1. You work all the time. It is a commonly accepted truth that unless you are a fake-breasted 20-year-old who marries a 94-year-old billionaire leukemia patient, you’re going to have to work for your money. Generally speaking, any profession that’s going to put you into the stratosphere of buying yachts made out of chocolate and prostitutes is going to require you to sacrifice most of your life to it. And while everybody is obligated to work, there are few who do it quite as much (or as bitterly) as partners in major law firms, in-demand plastic surgeons, and corporate executives. Their lives quickly become their work, and soon their social circles are whittled down into two groups, “family I’m obligated to talk to,” and “insufferable pricks who come to the company Christmas party.” Working 70+ hours a week at such a prestigious job has the maddening effect of enabling you to buy anything your heart desires and leaving you no time left to use it. This is the point at which rich people begin buying things with no purpose, such as horrendous modern art for their sterile, immense apartments. “If I’m not going to be able to enjoy my money,” they seem to say, “God damnit, you people are going to look at it.”
2. You have a staff to run. One of the most efficient ways of determining how rich you are is assessing how many mundane daily activities you have become too important to do yourself. Everything from raising your children to walking your dogs to preparing your meals can be farmed out to nameless brown people you refer to as “the help.” The more rich you become, inevitably, the less you are capable of doing yourself. If you are moderately wealthy, you probably have a nanny and a cleaning lady come once a week. If you’re a zillionaire, you probably have someone who clips your toenails, someone who carries an umbrella behind you, and a gay man in a tailored suit who compliments you and says zesty catchphrases. But when just running your house becomes a micro-economy in and of itself, it’s hard not to become overwhelmed by the sheer responsibility of it all. I can’t imagine how tedious it would become after a while to manage the payment, monitoring, occasional interaction with, and hiring/ firing of a personal staff of 25. And though you could probably hire someone to do that as well, it begs the question, where does this end? Do you eventually hire someone to breathe for you? Someone to lay in a pressurized tank while you siphon their youth through a crazy straw? I, personally, like to do things for myself.
3. You are obligated to be involved. What is being obscenely wealthy if not pretending to care about philanthropic endeavors you couldn’t give two shits about? Are there underpriveleged kids that are going to need to go to college at some point? Is there a lake in your community that’s getting pretty dirty these days? Is there some “urban” that could use some “revitalization?” Well, get out the checkbook and the photo-op tie, because you have a lot of pretending to empathize to do. In all seriousness, this works best if you are the pampered spouse of someone who runs a company, but it seems all rich people are required to be involved. After all, what is the joy of being a crusty old white person if not chairing a committee? And that says nothing of the God to which all rich people eventually learn to prostrate themselves before, Our Lady of the Tax Write-Off.
4. Your children are destined to be insufferable assholes. Okay, I know that decent rich-people spawn exist, but there has to be something dangerous about the combination of never hearing no, having endless access, and being raised by everyone but your too-busy parents. What other destiny could these kids face than to grow up with the same level of entitlement developed as a 7-year-old who has his or her own butler to scream at? It just gets exhausting to see the way our society seems to fawn over the “socialites,” a term that may at one time have meant something but is now merely a euphemism for “coke whores who are famous for having rich parents and/ or possibly their sex tape.” We act as though they are mythical creatures, modern unicorns if you will, if a unicorn’s power was not wearing underwear and talking shit about each other to paparazzi… which, hey, it very well may be–I’ve never met a unicorn.
5. You become “The Man.” Remember when you were young, when you had ideas, when things were going to change and, like, you were totally gonna be the one to change them? Remember when you used to get high in your tiny apartment with that guy who squatted on your couch for, like, a month when he was doing a cross-country road trip to find God and some decent molly? Remember when you could just take some time off from everything to just really, breathe, man? Well, all of that is gone, now, bro–you ARE the man. You are the one spilling the oil and raping Africa and brokering shady deals with China and cancelling Arrested Development. The blood is on your hands and your bermuda shorts and you’re just gonna have to live with that. Go home to your mansion and eat your endangered species and have sex with your 20-year-old trophy wife. Enjoy it, you filthy, disgusting pig.
By the way, before you go, could you spot me a couple bucks for dinner? I’m, like, so tired of lentils, you have no idea.