Thursday, March 27, 2008

An Eyebrow Raiser

The Scene: a very elegant pre-war apartment in Manhattan. Art adorns every wall, rugs and decorative objects perfectly accent the beautiful furniture. In short, the decor is impeccable, like something out of a magazine. In fact, it has been in a magazine.

The Characters: Jimmy and Steve, the owners of the apartment, and their three guests, all with glasses of white wine in hand.

It's a little pre-dinner cocktail party, and one of the guests has never seen the apartment before. Favorite art works are pointed out, and duly admired. Steve talks about how he loves buying beautiful things, admitting that he has never been much of a saver. The topic shifts, more wine is poured, the evening progresses.

Then the phone rings and Jimmy goes into the other room to answer it. When he returns, Steve asks who it was. In a cheerfully lilting tone that nonetheless implies an edgy "we'll talk about this later" vibe, Jimmy replies, "Card member services!"

Jimmy pats Steve on the head, they exchange a wry smile for a moment, and then Steve turns to the guests. "So, how about Indian food for dinner!" They go out to a restaurant, and when the dinner bill arrives, it's split 5 ways, paid in cash by all.


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Anonymous said...

Dear Madame X:

I only got as far as the end of the first sentence of "An Eyebrow Raiser" before sighing aloud at the beauty of the mental picture in my imagination, which only grew lovelier as your description progressed. With the final paragraph, however, that reaction had changed to an intake of breath and an, "Oh... dear".

I feel compassion, rather than otherwise, to that couple and their "fishing pier" situation (no support underneath). I wonder if that's because they are spending their money the way I would wish to, if I had ("hadn't"...whatever) it. I know I would not feel the same if they were spending their money on cars or electronics.

Thanks for some great food for thought.


Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica...My guess is that they didn't pay their debt up on a credit card. They paid for dinner in 5 ways with cash after receiving that call- what a night for them.

Anonymous said...

Spend should be controlled, plus that is the story for most of ny they live on there cc till bonus time when they pay them off.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't understand the story. A little too opaque for me! A key would be appreciated : )

Madame X said...

anon 11:58-- I am quite sure the call from the credit card company was about an overdue balance. Steve is the bigger spender (and earner) of the couple and Jimmy gets a bit anxious about it. Just goes to show that even if you are "wealthy," spending more than you earn will lead to a lot of stress!

Anonymous said...

I don't get the part about how everyone split the bill, paying cash. What's the significance of that?

Anonymous said...

Without knowing the details of their financial situation, can we really make a judgement about how they spend their money? Cash or otherwise?