Of Course They Do
By Patrick F. C anon
In a famous exchange between those literary titans, F. Scott Fitzgerald – named after his distinguished ancestor, the wordsmith Francis Scott Keyes – and Ernest Hemingway – scion of the Oak Park, Illinois Hemingway’s – Scott confided to his friend that “the rich are different from you and me.” Ernest, middle-class to his core, responded “yes, they have more money.”
How true! How true! While we below must be satisfied with a cozy bungalow and a Toyota, the rich look down upon us from their lofty penthouses, or out at us from their gated estates. When they choose to venture forth, they either progress down the road of life in a Rolls or Bentley; or blur past us in a flame-red Ferrari. Their tans do not result from laboring in the garden, or baking on a public beach, but from sunning themselves on the deck of a yacht, moored just off a private beach at Cannes.
Nor do they trod as we do. Not for them the lowly $20 sneaker from Walmart; or even the serviceable $200 brogue from Macy’s. No, they might risk being denied entry into their private clubs, or their $500 a person prix fixe eateries. Even a wary doorman at their own building might hesitate to let them in, thinking perhaps that a wastrel identical twin had shown up to wheedle a loan.
I was musing on this when recently perusing the on-line catalog from Nordstrom’s. As it happens, I have made a few purchases from their Oak Brook, Illinois emporium, mostly shoes, shirts and ties. When you wander in with your white hair, khakis and faded polo shirt, they have you pegged as a moderate purchaser, and don’t bother to pull out the Gucci’s. Invariably nicely dressed and young, they are kindness itself; after all, the commission on a $200 pair of shoes might buy them a nice lunch.
Because I have shopped there, and even have one of their credit cards, I often receive e-mails announcing sales, or fresh stock for the new season. Just the other day, I went to their web site to see what sandals they might have. I inadvertently clicked the “From Highest to Lowest” prices button, and entered the realm of the rich.
I had always thought sandals were basically flat shoes with bits of leather strapping to keep your feet in place; the idea being to keep them cool on a steamy day. To my surprise, the first sandal to appear on my screen had towering spiked heels – Jimmy Choo’s Thyra Crystal Knot Sandal at $2,450.00 the pair. I would guess the materials involved could be had for $50 tops. I imagine the selling price had much to do with the magic of Mr. Choo’s name.
A more traditional flat-heeled sandal is offered by Valentino Garavani for a mere $1,275.00. Or if the lady is temporarily strapped for cash, Christian Louboutin can provide his Strass Side Sandal for only $745.00.
If the sandal-clad lady ventures forth on a coolish day, she might want to consider Brunello Cucinelli’s Red Leather Racer Jacket at $7,995.00. Her swain, not wanting to overshadow her, might well be satisfied with Gucci’s Embroidered Velvet Jacket at a bargain $3,980.00.
Oh, I almost forgot the kiddies. In toddler’s sizes, Gucci offers a cute little sandal for $450.00; and Versace a First Line Chain Reaction sneaker for $675.99. As we all know only too well, it’s never too early to learn how to be rich.
(Author’s note: Honest, I didn’t make up any of those names.)
Copyright 2020, Patrick F. Cannon