We left off yesterday with me standing in the Money Town Starbucks with an acquaintance named Jodi. Jodi is a Money Town resident and was delighted to run into me. She peppered me with questions regarding my current post-car accident status. Jodi made it clear I needed her help. I asked my readers what type of help you thought a Money Town resident like Jodi might think I need.
Can I just stop and say right here that every single comment yesterday brought a smile to my face?! What an awesome group of readers. No one got the exact answer correct, but several of you were close with "makeover." The funniest comment came from Goodfather, who went on a rant about the Howell's from Gilligan's Island. As you'll see today, Jodi actually had two important suggestions for me.
Also, once again, here's my disclaimer. There are a lot of nice, normal people in Orange County. There are also a lot of very nice people in Money Town. The normal people, however, are not as fun to write about. The people who epitomize the spoiled rich are just plain fun to share with you. I love my real Money Town friends. Rich or not, they aren't like Jodi.
Jodi inquired first about my arm.
"I heard your arm doesn't work, is that really true?"
Yes, Jodi, it's true.
Then Jodi wanted to see for herself.
"Well, how far can you lift it? Can you show me? Can you bend your elbow? How do you take care of your kids? How do you put on make-up and blow dry your hair?"
I can raise it this much. Yes I can bend my elbow and use my hand. I can't lift anything, open doors, pull, push or carry anything. I take care of my kids as best I can and they're still alive so I think I'm doing okay. Make-up and blow drying my hair are challenges, but I haven't died yet from bad hair.
Then came the questions about the lawsuit.
"Do you have a good lawyer? I bet you're going to make a FORTUNE off this?! How much do you think you'll get?" (All said with a gleam in her eye as if this experience has been a wonderful opportunity for me.)
Can I say something here? For friends who ask me how the lawsuit is going because they care about me, about the stress of the legal process, thank you. I appreciate your concern. It's stressful. For those acquaintances who want to dig into my financial status, I don't appreciate it. And I'm an intelligent enough person to know the difference.
And yes, I have a good lawyer. No, I am not going to make a fortune off of this. Also, I may get nothing and it's none of Jodi's business anyway.
Then Jodi gave me a look-over and grimaced. I knew some flattery was on it's way.
"This whole thing has taken a toll on you."
(Thank you for telling me I look like shit, Jodi! Thank you very much, I appreciate the input. Jeez, do ya think five surgeries in two years might do that? Jodi is very insightful! And thoughtful. And helpful. And kind, did I mention kind?)
"I have the greatest personal shopper. You would love her. She can even come to your house if you want so you don't have to go anywhere. She can fix up your wardrobe in no time flat."
The problem with Jodi's thinking? I like my jeans and t-shirts. This "wardrobe"? It's the same one I had before the car accident. Maybe I even have a few new t-shirts in the mix now.
Jodi did not stop there. Mentioning the idea of her personal shopper coming by my house reminded her of something else.
"How's your house, weren't you doing a lot of work on it?"
Well, yes I was midway through the process when I was in the accident. My house has remained frozen in time ever since. (Half painted, half furnished, not decorated in the least. It has been more than I can take on.) In the grand scheme of things, decorating my house has fallen to the bottom of the list of things which are important.
Jodi was aghast.
"You haven't finished your house?"
In Money Town, it is very important to have a showpiece of a home. A lot of the houses feel cold and unlived in. My house is nothing, if not lived in. As far as my half completed decorating? Oh well. Maybe someday I'll be able to take it on again. I'm not there yet. This seemed to be beyond Jodi's comprehension. A half-assed house is just not acceptable.
Jodi immediately recommended an interior decorator she knows. It is a woman who also lives in Money Town "and she's done a ton of people's houses."
Then came the kicker. Jodi proceeded to tell me all about the gossip this decorator has passed on to her. The woman is going from home to home decorating Money Town houses. While she's working in homes, she's making mental notes of gossip to share with others.
Jodi started to tell me who is having marital problems, who is considering a divorce, who is having teenage problems, and what type of problems those are. In addition, Jodi knew what quantities of money each family had in the way of decorating funds. Jodi had specifics. Specifics about people I know, and some of my friends at that.
I cut her short. I don't want to hear gossip via anyone's interior decorator. Thank you very much anyway. The invasion of privacy crosses a line. I'm not immune to enjoying a juicy tidbit in the right context, but something is profoundly wrong about trusting someone to work in your home and having them abuse that trust.
"She's just fabulous you must call her," she said.
I'm not kidding. She said that right after disclosing all the gossip this woman is spreading around. Personally, I plan to stick with my casual "wardrobe" and my half-ass house.