Manners & Misdemeanors

The Truly Rich Lady's List of People Who Truly Matter

"They are the wind beneath my wings," says the Truly Rich Lady.

The airline minder directs me toward the back of the plane into the pit of people crammed like worms in plastic pods. “Ma'am, you are here in economy. Enjoy your flight,” she tells me. I find myself being pushed down into the itty-bitty seat. My arms are pinned to my body. I can't feel my legs. I can't breathe. I scream.

I am jolted from my sleep by the sound of a squort, a squeal and a snort that surpassingly came from my mouth. I am breathing heavily and my eyes are wet. But thank the Lord it was just a nightmare! I immediately pray to my guardian angel to protect me please from the horrors of the world. And then, after downing a glass of wine, I go back to sleep. I also make a mental note to visit the chapel because I think there are cobwebs in my soul that need to be cleared out.


Later in the day, I am kneeling on the worn-out pads of the neighborhood chapel. There is no one here save for the few souls that, like me, are asking for help, intercession, or clarity. Actually, I am here to say thank you.

I haven't done this in a while, but I know exactly what to say to the powers who watch over me: God, Jesus, Mother Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Christina the Astonishing, and Carlos, my guardian angel (do you know that you should name yours?).

After surviving a potentially deadly nightmare, I first thank God that I am alive and then I go down my Windy List, the many different people who carry me to greater heights—you know, like the song? You may think these would be the Important Last Names and my other TR Friends, but really these are the people who work silently in the background. I am grateful to each and everyone of them: 


The Old Yaya

Don't tell my Truly Rich Mother, but Manang practically raised me. She was the one who nursed me back to health when I was sick or squirreled me away in her room when I did something very naughty. She insists on still working for us, but she deserves the blissful rest of old age. She's has now retired into the country, in her own house (that we bought for her and her grandchildren).

The Grumpy Chief of Staff

Okay, she is not really a chief of staff (we are not into politics!), but more of a minder, because the life of a TRL is very complicated. You need someone to untangle the knots, to crush the obstacles, to handle things, and mind you. You need someone to literally tell you that you need to be at the Sunset Ballroom, wearing your purple-blue gown with humble jewelry only, right now, as in now! I thank her. 


The Considerate Driver

I thank him for sleep, speed, silence. His very smooth driving skills allow me to take cat naps while in transit; his knowledge of backroads and shortcuts makes me never late; and, most important, his loyalty protects me. I thank him for not spilling the beans about what I say (or who I kiss) while in the car.

The Second Assistant

I don't think I am high maintenance, but I have certain expectations, things that I want, and also things that I would never want to do (like line up for anything!). I thank my second assistant for having the fortitude and savviness to carry out my very specific requests. So many young people give up today. I am happy to find someone strong and willing.

The Long-Ago Teacher

Mrs. Mallard, my third-grade teacher, told me that I am a good writer and maybe one day I can be a person who writes things. That seed was planted in my head, and look at me now, writing things—instead of doing more lucrative work. Still, I thank her for setting me on this path of bliss.


The Fitness Companion

My fitness buddy does not belong in the circle of the TR, but we have bonded over belly fat and pork belly. She makes side planks so much more enjoyable, because I am left in stitches whenever we work out together.

The Head Waiter

He knows exactly which table to seat me in and what dishes I prefer. I thank him for lifting the burden f choice, because I make so many decisions already every day. I am also very happy that he makes me feel welcome at his establishment, which I really consider my home (because the family partly owns it).

The New Yaya

For every day things, there is New Yaya, who is not really new, but she's not Old Yaya. It would be unfair to compare her to the person I knew since I was a wee lass, so I am just going to say that she is an invaluable every day companion, because when you find yourself under the spell of a nightmare, what you need is someone who will hand you a glass of wine, so you can go back to sleep.


Do you want to ask our resident TRL a question? E-mail C.C. Coo at

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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 pieces worn by Jackie O or Diana, manners would be the glue that keeps the veneer of a most beautiful thing from falling apart,” she says.
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