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#74 - Bottled Water

#74 - Bottled Water

Bottled Water
Price: Two Parts Hydrogen, One Part Oxygen

Water is the proverbial elixir of life. Like the nouveau riche, its natural form is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Water is the perfect drink on a hot summer day, can be frozen and for billions around the globe turning on the tap is as complex as water needs to be…unless you are wealthy. The rich know that nothing less than bottled, carbonated and occasionally lightly flavored spring water imported from the European Alps will satiate their thirsty yet sophisticated palate although champagne is a close second.

As any butler and some maids know, rich people are an interesting bunch when it comes to wetting their whistles. Despite installing commercial grade water filtration units in their luxury penthouses, country estates, lake houses, ski chalets and private jets the rich are more likely to raise a child without a nanny than drink water from a tap; the horror. Fortunately, enterprising minds with glass bottles, a nose for capitalism and an extensive distribution network have solved the agonizing task of turning on a tap and replaced it with the satisfying crack and familiar hiss of twisting a metal cap. It is this exhilarating release of gas that reminds the rich that they are able to spend more on water than the average household budgets for gasoline.

Rich or not, an appealing attribute of H2O is that, unlike seasoned wine snobs, an appreciation for expensive water requires no special training, no acquired taste and no heightened sense of smell that rivals a bloodhound. Instead, the ability to distinguish whether or not carbonated bubbles are dancing upon your tongue is all a connoisseur of dihydrogen monoxide really needs, making it the perfect addition to any table. All the same, it is important that you always comment on how refreshing it is; this despite tasting no different than chilled water from your Brita. In fact, a surefire way to ingratiate yourself with wealthy hosts is to comment on how much the water reminds you of a particularly exotic destination, be it Fiji, France, Amazonian rainforests or Norwegian Fjords. This will provide them the opportunity to inform you of the great distance the bottles have travelled and the rarity of its contents. Strike the right chord and it will be like a baptism into their wealthy circle and you will be welcomed one of their own! Santé!

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#73 - Cooking Classes

#73 - Cooking Classes

Cooking Classes
Price: Trip to the Lipo Clinic

Despite the trappings of fabulous wealth, life can become predictable and eventually dull for the rich. Fortunately there is a world of exhilarating hobbies available to the wealthy that aim to inspire before the doldrums of life consume them. For most people, hobbies like skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba and rock climbing add the joie de vivre missing from their mundane existence. Not to be outdone by middle class thrill-seekers, the wealthy also like to step it up when choosing hobbies by throwing caution to the wind and selecting activities that they never thought they would do. These include driving themselves, working eight hours a day and cooking. While your evening likely includes preparing dinner, the wealthy consider this an unfathomable task that the chef, butler or, as a worst case scenario, the nanny will take care of. As such, signing up for private cooking lessons can be a thrilling way to spend a summer and an excellent excuse to visit France, Italy or perhaps Switzerland if checking on the private bank account is required.

While cooking classes are not an impenetrable bastion of the wealthy, rich people tend to have a different set of expectations for these courses. For the rich, being surrounded by world renowned chefs, fresh ingredients from around the globe, the finest kitchen implements and closely guarded cooking secrets is occasion to uncork another bottle of red while the pros create their masterpieces. Spending a month drinking in the Tuscan sun while observing a veteran of the dutch oven fold egg whites, fabricate port reductions and spawn the perfect soufflé lends the credibility required to authoritatively critique a Michelin four star restaurant and is therefore an invaluable experience. Cooking classes are a little like the Dummy’s Guide to becoming a New York Times food critic without the need for a sophisticated palate, experience or a cynical writing style. Nonetheless, such an experience will promote Bunny McCooking-Class to head of choosing restaurants and ordering lunch for her country club ladies group. Like port with chocolate, this newly developed expertise is best served with tales of Fabrizio the pool boy and his prowess in sunscreen massage.

But how does this help you? The best way to leverage this champagne fountain of knowledge is to grease the baking sheet of inquiry. You must walk the fine line between asking questions about the cooking school without broaching the subject of cooking technique; a surefire approach is to ask about the region in which the class was held. This enables them to speak about the setting without being put on the spot about class content. Bonus points if you can steer the conversation to the Le Creuset and Emile Henry cookware they outfitted the estate kitchen with afterwards. After all, their staff deserves the best when cooking for a discriminating palate like their own!

