Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are you rich?

While an economic crisis is among us, many people find themselves cutting finances and equipping their budgets for what might happen next. But not Jill Zarin. You may recognize her as one of the main ladies of The Real Housewives of New York.

The show, a guilty pleasure of mine, depicts the lives of a handful of well-to-do women and their families surviving in NYC. I've always looked to this show as a no-thinking-needed source of entertainment drama, but I most always find myself jealous of these women and the "Sex and the City" lives that they lead. Today, I changed my mind.

I've tried for 20 minutes to find the exact interview online to share with you, but I have failed. I hope that my depiction works almost as well.

BBC on Sirius Radio went on "tour" interviewing people on how the economy is hurting their lives and what adjustments they have had to make. Let me just warn you, Jill Zarin's adjustments might make your jaw drop.

Maybe it was the fact that she had to reduce her charity event tickets to, at the least, $300. Maybe it was because she considers marrying into the Zarin name (her husband is an incredibly wealthy NYC fabric guru) "working her way to the top". Or maybe it's her father's words of wisdom that she follows on a daily basis: If you spend less than you have, you will always be rich.

Let me tell you, ripped her apart on that one, saying, "I'm pretty sure that a mother of two working three jobs with $50 in her bank account doesn't feel rich."

Or how about this gem? “Considering the economy right now, I don’t think it’s appropriate to spend a fortune of money on my birthday present.” — This would be a great lesson if the gift she had settled on wasn’t a $16,000 purse. Later in the episode, Jill’s husband got her an SUV to round out this “frugal” birthday.

Dear Jill, you have officially made me sick. As far as I am concerned, you should stop giving financial advice. You have not met my family, nor do you have any idea of the struggles that we, even just as middle-class people, go through. Nor do you have ANY idea of the struggles that people are going through in the classes below us.

My mother, a youth minister in one of the worst neighborhoods of Inner-City Cleveland, is in-love with her job. She is also in love with being a mom and raising three teenage kids. How she supports us on a youth-minister's budget I will NEVER know. But, if you ask my mom if she's rich, she'll say yes.

My Mom has always told me that rich has many different meanings: money-rich is just one.

After ranting on, I've realized that I just feel sorry for Ms. Zarin. Through the many shows and interviews that I have watched involving her, not one has shown her indulging in the richness of family, love, struggles, or exploration, where money is not involved. Though my family may not be financially rich, we indulge ourselves in the above riches every single day.

I will always have a backbone because I know that it is like to struggle and to make it without financial stability. I have felt what it is like to love and be loved without money involved. I have been able to have fun with my friends in a Wal-Mart parking lot, without having to spend $300 for entertainment. I know what it is like to be rich without money. I think that is as rich as you can get.


  1. i don't like that she has my name. makes me feel like you're yelling at me! :(