Monday, December 13, 2010

Steve Miller Said It Best

The wealthy are different. A very intelligent, wealthy Jewish woman we'll call "V" told me this. And she was right.

While I was still living in Michigan and going to school, I worked for V and she became the Jewish mother I never had. She looked out for me like I was her own and was never short on witty words of wisdom and advice on life. I respected her honesty and frankness, her sense of style, her sharp intellect...I loved the fact that she could make the statement "the wealthy are different" and follow it with a real-life example. We were cleaning out her closet last spring (like we did at each turn of the season), and she told me she didn't want her Burberry satchel purse anymore, and would I like it? True story. Thank you V, for making this middle-class girl's dream come true.

Now back to the present, and how the wealthy are still different.

I have taken a second job here in Texas in addition to my 40 hour a week day job. Babysitting. Now don't laugh, I know I'm almost 23 and the proud holder of a double degree from Hillsdale College, but as far as I'm concerned (and everyone who's getting a Christmas gift from me this year, you'll agree), you're never too old to babysit wealthy children.

At the moment I am a regular babysitter for 3 families and counting. My growing brood of adoptive children have become little blessings in my life. We play together, share daydreams and fantasies, laugh, read books, and they keep me highly entertained with their upper class attitudes at the tender ages of 5, 6, and 7.

Let's review some adorable examples, shall we?

Family "T" has two sons, Zach in Pre-K and Luke in K. One day, Luke told me that most luxury cars are  yellow and asked if I were familiar enough with luxury cars that I could tell the difference. Later that day, we were playing soccer in their backyard, which backs up to a golf course, when a man jogged by dressed in a white track suite carrying a golf club. Luke informed me it was a caddy (how could he tell?) and then proceeded to yell through the fence, "Hey caddy, why ya runnin'?"

When it was time for dinner, we had planned to order a pizza. I looked on the counter for the money the parents' had left to pay for dinner and discovered a $100 bill. Our order total came to $11. The lady from Pizza Hut on the other end of the phone politely told me I could not pay an $11 order with a $100. I knew that, but apparently Mr. T did not.

A few days later I was babysitting for family "W", Peyton is in K and Jonathan is in Pre-K. If I were to ever kidnap a child, it would be Peyton. She is the first little girl who has completely stolen my heart (it's usually the little boys who steal my heart). After a full night with those two, I laughed with their mother at the new concept, for me, of hiring a professional company to hang your outside Christmas lights. 

But of course! I wouldn't want my hubby risking his neck hanging those lights on our multi-million dollar mansion with tiered roofs. Psssh.

The point is not that I hold these families lives in contempt. I am blessed and thank God every day for what he has given me. And I truly enjoy these families as my friends. I don't expect to absorb their class, paycheck, or attitudes simply by being their favorite on-call babysitter, but I also will not scoff at their willingness to pay me more per hour than my day job. I think Steve Miller had the right idea.

Take the Money and Run.

Except my version might start something like this:

This here's a story about wealthy kids and Ariel T.,
Six wealthy kids with nothin' better to do
Than sit around the house, playin' Wii, and spendin' money,
And here's what happened when Ariel decided to cut loose...

Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run...

Merry Christmas everyone. To spread some holiday cheer: it's the second song in the list, titled You Will Behave Like Gentlemen.


  1. Ariel, I enjoyed this post very, very much. Yes, the wealthy are different. Also, loved the line "the Jewish mother I never had"! I'm glad you're babysitting those kids-- you'll teach them a lot and be a good influence in their life. I still remember the good babysitters I had, even from when I was a wee one-- it makes a difference! And in that way, the wealthy aren't so different; they're people too, who want to be loved, taken care of and appreciated. Sure they don't know you can't pay pizza people with $100 occasionally, but that silliness comes at all levels. ;)

    Great post! Thanks for writing, I love reading it.

  2. Sweet and amusing post, Ariel. :) I would have loved to have had you as a babysitter as a child.