…Is Another Man’s Nightmare.
The Setting: Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, Michigan. Summer conference for a specialty Law Section of the Michigan Bar. Seminars run from 9am-12noon. Nightly cocktail hour begins at 6:30. Opening reception, cocktails on the lawn, Wednesday night.
The Players: A first-time conference attendee (yours truly). Groups of 2, 4, 7 lawyers scattered, mingling, schmoozing. Catching up on 365 days since they last bumped elbows.
The Story: The 5 lawyers I know who are coming to this conference aren’t scheduled to get in until Thursday. I feel that I should at least make an appearance here. (Not sure what I was thinking). The one other person who is not talking to anyone else walked in with 3 other people. Not sure why she is now alone. Whatever.
I grab a glass of wine and introduce myself. She’s not a lawyer. She’s not the spouse of a lawyer. She the hairdresser to a lawyer, turned commercial title agent.
Okay. So maybe this isn’t so unusual. But from where I come, this isn’t so normal. What made it even more hilarious is that Title Lady had a haircut that made Hillary Rodham Clinton look like a hippie.
So I get introduced to Title Lady (“The one with the big red Prada bag… you can’t miss her. Oh, is that a Gucci watch you’re wearing!? [Title Lady] has GOT to see that!”). They invite me to join them for dinner. The one restaurant that Crystal kept open is packed. One hour wait. (Where were they planning on a few hundred lawyers eating??)
So we go to the “Crystal Palace,” off-site. Yes, those of you from a certain city downstate should be laughing by now because as you all know, the Crystal Palace is a strip club. Well not in Thompsonville, MI. We got killer $3.00 burgers. Genius.
But I digress. Title Lady and Hair Gal were floored first at the prices and second by the fact that Keno is played in this bar. They had to play a card. Upon leaving, they declared that it was unsettling for them to drive back to the resort because it was *gasp* dark out. Yes, ladies, that’s what happens when the sun goes down and there are no street lights. And forget the Bear Crossing sign we saw a few miles back.
Other points of interest of the night: Leather designer bags (Gucci, Prada, Louis) are too heavy to carry. Coke habits are normal, especially when you can bike 100-mile races with no problem. Yoga sessions are called “Flows”. Hairdressers are higher up the servant hierarchy than gardners.
Meet the ladies from Farmington/Bloomfield Hills. It’s their reality. This is normal for them. Me? Not so much. It’s too Paris Hilton. It’s too materialistic. Don’t get me wrong… I love certain “designer” articles I own (most of them acquired by gift or inheritance) because they last forever, can get beat all to hell, and will likely still get passed down to my kids one day. BUT, I don’t live for it. And I don’t advertise it. And it’s not a topic of conversation. It’s a place to dump a wallet, keys, and lipstick.
When did such immaterial things become the centers of certain people’s universes? Maybe it’s a product of “Detroit/Big City” living? I eschew that sort of thing. But then again, maybe it’s my nightmare.