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#85 - Enormous Fancy Hats

#85 - Enormous Fancy Hats

Enormous Fancy Hats
Price: Vitamin D Deficiency

Among the many things that rich people like to own, gigantic floppy hats are among the most baffling. Unlike other fashionable accoutrements, intended to flatter a wealthy belle’s beauty, the hat hides rather than showcases the extensive plastic surgery that the trophy wife has undergone. In fact, when matched with the perfect pair of oversized Chanel sunglasses, one’s collagen-injected lips are hardly noticeable. So what’s the point? Why wear a hat with a two foot diameter laden with flowers large enough to make Keukenhof appear unimpressive? Simply put, just as a wealthy gentleman drives an Italian racecar to proclaim his manhood, women wear hats to trumpet their sense of fashion and signal that they are the alpha female in the group. The only way to remain queen bee among the swarming masses is to outdo one’s social circle by purchasing and bravely wearing larger and more ostentatious headpieces than the other ladies at the club.

It may appear that hat fashion ebbs and flows, but just because Aunt Sally didn’t wear her gigantic peacock feathered Easter hat for Sunday mass doesn’t mean that the cultural elite are taking their cue to pack away their hat boxes. In fact, the true barracudas of the runway have already been recounting to which event each woman in her social network wore which hat. After creating a complex social matrix where hats and events are matched, the mad hatter will predict what the ladies will showcase this season and carefully select the latest and largest hats from small boutiques around the globe for her upcoming calendar. This ensures she will never be embarrassed by donning an Albertus Swanepoel from Barney’s during a weekend jaunt to the Hampton’s. Most women in NYC still recall the horror of seeing Mrs. Eleanor Thomas of the Upper East Side standing next to Ms. Mandy-Anne of Kansas wearing identical hats. Unfortunately for Mrs. Thomas she opted for wearing last season’s fashion and Mandy-Anne had just finished a day of shopping at Century 21. Thomas’ agoraphobic fate was sealed when innocent Mandy-Anne asked Eleanor “Did you buy yours on sale too?”

As always, what matters is how to use this to your advantage. Just as Keanu Reeves could not be unseated as “the one” during the 90’s, you should not strive to occupy the throne reserved for a hat aficionado. Instead, opt to go big but not enough that you will clash horns with Chiquita Banana. Flattery will get you everywhere with the Queen Bee and while no less that 24 inches of couture circumference means you won’t recognize her, you will nonetheless be able to pick out her horn of plenty in any crowd. A well placed compliment on her style will go far but delivery is paramount. When approaching, keep your eyes averted and never look her directly in the eye. She will recognize this as respect and allow you to proceed. Next, let her know you love her style. Never tell her you could not wear such a beautiful hat as she already believes that to be true and by stating it you are implying that you think you could be in the same league as her. Instead, let her know that it is the perfect hat for her. She will recognize that you accept her as the alpha female and may at this point compliment your hat. A polite thank-you will suffice and you should offer to fetch her champagne or Iranian caviar to show your gratitude. If she accepts you are part of her entourage. Finally, never make reference to Dr. Seuss or Alice in Wonderland in her presence, she will take it as a personal slight and you will feel her social wrath. Remember, hell hath seen no fury like a woman scorned.

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#83 - Flying First Class

#83 - Flying First Class

Flying First Class
Price: Your First Born, Their Pocket Change

Flying isn’t natural. As they say, “If God had meant you to fly he would have given you wings”, Icarus learned this the hard way. Of course, when they said this, they were probably referring to economy class where the masses are crammed into uncomfortable seats with sweaty, broad shouldered, obese individuals who want to talk to you about their 2-star vacation or persistent skin rash that is likely contagious. If this situation is the bookend to your holiday or business trip, you are probably inclined to agree that mankind is better off on terra firma. While the rich certainly prefer the comforts of a private jet, when push comes to shove, a lie-flat seat with noise-reducing headphones, personal media players, fine dining, full bar and a curtain to separate you from the plebs makes commercial flights tolerable.

For the masses that feel they have won the lottery because they managed to “score” a seat in an emergency exit row, there is a belief that the seats on the other side of the curtain are prohibitively expensive because of the roominess and luxury. Rich people know that, while 40” of seat pitch is comfortable, the real reason to sit in first class is that one does not have to associate with people that can’t afford the finer things in life. After all, the food, personalized service and comfort are table stakes in the lives of the wealthy. First class seating is one of the few places that legitimize class segregation, making it extremely attractive to the rich. Having a boarding pass that reads 2B with a flute of champagne in hand is a wonderful reminder that while money can’t buy happiness, it can help you choose your misery which does not include spending time with individuals who think a timeshare is a good investment.

Naturally, if you want to make good with the wealthy the first option is to secure yourself a seat in first class. This can be done in a few ways; buck up for the extra few thousand dollars every time you fly, try to sweet talk the ticketing agent into upgrading you on every flight or start sleeping with a flight attendant. Of course, if you could pull off the latter two options with any level of consistency, you would likely already be on the road to success and riches and able to execute on option A. As back-up,the art of conversation to kick start a discussion with your wealthy counterpart will work wonders. Give your new friend an opportunity to dazzle you with their in-flight experience. Use informed inquiry about flying Emirates or United’s P.S. service while jet setting between the left and right coast and sit back and listen. Make this work and you may never have to hear the question “fish or chicken” again. Enjoy the friendly skies!

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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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#41 - Extravagant Parties

#41 - Extravagant Parties

Party Of the Year
Price: Limitless

Everyone enjoys a great party and rich people are no different. The distinction is how one hosts a party. If you receive a written and personalized invitation to a party, your host may be rich. If the invitation asks for an RSVP, this is also a good sign. If the letters BYOB are included on the invite, you aren’t going to a party with rich people. Variations on the letter B include beer, booze, beef and bitches. If it is the latter, you might want to skip the party and start looking for new friends.

All this aside, when rich people party they spare no expense and take care of every detail. An entire industry has been launched from the wallets and purses of the rich driven by their need to outdo the party at the forefront of A-list minds. These inspired games of one-upmanship lead to paid celebrity appearances, performances by top musicians, ice sculptures, champagne fountains, limo services, catering by the city’s best chefs and lavish gift bags featuring the latest must-have items. Why restrict yourself to a single party? If you want to celebrate in style, throw a simul-party (apparently we didn’t make up this word). The outrageously wealthy will organize same-day parties in multiple cities, on multiple continents and fly to them on their private jets. Paris Hilton loaded her closest friends into a Gulfstream and circumnavigated the globe on her 21st birthday including stops in New York, Las Vegas, London, Hollywood and Tokyo.

The opulence and extravagance of these fabulous parties begs the question why? Here are a few reasons, feel free to add you own. Everyone knows that rich people allude to their wealth but never reveal their net worth. Parties keep people guessing and spark discussion; the more extravagant, the more you are worth or so the logic goes. Next, rich people love to impress by hosting the perfect evening. Parties showcase their class, culture, thoughtfulness, creativity and the ability to hire the perfect planner. Finally, the rich worry that nobody will show up and the caviar will spoil; a great party is a guarantee that you’ll never run short of sycophants. This isn’t unique to the rich. Admit it, you’ve sat at home waiting for people to arrive, nervously passing time boozing or gulping Jell-o shots until guests start arriving or you have passed out on the floor. The rich are the same, except they pop champagne and snort lines in the pool house. Either way, score an invite to one of these fab soirees and you could be watching the Jonas Brothers at a private party in the Hills. On second thought, pass the Jell-o and a bucket!

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