rum, triple sec, or tea. (It’s just a gin and tonic in a tea cup.)
Now we are ready to watch, and take notes. Today’s topic: How long it took for me, as a kid, to figure out whether I was born rich, or not. Doesn’t every kid, at one point, ask their parents, “Are we rich?” I know what answer I got: I wonder what Bill Gates told his kids when they asked.
This is a picture of me, proof of how very rich I am these days.
P.S. I’m sorry about the mix-up about the delivery of last Friday’s post. So this Friday, one last memento from the Left Coast, and then: All Long Island, All Summer.