Manners & Misdemeanors

Being Truly Rich Means Having the Freedom and Time To Do What You Want

What good is the freedom that money offers if you don’t know how to relax?
ILLUSTRATOR SANDY ARANAS
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So maybe a Truly Rich Lady has reached that point where she is super stinky rich, which really should free her from the indignity of having to wake up at the screeching of an alarm clock. And yet she still feels the need to be more. There’s that nagging voice in the back of her head (it sounds like her father’s or mother’s) that compels her to do something.

Maybe she will get involved in one or two select charities or take up a passion project involving the preservation of the environment or cultural heritage, all in an effort to look good on paper and, for some, literally appear good in the (news)papers. Maybe she will take on a gargantuan task like remodeling her house, even if she had just remodeled it two years earlier, just so she has something to do.

I write about this because I remember poor old Millie who was stricken by a malady and then died suddenly. I remember her beautiful brown hair and her strong muscular body. I always made sure to visit Millie whenever I was within reach of the stables of her master, my Truly Rich Friend Mely.

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Mely is a classic beauty, also intelligent, very stinky rich, and possesses the ultimate Truly Rich status of “just concentrating on the family.” Her passion is horses. We always joke that Mely, who rides beautifully, knows more about her coterie of stallions and mares than she knows about her husband.

Well, Millie had already made the rounds as an accomplished show horse and had nothing more to prove. But Mely thought the two of them should have one final adventure before they retreated into the leisurely world where days blend into each other.

They trained very hard, as expected, until one day Millie caught a terrible cold and then succumbed a few days later. Mely was distraught.

“Oh, Si-si! I shouldn’t have pushed Millie. It is all my fault,” said Mely when I attended the horse funeral. (The service was lovely and the food sublime.) Later, in her delirium, Mely declared that it did not matter that she had won all these ribbons and trophies now that her best friend was gone.

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Who knew anyone could love a horse so much?

Nely, another Truly Rich Lady had a better handle on this problem of not knowing how to enjoy your Truly Richness. “Si-si, what good is the freedom that money offers if you don’t know how to relax?” she whispered as we toured the stables post-funeral.

Nely is not as rich as Mely (they are also not related), but she sure feels like the happiest among all of us, because of her state of calm. Every time I see her, it seems she has just arrived from a long trip. And it’s not always a luxury trip, flitting from beach to yacht on the golden coasts of paradise. Once, it was a four-week camping trip on the mountains of Nepal, a place where she gladly traveled by goat or, worse, flew in via coach. I could never.

But Nely says the problem with the Truly Rich, old or young, is that they never seem know how to slow down. “Si-si, you are always running around like you’re in a rat race, when you are no rat and never in a race,” she said. “Sweating is not a good look on you.”

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I laughed nervously because Nely may have struck a chord or a blood vessel. I was also sweating because I was wearing a ridiculous all-black ensemble. I am afflicted with the same malady that my Truly Rich Mother has. She does not need to work, but is always working. It comes from our ancestors’ plantation work ethic. She wakes up before the sun rises (as if it was a competition between her and the celestial body) and finds something to do, whether it is rearranging decorative plates or cleaning out a clean room. Her latest project is digitizing all our photographs for an online Coo album (despite my warnings of not uploading our faces on the Internet because the Facebook people will steal our souls).

I ask her, “Why do you this? You can just lie down in bed and be still. Or you can hire professional organizer Mario Kondi to do all this for you?”And she looks at me knowingly and says, “My dear, Si-si, I do this because it makes me happy. I do not want to lie down all day like a cat. Or like you.”

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Oh, wow.

So, I guess it is different strokes for different folks. While it is most ideal to embrace the more meaningful form of Truly Richness as the freedom to do what we want—and this entails slowing to halt and not listening to the voices in our heads or the worries in our hearts (Do I have enough? I do!)—some people just enjoy going, going, and going on until they are gone.

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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.
View Other Articles From C.C.
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