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Archive for the ‘Personal Services’ Category

#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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#70 - Personal Chefs

#70 - Personal Chefs

Personal Chefs
Price: Saving the gratuity

If you are like most people, you know that dinner can be as simple as boiling water, opening a box of macaroni, adding milk and butter then mixing orange powder to creamy perfection. At worst, choosing fancy ketchup is as complicated as any meal gets. Sadly, rich people do not have the luxury of simple meals. They must choose a restaurant that is posh, exclusive and on the cusp of becoming trendy. While menus are often ignored, it is important that the restaurant be well-stocked with obscure ingredients so the chef can begrudgingly whip up their wealthy patron’s fanciful whim. All this is complicated by choosing the right car from the fleet in the garage and deciding whether the chauffeur will accompany them. If this sounds like a nightmare, you are not alone and it is the reason that 4 out of 5 rich people recommend retaining a personal chef at their estate.

If you have watched Hell’s Kitchen you already know that ego and incredible kitchen skills go hand-in-hand. It may be a surprise to learn that personal chefs are a special breed of culinary genius; they are talented and patient. Without these key ingredients the chef is as useful to the rich as a mistress with herpes. Fortunately, while money can’t buy happiness it can help choose one’s misery and there are plenty of suitable ginsu masters ready to create mouthwatering menus. They endeavor to provide the wealthy with the nourishment needed to lounge poolside and inform their broker about how to do his job.

Of course, just because rich people have a personal chef is no reason for David Chang and his staff at Momofuku Ko to press the panic button. Rich people will still dine out but knowing that they don’t have to is a paradigm shift. Now, when the hostess at Masa or I Sodi informs that there is a three week wait the wealthy can set aside andger and resentment, casually accept the reservation and enjoy homemade coniglio in padella in the comforts of their quaint 7,000 square foot residence in the Hamptons thanks to their chef’s outstanding talents. Just be sure that the only sampling going on in the kitchen is related to the meal! It would be a shame to have to choose between one’s spouse and one’s chef…good help can be so hard to find. Bon appétit!

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#69 - Butlers

#69 - Butlers

Butlers
Price: Tolerating Fake British Accents

Most people will never understand the trials and tribulations that rich people cope with daily. While country mansions, yachts, wine cellars, exotic cars and private islands sound appealing to most, it is easy to forget that not having a job means plenty of free time which “simply must be managed, darling”. Whether this is lunch at the club, high tea, shopping or attending galas for the latest cause, it is nearly impossible for one person to shoulder that much planning without the specialized training that an eight week butler course offers. In exchange for this extensive and specialized training, butlers are offered a six-figure salary and the opportunity to live where they work by way of a room in the vast estate. Often this is augmented by keys to the wine cellar and the head of the household looking the other way when Jeeves smuggles a full bodied cabernet back to his lonely living quarters.

Butlers’ duties do extend beyond scheduling the lives of their wealthy employers. In fact, the breadth of skills they display is impressive and may include cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, valet services, secretarial work, event planning and personal shopping. While these qualities are important, the real reason that rich people love having a butler is because it is akin to achieving a Cub Scout badge for self-importance. A butler illustrates to friends, family and acquaintances that a rich person’s time is so valuable that nearly every household and personal task is beneath them. Hired help thus frees their time to focus on “high value” tasks like testing martinis at lunch or having their hair professionally blow-dried at ten o’clock each morning.

The question you should be asking yourself is how does this help you to make friends with rich people? As Yogi Berra once said, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it”; get to know a butler or become a butler! Kissing up to the butler is an art but when performed correctly you will secure social invitations to stately soirees. Becoming a butler is more time intensive but may lead to ingratiation and a lifelong association with the family; think Alfred and Bruce Wayne, Smithers and Veronica Lodge or Geoffrey and the Fresh Prince of Belair. Over time these gentlemen became as important to the family as Lassie was to Timmy. Be warned, as the butler you can never forget your place in the household as wearing a white tie to dinner rather than the hired help black will certainly mean ending your tenure with your tail between your legs but at least you will finally know when to use the small fork!

