Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You enter a different world when you open the pages of Town and Country Magazine. You enter a world where polo, the “the King of games is still the game of Kings”; fine dining is taken for granted ~ nay, expected; diamonds as big as your head are touted; and expensive watches de rigueur. It is a world I would not mind visiting. Heck, it is a world I would not mind living in. (Yes, I know a word like “heck” should probably not be used in the presence of those who water at the trough of Town and Country.)
The Editor’s letter by Jay Fielden sets the tone for the June edition of the magazine when he mentions that he and his wife took their three children to the Breakers in Palm Beach for four days and then on to Disney World for their vacation. And they did not travel in the soccer mom and dad’s vehicle of choice—the ubiquitous van, they traversed quite stylishly in a 2013 Mercedes S63 AMG sedan, which he said was “so much fun to drive that I didn’t notice I was going 86 in a 70 mph zone and got a $256 ticket.”
The advertisements in the magazine are a real treat, but by the last page a bit of nausea sets in from too much sparkle, too much haute couture, too many mansions, and well, just too much.
Okay, now that I have been suitably politically correct for criticizing the rich; and duly outraged by the flashiness, it is time for me to be honest. I love the fashions, I love the name dropping, the purses that cost as much as a car, the diamonds that come in all colours of the rainbow, the antique rugs, the imperial looking models, the stylish cars, some with no price tag because you know if you have to ask…..
Diamonds (Photo credit: Kim Alaniz)
Face it, many of us love excess. And Town and Country is a magazine of excess. We do not need flashy cars, expensive clothes, jewellery, and furniture—but admit it—it would be nice. You know that when you buy a pair of shoes for $20 they may be cute, but they are not going to last. A pair that costs five or ten times that much then become classics that you can call on over the decades. (I know that you can get shoes for 50 times that much, but we are not all “Sex and the City” girls.)
One of the articles in the June edition of Town and Country that caught my imagination was written by Dwight Garner and called “Table Trouble”. Dwight seems to be a bit of a snob, a likeable one, but a snob nevertheless, and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we are all snobs in one way or another. It can be taken in such a negative terms, as in “she would drown in a rain storm, her nose is so high in the air”. But really is a snob not just someone who has impeccable taste and does not suffer less gladly? Snobs are not necessarily elitists or name droppers or social climbers, or those who disdain others—they are a part of every one of us, if we will be so honest as to admit it.
Anyway, Dwight seems to think that our manners are lacking today. That we talk with our mouths full. We do not know how to brandish a knife and fork properly– in fact he says we are becoming a knifeless society. He notes that the “sales of table knives have plummeted (in Britain) because the fork-only eating of mushy food in the American manner, has become dominant.”
What I gleaned from his article is that we should all read “Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teens” written in 1961 by
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Walter Hovering. He says it is the equivalent to Shrunk and White’s volume on literary style. He calls both “pocket-sized guidebooks for life.” I think I will try to find a copy, all the while remembering to keep my elbows off the table, put my knife and fork together when I have finished my meal, and most importantly, not talk with my mouth full of food. If I am to be a proper snob, I should at least know the etiquette of it.
Bliss is knowing which fork to use–what do you think? And are you a closet snob?