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#30 - Gated Driveways

#30 - Gated Driveways

Hydraulic Wrought Iron Gate
Price: $4,950

Rich people love large, extravagant homes that are shielded from the public. Long winding driveways nestled in old growth forest and patrolled by trained protection dogs may seem sufficient to keep commoners at bay, but the rich really like their privacy. For this reason, rich people love gated driveways. They keep the curious off the lawn and, when electrified, can be terribly entertaining. While the rich won’t use enough current to stun their nosey intruders, cameras are often installed simply to watch people hop back and forth while holding their semi-charred hands.

Drive through any well-to-do neighborhood, if you can make it past the guard house, and you will see gates crafted in every conceivable shape, size, design and material. What you will discover; much like pets look like owners, gates reflect the personality of the estate residents. This is where you can, please pardon the pun, jumpstart your relationship with the wealthy. Upon entry to their magnificent home take note of the type of gate and tailor your conversation and compliments to the distinct elements of their entrance. Some will be lavishly adorned with gold leaf, others traditional wrought iron while a few reflect a modernity that matches your host’s contemporary lifestyle; be careful if the modernists ask you to leave your keys in a bowl at the front door! Regardless, modesty is not your friend when recognizing their gracious style…err on the side of excessive. On the other hand, comparing their gate to a neighbor’s is a definite faux pas. It’s like saying “your wife is pretty but did you see Alistair’s wife by the pool last week…wow!” If you aren’t sure how to answer the question “do I look fat in these pants”, you may want to practice your gate etiquette beforehand.

Feel that compliments are too transparent? You can always appeal to the cerebral side of your host. For some, the history of gates is fascinating. If your host is a Harvard educated PhD in 3rd century Roman symbology they likely don’t have a lavish home, but I will humor the idea. Discuss that gates likely originated in concert with defensive walls. Wax poetic about the earliest town gates dating back to the Early Bronze Age or about the discovery of a two chambered gate at the temple in Ein Gedi from 4,500 BC. If this doesn’t cause their cerebellum to throb you have no chance of a lasting friendship. A last word on gates; as you are trying to impress your host, can the ‘a doctor, a lawyer and a priest are at the Pearly Gates’ jokes, they’ve heard them all from people that thought they were equally clever!

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