Manners & Misdemeanors
The Pink Elephant in the Room: The Truly Rich Lady's Guide To Keeping (Open) Secrets
When the Elephants arrive, a pause so slight and soft only keen observers will pick up reverberates throughout the room.
ILLUSTRATOR SANDY ARANAS
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Isn't it infuriating when there is something very, very obvious happening before your very eyes, but you cannot talk about it?

I'm not talking about lipstick on your teeth or a sticky goblin peeking out from the cavern of your nose hole. Those I point out, with utter discretion, of course, and only when the person plagued with these aberrations is a friend, because I would want the same courtesy done to me.

These—shall we call them Pink Elephants?—are sterner stuff. Maybe he is the hedge fund president that fudged the numbers and goofed on so many personal investments. Maybe he is the politico whose brand is humanitarianism, but got caught on tape showering a poor assistant with words so foul they wilt the soul. Maybe she is the lowbrow other woman in a Truly Rich marriage. Or maybe she is the run-of-the-mill socialite who just got a nose job that can only be described as horrible.

And yet here they all are at this luncheon, acting as if everything is normal (and eating all the shrimp in sight), or at this VVVIP charity event, getting ready to be honored as one of the 7 upstanding citizens of the city.

And what of the Elephants? How do they have the gall to show their faces in public? Do they think no one knows? Or do they perhaps just do not care?

When they arrive, a pause so slight and soft only keen observers will pick up reverberates throughout the room. In a heartbeat, everyone has taken notice and, as quickly as they've registered those Pink Elephants in their heads, they quiet their emotions, opinions, giggles, and whatnot into that solid gold box found in the pit of their hearts.

The Truly Rich Lady and her Best Party Friend may glance at each other and, without exchanging words, know exactly what each is thinking: “What the hell are they doing here?” But they will not dare discuss the Elephants except for a quick remark under the cover of a bejeweled minaudiere. “Can you believe it?” “No! I can’t believe she paid good money for that!” “Shhhhh! Here she comes.”

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The rest of the evening will be spent in undisturbed serenity. If by some misfortune the Truly Rich Lady is faced with, say, Socialite With New Honker, there is no other course of action but to deploy the standard niceties and never allude to the beak, the snotlocker, the thing on her face. The Truly Rich Lady says, “Your hair. It is pretty.” And then, with the grace of a swan averting disaster, excuses herself from the encounter.

If we cannot speak the truth, we at least keep quiet.

But why do the Truly Rich World stay quiet even when assaulted with such thick-faced buffoonery? Well, it is because we don’t want to cause any break in the veil that shrouds our beautiful world.

The peace that holds together the tenuous relationships of Truly Rich Families cannot be broken by a silly lunchtime outburst. What if the politico is the son of this and that CEO who owns the very big conglomerate that is about to expand in China? What if the socialite is actually a minor Asian royal (by marriage) from a profitable trading partner? What if the Elephant is your sort-of sometimes useful friend?

It is a funny thing, and the Truly Rich Lady with a talent for expression has already readied the sharpest barbs. The silence can be unbearable, and so she and her friend will find a quiet corner, behind a potted monstrosity, and unload about what cannot be mentioned among others. “I heard he bought an island over Christmas! The nerve!” “Do you know that the family from down the street, the one with the two houses, had to sell one of their homes because of this fool. So sad. But I got an antique narra dining table for a song out of it!”

It is also infuriating for those who have been personally victimized by those Elephants' unmentionable actions. Buoyed by red-hot emotion, such a person may just head over to the Elephant and, with fingers wagging, tell him off. Even worse, that person may scream and shout and then, as seen in one of those overly dramatic Filipino movies, throw precious Krug on his face and send a flying thwack landing on his cheek. We haven't seen one of those in a long while.

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And what of the Elephants? How do they have the gall to show their faces in public? Do they think no one knows? Or do they perhaps just do not care? Do they think at all? What is going on in their pretty pink (empty) heads?

Well, we will never know because we will never talk about it (in public, at least). And that is how the gilded gears of the Truly Rich World keep moving. If we cannot speak the truth, we at least keep quiet.

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About The Author
C.C. Coo
The Truly Rich Lady
C.C. Coo—also known as Town&Country’s Truly Rich Lady—is not a professional seeker of leisure as many people wrongly assume, for she has a real-life occupation: a SHE-EO of Important (Sub)Company of an Empire, for which she works very hard to make sure that the people in her care are not left wanting. She believes that manners are utterly important: “If society is like one of those costume jewelry worn by Jackie O or Diana, it would be the glue that keeps the veneer of a most beautiful thing from falling apart,” she says.
View Other Articles From C.C.
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