Oh it’s all very
fabulous in NYC but I am reeling from the shock of a Saturday night in the
suburbs. It was Real Housewives of New Jersey stuff at the magnificent home of
Michelle, her husband Big Tony and son, Little Tony. Though not in New Jersey
(upstate New York to be precise) the house was truly palatial – all gleaming
surfaces with flashes of gold, bronze, and marble glistening in the chandelier
light. We were guests so manners prevent me from snobbishness but if I was to
be snobby, let me tell you, to use Michelle speak, she would not give a flying
“WHERE’S YOUR DRIVER?” She screeched, peering past us as we walked in.
“YOU DROVE YOURSELVES, FROM THE CITY? OH-MY-GAAAD!!!! TONY, CAN YOU BELEEEVE
THEY DROVE THEMSELVES HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I thought she was going to call an
ambulance, it was only a 40 minute journey.
The fine dining
commenced and dinner conversation progressed. It’s safe to say our hosts were
pretty average middle Americans and their views were issued unashamedly. We soon
learned that at the present time they hate: Obama, the Nobel prize committee, the Olympic selection
committee (patriotic, see) people on welfare, ‘the crazy British health care
system’ and just about anything that involves helping anyone else. They would
happily let the US car industry be destroyed even though it supports entire
In their huge garden, Michelle
and Tony grow nothing they can eat.
Just back from a trip
to London they were aghast at how expensive everything is in the UK. “How do
you MANAGE????” screamed Michelle. “Cabs, restaurants, it’s all toooooo goddamn
I had a think about
this and began trying to explain how we lived in our North London house. “Er
well we get a few veggies from the farmer’s market on Saturdays. We might go for
a curry or round to friends, we don’t eat out that much.” I began. Sympathetic, puzzled faces
greeted me. To them, I was a poor, sad little thing. I realised that to live in
England like Michelle and Tony live, would be hugely expensive and maybe that is the
fundamental difference between our two countries? My friends in Britain enjoy simple
pleasures, lovely food cooked at home or at the pub, fresh flowers from their gardens, a stroll on a beach, across the moors or in a park, great newspapers
and radio. Life seems rich in Britain and most ordinary folk seem to be able afford it.
So Wannabe WAGs take
note. In the USA the Colleen/Posh lifestyle comes at a fraction of the price of
the UK. The diamonds cost about the same but the houses, massive cars, lobsters
and steaks can be had in the suburbs of America for easily what you’re earning
now. So the next time you’re feeling a bit impoverished, comfort yourself that
you could trade it all in for a life of utter splendor in suburban USA. Don’t
all rush at once now……..
this week! xxx