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#71 - Professional Blow Drying

#71 - Professional Blow Drying

Professional Blow Drying
Price: A Keratin Intervention

A notable difference between upper class fabulous and soccer mom drab is perfect hair. While men are oblivious to their better half’s new hairstyle, all women know to the minute how long it has been since a member of the sisterhood has had her hair professionally washed and blow dried. For most, working or tending to the children gets in the way of paradisiacal hair; for the wealthy a trust fund or a sugar daddy, a nanny, a housekeeper, a chauffeur and a personal chef keep responsibilities to a minimum providing ample time to stay perfectly coiffed. The rich do face a conundrum of sorts; given that hair grows approximately 4mm per day it is hardly justifiable to dip into the salon for a daily trim. Fortunately, the geniuses at the Global Council for Beautiful Hair, a lesser division at the UN, deemed it appropriate to sanction salons that offer professional blow drying for roughly the same fee as leasing a BMW.

Daily “wash and blows” are a godsend for the rich and a potential addiction although they will claim that they really can stop anytime. Not to be confused with a rub and tug, these niche salons are a destination for sophisticated women and remarkably flamboyant men hell bent on flawless hair. The artists that operate these luxury in-and-outs are seasoned veterans that have delivered countless blow jobs and therefore have an aptitude for delivering style that far exceeds even the most accomplished trophy wife. It isn’t only experience that plays into the equation; these experts save the taxing, physical strain of blow drying one’s own hair. The wealthy know how tiring it is to point air straight down the shaft when operating a blow dryer. Thanks to the hair-dressing equivalent of clean-shaven or lightly bearded blond Jesus, the couture flock is provided for and such exertion is a distant memory.

By now, you should be asking how this can help you befriend the fabulously wealthy. An invitation to the blow-and-go is simplicity at its finest. If you face resistance, tell them you have always envied their style and would love their advice on your hair. In a hop, skip and a jump you’ll be racing to the salon district in their freshly waxed Bentley. There are of course other benefits that these salons provide. The sheer volume of the blow dryer will make it impossible to hear your wealthy companion wax on about their most recent “hardship” but the absence of scissors makes it safe to nod attentively as though you can understand every important word they are saying! The blow dryer will mask their hot air, they will appreciate your attentiveness and in thirty minutes you will look and feel fabulous with your new BFF. Cappuccino anyone?

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#68 - Mounting Animals

#68 - Mounting Animals

Mounting Animals
Price: Losing Vegan Friends

Rich people love to mount animals. Please dislodge your mind from the gutter, if you gasped know that taxidermy is alive and well. Hunting has always been a favorite pastime of the wealthy and as long as there are automatic weapons, ammunition and animals obliviously wandering their natural habitat, they will be shot, stuffed and hung on a wall of similarly ferocious beasts. Back when Captain Caveman, the Flintstones and a young Larry King first roamed the earth, hunting was a necessary and effective means to feed the tribe. Centuries later it evolved into feeding one’s ego. For the rich, a room full of hunting trophies is a sign that a man’s man is among you. In such a setting, the scent of rich leather, mahogany and testosterone is intended to impress the toughest of men and seduce the most virtuous of young vixens.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, these public displays of masculinity may have been enough to bring a young woman to her knees but today woman are more likely to hold a membership in Greenpeace than be green with envy over these feats of manhood. Nonetheless, lions and tigers and bears (oh my) continue to adorn the walnut paneled walls of estates the world over. The simple explanation, the rich are oblivious to shifting social norms and as such believe that donning a pith helmet to tag and bag a rhinoceros is all in a good day’s fun. Furthermore, their hunting junkets are a form of financial aid intended to prop up the local gin and tonic trade and keep the natives from getting restless.

Your distaste for this archaic tradition could still help you to score big. Social gatherings can prove the perfect arena to outwit your host, the cagey hunter. Examine your surroundings and determine if there is division in the crowd. If you are lucky, a beautiful heiress is in your midst looking for a distraction from the cookie cutter guests. The trophy room can act as the ideal conversation starter to distinguish you from the “yes men” attentively listening to epic tales about Serengeti safaris. Mentioning that a skilled taxidermist can make a squirrel look threatening to the young gazelle could prove the difference between an evening among old men with pipes and a romantic tour of her well-manicured garden. That said, do not let your guard down in this setting, you never know when a cougar is in your midst…pad, pad, pounce and it is lights out!

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#63 - Pool Boys

#63 - Pool Boys

Pool Boys
Price: Frequent Visitors

Everyone knows that rich people love trophy wives and private nurses. These wealthy playthings only cater to half the world’s wealth and ignore the indulgences of the fairer sex. Unlike men who believe that a pleasurable pastime is chasing a small white ball across acres of manicured grass, women have a much more sensible view of how to spend a hot summer day; lounging around a pool with their favorite accoutrement, the pool boy.

