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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Not Your Average New Yorker

Chess in Union Square, NYC
Photo by myself in Union Square.

Several chess tables are located outside in Union Square for anyone to use. You can often see strangers challenging each other to a quick game. Bring your own chess set!


Last night I caught a little of the television show, Real Housewives of New York City, yet another reality-based television show on the Bravo channel.

I'd previously promised myself not to watch the show because I knew it'd make me mad. Actually, I was first mad, then a little depressed.

I wouldn't want to be any of the privileged women on the show. The people shown are not even close to an average New Yorker. One 'housewife' admitted that raising a child in the private school system in New York costs a million dollars. And that's only from birth to high school. Ahem.

I wanted to tell all the women to get over themselves. On the other hand, I started feeling sad less for myself and my own non-millionaire status, than for them. The lives of these women sounded tough. There was the constant awareness of scarcity in the midst of plenty. It must be difficult to go around thinking that everyone wants to be in your shoes. You must always be fearing failure.

One twelve year old girl, the daughter of one of the 'housewives' says,'My mother tells me that I have to find a way to make my own money. Because you never know what's going to happen to your relationship. So you need your own money.'


Tough to hear from the mouth of so young and obviously not in a relationship. But I suppose it's good, realistic advice. In another episode (yes, I was sucked into watching a couple shows), her mother asks what she thinks she'll do after college.

Hello, this is a twelve year old girl who hasn't even started high school!?

Details, details.

Here's a sneak peek for those who might be curious:


Tammy said...

A million dollars....just for high school?!!! That boggles the mind!

BrianC said...

Can I vomit now? Thankfully I don't know people like this, although they're increasingly visible in the West Village. Yes, one has to feel sorry for the kids, because they'll more than likely model the skewed priorities of their parents and grow up to be shallow, materialistic shits.

babooshka said...

Your'e not your average New York Photogrpaher, that's for sure. All excellent shots,perfect for Black and White.Nice to see the real New York and New Yorkers, not a sanitized version.

As for the million dollar kids, yep they'll be screw up, spending another million in therapy

Olivier said...

on disait a une époque que Bobby Fisher venait faire des parties en ce déguisant. J'ai jamais osé faire une partie, ils sont assez impressionnant

It is said that an era has Bobby Fisher came to parties in disguise. I never dared to make a party, they are quite impressive

Clueless in boston said...

Nice picture in B&W, it works well for this subject. I don't think the people playing chess in the park will be sending their children to private schools.

Destitute Rebel said...

The chess tables are a great idea, I wish we had more stuff like that. Million dollars for an education is sickening.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

I'm a secret Real Housewives of NYC watcher too ;-) I find these women so bizarre and not part of the New York I know, but I can't help but watch. I recognise the building where Ramona lives and it's only 4 blocks from my own place yet our lives couldn't be more different.

Spandrel Studios said...

The thing that's sad, really, is that other than LuAnn, all these women appear to view each other as "contacts" rather than friends or even social acquaintances. Alex and her bizarre husband talk about networking at every opportunity...

And you get the feeling that none of what any of them say is genuine. Don't get me started with Bethenny, who is not even married?! How is she even *on* this show?

Kitty said...

Hi Tammy!
not just high school, but a million to get them from birth through a series of private schools to the end of high school.
A little nuts, huh?

Hi Brian
Exactly. It's hard to figure out your purpose, I think, when everything is handed to you.

Welcome Babooshka and thank you!
How nice? I am excited to visit your blog.

Hi Olivier
The whole Bobby Fischer phenom amazes me. It's one story I'd like to know more about

Hi Cluelss
You're very right. These lifestyles are completely opposite

I like the chess idea, too. It really exvigorates a public outdoor space

Hi Fish
Lol, I know these people are like aliens to me, so I am drawn to watching because I cannot fathom them. Ramona seems especially wired. I love the preview where she's about to shred that weirdo husband to bits

Hi Spandrel
These women are horrible, no? Alex and the husband are especially gross. So sad.

Ming the Merciless said...

I don't think it's wrong to tell your 12-year old daughter that she has to plan for the future and shouldn't have to rely on a man to bring home the bacon. It's not only realistic but good parenting.

What would bother me is if the parent tells the daughter to look cute, slim and perky all the time so she can snag herself a rich husband.

That said, I didn't watch the show so I'm merely commenting on your observation. :-)

But knowing these reality shows, I can understand how disgusted you feel.

Kitty said...

Ming, thank you. I generally agree on that point.

If a kid is pretty much assured a head start in life, it's another reason to encourage her to pursue a career, and not just expect that things are handed to her.

I suppose it was some of the editing that went on, where Ramona, the mother, seemed rather focused on money. She loves earning (her own) money. This is a fair statement, but it just seems odd to say out loud. I guess because most of the people I know earn their own money.

For me it was the focus on earning one's own money, coupled with the questions on what the daughter might do after college that irked me.

Can't one be a 12-year old anymore? Any answer she comes up with will be miles away from whatever she starts doing after college, and even that first attempt won't necessarily be what she does for a real 'career'.

Thanks for pointing that out, though. I appreciate it!