KEEPING UP WITH THE RICH

Time for another peek into the ‘Lifestyles of the Rich… and Cranky.”

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KEEPING UP WITH THE RICH
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Time for another peek into the ‘Lifestyles of the Rich… and Cranky.”

Few of us hoi polloi realize that it’s not easy being one of the hoity toity. Yes, they do have all that money, but there’s also constant pressure on them to live up to expectations. For example, let’s talk bathtubs.

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To us carefree regular folks, the tub is … well, a place to take a bath. For the superwealthy, however, one’s bathtub has to make a statement. It’s not a bathing receptacle, but art – an expression both of one’s inner self and external wealth.

Let me ask you this: do you name your bathtub? Of course not, but the rich do. Take the “Papillon.” It is 1,800-pounds of stunning modernist sculpture, created from an enormous piece of white Carrara marble from Italy. The Papillon costs $23,000 – but really, my dears, if you’re going to be looking at price tags, you probably should be shopping at Sears.

There’s also the Madera Ovales M4, which sounds as though it might be a rare Spanish wine, but it’s actually a hand-made tub created with various pricey woods, from walnut to teak. In truth, it looks very much like an oversized salad bowl – but, what’s a bathing center for if not to exude a certain insouciant playfulness? Who knows – maybe the rich bathe in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And if it’s playfulness you want, play with the M4’s $40,000 price range.

But like I say, being really rich is not easy. It’s a challenge in extreme consumerism. If you want to try keeping up with the elite, let me suggest the “TGH Art Deco,” an elongated tub that’s completely covered on the outside in hand-tooled Hermès leather. It’s a $55,000 tub – but I’d advise against putting water in it, because that could stain the Hermès.

The next time you think you’ve got problems, remember how tough it is for the rich.

“If You Have to Ask, Try the Shower,” The New York Times, May 8, 2008

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