To the untrained bystander, it may appear that cabana boys are little more than well oiled, finely chiseled pieces of tanned eye candy but that is only half the story. The fact of the matter is that these young men perform the duty of ensuring that the woman of the house and her circle of close friends want for nothing as they enjoy the spoils of the good life. While it may seem that these brawny boy toys are a dime a dozen it is demanding work that requires a plethora of skills to keep the misses happy. One must obviously be in top physical condition, exhibit blender mastery, be versed in SPF selection, show an aptitude in umbrella placement, have an excellent grasp of chemistry to ensure the pH level in the pool is a stable seven point two…all while wearing a uniform that would make an Olympic swimmer blush.

The question that remains, how does this help you make friends with the wealthy? If you are blessed with the body of a Greek God, the answer is simple, develop your sunscreen application prowess. If this isn’t the case, you should figure out how to develop the body of a Greek God regardless of your Hawaiian Tropic technique. Of course, if you were born a woman the solution is simpler; introduce a man with a perfect smile and pectorals like an Abercrombie model to the wealthiest woman you know and tag along for the frivolity. At the very least you’ll enjoy a summer of slushy drinks, terrific scenery and overdose on Vitamin D. Just remember, bring your sunglasses as it is gauche to stare!

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#62 - Private Nurse

#62 - Private Nurse

Private Nurse
Price: The Children’s Inheritance

One’s twilight years signal that it is time for wealthy octogenarians to receive sponge baths from beautiful young women. While some eccentric millionaires are comfortable philandering with busty, twenty year old blondes, for most this isn’t an option considering the high level of interest these women show in grandpa’s offshore accounts. The only way that it is possible to legally enjoy the company of a young woman, without friends, family and the nosy neighbor passing judgment, is to hire a private nurse. For an elderly gentleman, the real beauty is that few people can protest the extra care unless the nurse starts driving a Bentley and sporting Moss Lipow sunglasses. Typically, the only fallout is the family’s distasteful glances and under-the-breath muttering directed towards Nurse Betty.

While all adolescent boys and most grown men harbor fantasies about their own private nurse, there is a strict look but don’t touch policy among the wealthy. Just as rich people would never fondle the Picasso or Monet in their study, flirtatious advances can be equally costly. Furthermore, by the time a private nurse is in the company the rich, the men have swallowed so much Viagra it is unlikely that they could pitch a pup tent even if their caregiver gave the green light. So what is the appeal?

For rich, saggy, old men with ascots, smoking jackets and top-of-the-line wheelchairs, private nurses are akin to a beauty pageant for the wealthy. Each man attempts to outdo his colleagues with the overwhelming beauty of his private nurse; it is a testimonial to their success like wearing a Patek or riding in a Maybach. Spend an afternoon at the club when old-timers gather for canasta, gin rummy and bridge; you will see a bevy of well-appointed women tending to each man’s every need, most notably their ego. At first glance, this may seem like a highly unappealing way for a woman to squander a top-notch education in nursing. Considering they receive a healthy six figure salary, live in a stately mansion and now deal with one patient rather than dozens, the work has its upside. Add to this the possibility of becoming a beneficiary in the will and it becomes the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down…so long as she doesn’t have to!

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#61 - Champagne Fountains

#61 - Champagne Fountains

Champagne Fountains
Price: Disregarding Cost

Rich people love champagne. It is exclusive, it is expensive and almost anyone looks sophisticated holding a flute of Dom Pérignon. While treating yourself to a glass of champers every New Year’s Eve and enjoying the sensation of bubbles dancing on your tongue is enough to appease the huddled masses, for the wealthy a single glass will never do. The rich turn to more extravagant displays of their class, their elegance and their boundless financial resources, champagne fountains. The endless supply of effervescent elixir is visually stunning and says that your host will go to desperate lengths to ensure their soiree is memorable and better than their ex-husband’s last gathering!

As a result, when rich people discuss a party they will always mention the champagne fountain or its conspicuous absence. It is a measure of success and a means by which to weed out the faux-riche from the real deal like Boy Scout merit badges help children pick their friends. Just as you wouldn’t want to be caught in the woods with someone who excels in computers, poetry and theatre nobody wants to spend a perfectly good night at a party where the booze trickles rather than flows. What next, should you supply your own cocaine and gold digging tramps…preposterous!

While most of the posts at Stuff Rich People Love are intended to help you make friends, champagne fountains is a pass or fail standard that you should apply to wealthy people you encounter. This won’t ingratiate you with the rich but you can build credibility by partaking in scorning parties without this vital accoutrement. Furthermore, it will most certainly gain you respect at the office when you off-handedly suggest building one for the next staff function as though it is standard practice within your circle of friends. Your newly showcased sophistication should help next time you tell the cute blond in accounting that you could use her on your staff!

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