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#66 - Nannies

#66 - Nannies

Nannies
Price: Bribing INS

“Hola”, “kamusta” and occasionally “Reespek mon” are important foreign phrases that every rich person knows. While foreign languages used by the rich tend to be more highbrow than the native tongues of Mexico, The Philippines and Jamaica respectively, the wealthy like to communicate with the nanny no matter how long she has been in the country. This isn’t to suggest that the nanny doesn’t speak English only that rich people will not learn this until their child’s third birthday. At this point house guests will be informed that young Chauncey Alistair Williams IV taught his nanny to speak American, he’s quite gifted after all. From this point onward, they will speak to the nanny in loud, slow English while nodding their head excessively to ensure that she understands what they say.

Occasionally you may encounter a middle class family with a nanny. These people are hypochondriacs and cannot fathom socializing their children in medical cesspools known as daycare; these people aren’t rich, they are crazy. To ensure that you know the difference between rich and crazy, look for two things. First, the middle class use a nanny as needed but rich people will have the nanny follow them everywhere and perform menial parental tasks like raising the child. These include feeding, changing diapers and holding the sleeping infant; nothing is more soothing to a trust fund baby than the sound of their nanny’s beating heart. If you still aren’t sure, ask the parent if they considered raising the child without a nanny. Rich people will instantly develop a look of horror and distaste similar to asking a WWII veteran if he would like to test drive a Volkswagen or share a slice of strudel.

Despite all the benefits of having a nanny, including being socially acceptable absentee parents, there are dangers in bringing a young female into the home. A young girl provides ample temptation for wandering-eyed husbands. Nannies represent a youthful, maternal figure that Freud could have written volumes about. As such, the help should be segregated to a wing of the estate not easily accessed by a philandering husband to ensure that rich people do not literally love the nanny. On the other hand, the man of the house should be wary if his wife agrees to an unusually well-proportioned Swedish au pair. This is a warning sign of entrapment and he should be on the lookout for sharks from top divorce firms. The safe money is on a Mary Poppins look alike. She will get the job done without going above and beyond the call of duty. This should ensure that the husband doesn’t try to feed the birds, if you know what I mean!

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#65 - Rehab

#65 - Rehab

Rehab
Price: Potential Sunburn

A few months after grey became the new black, rehab became the new grey. The only thing more fashionable than checking into rehab is friends and family hosting an intervention before checking into rehab. This is the highest compliment that rich people can pay one another as it says they care, they want you to get better and that they will probably still spend time with you when you no longer drive exotic cars into the neighbor’s pool. While rehab has become an exclusive club for the wealthy, there is a danger for the uninformed of checking into the wrong clinic only to be ostracized after spending four long weeks listening to Melanie Griffith drone on about Antonio Banderas.

Just as there is a difference between golfing at Sebonac and playing mini putt in New Jersey, rich people prefer Malibu, Antigua and Australia when powdering one’s nose culminates in a 12 step program. I should point out that rich people don’t plan to end up in rehab but if a penchant for excess has gotten out of hand there’s no point in leaving it to Nurse Ratched to wean hard partiers off of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Rehabilitation can take place in the lap of luxury where nearly every whim is satisfied. In fact, given that guests of the clinic are no longer supplying a kilo of coke for nightly parties hosted at their LA mansion, rehab can actually pay for itself.

More important than the high cost and the goal of sobriety are the potential friendships that clinics like Promises, Cirque Lodge and Crossroads provide. For the wealthy, a stint at a chic clinic in beautiful Malibu can mean an improved circle of friends and access to the A-List that may otherwise be unattainable. Granted, the new friends will be reasonably dull for the first few months but Kate Moss and Mary-Kate Olsen are rumored regulars at top clinics so it won’t be long before their mood improves. While rehab can be a great place to meet celebrities, it is recommended that business partnerships are formed elsewhere. It would be a pity if the seed money resulted in a relapse at Beat-rice in the West Village.

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