you may want to read the preceding post before reading this, as it explains the new weekly feature!Theme of the cocktail party:
Pretentiousness, apparently.Food served:
salmon en croute, caviar appetizers, sushi, prawns, mini-Caprese salads, creme brulee (Sorry, these events are never kosher!)Service:
mixture of buffet and circulating waitersBeverages:
a variety of beers and wines, sodaBeverages I consumed:
one glass of White ZinfandelLocation:
private home in the Sweetwater Oaks Country Club community, in Longwood, Florida
Wow. This party was notable for one thing: it's pretentiousness
. After a very busy week with my overseas client, I had really been looking forward to some good food and nice conversation, so this kind of ambience was not what I needed!
As I checked in at the gate house, I thought, "This is going to be fancy!" I had no idea then about the sharks that awaited me. I was a lamb among wolves, I tell you. I proceeded through the gorgeous, oak-lined winding streets, edged with gated entries galore. Some of these places would have put Tara to shame!
I finally pulled up to the house, no, mansion
, sized at a mere 8,000 square feet, set on 3 acres! (By comparison, an average 3 bedroom, 2 bath house has about 1500-2500 square feet.)
To start with, this house party had valet parking. I'm too cheap for valet parking. I'm happy to give my money to a good cause, but I don't consider paying $5 to have someone park my car, when I could use the extra 10 steps of exercise, to be a good cause. Especially since they parked all the fancy cars (Jaguars, Porsches, etc.) on the front lawn next to the house, so they would get noticed. That's just tacky. So when I told the guy I would park my own car, he said, "Oh... (long pause, staring at me) I guess you could do that..." Not an auspicious beginning to the event.
Next stop: the front door. I was greeted by a man who was so annoyingly self-effacing that I'm surprised he didn't offer me his own kidney. Please. My mind shut off somewhere around the time he mentioned that the house came with "His and Her garages." You can't make this stuff up!
I finally got past his schpiel and made it to the hors d'oeuvres, which was a big improvement! A bit of good caviar will boost my mood any day!
Then I took a look around the house. Holy crap. Can you say spontaneous consumption?? Who needs 8000 square feet?! Do these people realize that there are starving children in this world?? A few notable tidbits: this house had a circular atrium for the children's wing (complete with a rotunda and recessed lighting), a separate "Christmas room," and a jacuzzi that would fit well over 20 people! And I'm not even exaggerating!
But the features that really got my attention were, get this--- the two
enormous laundry rooms! My living room is smaller than either of their laundry rooms. One laundry room in each wing. As a lady joined me in the 2nd of them, I exclaimed to her, (a complete stranger; I assumed she was a Realtor like me), "Two freakin' laundry rooms?! Are you kidding me?!!" She responded with "Yes, I thought it was good idea. Do you like them?" OMG, I was talking to the lady of the house!! Well, I quickly adjusted my tune after that, then excused myself, a little embarrassed, to the bar.
Anyway, I don't know what she was doing there. The home's sellers are not usually encouraged to attend Broker's open houses, as agents need to candidly comment on the features and price if necessary. Which, by the way, was $4,900,000. Yes, you read that right. Almost 5 million dollars.
I found the bar and got a glass of wine, some more food, and looked for a nice person to sit and chat with. I picked the wrong person
. As soon as I sat down by this woman and introduced myself, she barked, "How long have you been in the business?" Not a good way to start. Even though I've been in the business for four respectable years, anytime someone starts a conversation with that question it's because they've been in the business a hundred years, and they just want to hold it over everyone.
There are a lot of these nasty types of Realtors in posh areas, who were apparently raised devoid of any manners or class whatsoever. They can be so territorial about "their" areas that I wouldn't be surprised to see them marking on the marble columns!! I spent the next 5 minutes evading her demeaning attitude and questions. Yuck.
Fortunately, I can keep up with the best --worst?-- of them (if I have to
). So I made a few offhanded --yet true-- comments about my upbringing, which thankfully shut her up. Feeling at once self-satisfied and ashamed for stooping to her level, I escaped her presence and wandered into another room, where a presentation was taking place.
As I walked in, a guy was using a powerpoint presentation to introduce an upcoming and extremely pricey home community. The individual house lots in the community (not including the houses themselves) start
at an insane $800,000. I listened to him drone on about "We like to think that we're creating a community of unpretentious luxury..." (to which people chuckled and snorted audibly!) When he got to the part about "The gate house alone cost over four million dollars," I thought to myself, "If I wasted 3.8 million dollars of my future residents' money, I wouldn't go around, broadcasting it publicly!" and I took that as my cue to get out of there.
From the snarky attitudes of so many of the unbearable attendees, I can confirm what we all know to be true: money certainly doesn't buy happiness.