- You died long before I had any idea of who you were, and when I did find out, I admired you as I do all spectacularly elegant bitches.
- I spent a long time reading and thinking about you and all the other “social x-rays” without really getting the picture.
- It just seemed fun and sassy and somewhat frightening, all that “Ladies Who Lunch” business.
- Not being even slightly attuned to American class dynamics and never having come across a debutante, I don’t think I even understood that you were rich, or “aristocratic”, or as your friend Ann Landers said, “Born to the purple.”
- I’m exaggerating. I understood that you were rich, because just look at you, but I had no way of incorporating that fiendish and corrupting kind of intergenerational wealth into my wider understanding of the world.
- I went to the same university at the same time as Chelsy Davy, and for a long time she was my sort of touchstone for “the richest a person can be.”
- As you can see I have led a sheltered life.
- What I am saying is that I didn’t get it, which is probably why I still feel quite warmly towards you despite my conviction that billionaires mustn’t exist.
- I think a lot of people feel this way. You were
after alla spectacularly elegant bitch.
- So then. For those of us who would like to retain fond memories, I would recommend avoiding almost everything written about you, because a lot of it is quite damning and guillotine-courting and bad.
- For instance, when you were on your book tour, in the seventies, some woman asked you if you were rich. Recounting the incident
afterwards, you said: “Well, do you know what I did then? I said to her, ‘Have you ever had an abortion?’ Naturallyshe looked shocked so I said, ‘My dear, you have just asked me the rudest question one human being can ask another. So I thought I would ask you the same kind of question.'”
- Well then.
- Also: “If Nixon had had the proper breeding, Watergate would never have happened.”
- And: ”Nobody knows that Howard Hughes had a factory in California simply for paraplegics.”
- And furthermore: “The richer you are the harder you have to work. The rich don’t have to work but we like to work. We feel it is our duty.”
- Well good heavens.
- It is impossible to tell if you were joking or not, but because it is your birthday I will give you the benefit of the doubt.
- You were probably not joking.
- Happy birthday.