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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.

8 comments to Drinking in the local scene.

  • Love the Long Island stories. Most of us live in the other part of the world.

    I see the crack team of ferocious felines are helping out. You are, indeed, rich.

    Tell us about the department store scene, local grocery– or do the maids do it? (THEIRS , not yours.) Good places to start. Local living, etc.
    Long Island is different from the rest of us.

  • I find it very inspiring that from a snippet of conversation, you can give us such a fun and interesting post that makes us think on our own childhood. Sometimes I get the titles for my images from snippets of conversation but this one could lead to a whole essay! Kids these days…I just shake my head and try not to figure them out,lol!

  • I think that black and white cat DIED. Better check him out.
    Hah! kidding, of course. How can he be sooo relaxed, unless you exude calmness to him?
    That picture tells a lot; you have a relaxing auroa, and people and animals react.
    You think?

  • JOAN

    WHAT? Miss Lah Tee Dah doesn’t travel in a chauffeur driven limousine to do her errands? It’s nice to see the cat posse tending to you…did they mix the drink or is that Top Cat’s job? Novel way to drink the toddy…tea cup.

    I look forward to Tales from Long Island…so very different from my bailiwick.

  • Susie

    Thank you for the relaxing photo of you with your ‘tea’ and kitties. What could be finer, richer, than sitting in your own back yard with your cats? Writing while a cat sniffs your pen? And gin and tonic in a teacup! I learn something new from you every single time….and you get me thinking and reflecting about stuff.
    In the Southern Tier area of New York state (definitely NOT Long Island), we see lots of pick-up trucks and rusted Chrysler minivans. And Walmart sweat pants…still see lots of kids with cell phones glued to their ears. Brain cancer farms….

    I need your stories of Long Island life!

  • Booze in a teacup, I’m in

  • Tracey

    Perhaps both the bag and the car were leased? You can now rent bags by the month (courtesy of the NY Post).

    I grew up on the South Shore (the poor side) of Long Island, but our cats were still spoiled.

  • Deborah

    I think maybe that Left coast post doesn’t want to be a Friday post!

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