Valentine’s Day must be former billionaire Tim Blixseth’s least favorite day of the year. The 67-year-old timber baron turned real estate developer has not exactly been, you might say, lucky in love.
Many years ago, my then-lover (and later wife of 34 more years) walked into a Hallmark store on Valentine’s Day and started reading cards to each other at random. Some were funny, while others were profound or just generically sentimental.
We walked out holding hands, having spent not a penny (we had met while working at our local emergency room, and were barely getting by). When we told my mother what we had done to celebrate, she was appalled. We assured her it was okay.
“If you gain fame, power, and wealth, you won’t have any trouble finding lovers,” as Slater wrote in his 1980 book Wealth Addiction, “but they will be people who love fame, power, or wealth.”
As I read this piece, this was the thought that welled up. It wasn’t just Mr. Blixseth whose heart was empty, but all the Mrs. Blixseths. They deserve each other, and let them prey upon each other and dig out their fortunes with pieces of each others back sides. Should Quasimodo win the Powerball all the Milanias and Megyn Kellys (or pick your favorite fabulously beautiful social climber) would be hanging off his misshapen arm, all moon-faced.
Having not read The Hunchback of Notre Dame I suspect I’ve done a great disservice to the heart and sensibilities of the character of Quasimodo.
Great little story Guild. Why was your mother appalled? Did she think you “stole” something from Hallmark?
No, she was worried—being an utterly conventional person—that our relationship was in trouble because we didn’t celebrate in the conventional way, by actually spending money on a card, chocolates and costume jewelry. She came around eventually, which is all to her credit.
Really, I am consistently amazed. Who cares about people like these? It’s interesting to read the article. But after the first few sentences about the ski club it’s kind of like reading about souls made of cardboard My grandmother fled the Russian Revolution as a girl. Even though she had most of her family killed by Bolsheviks, to her last day she always told my brothers and I “We had too much.” She was of the landowning gentry in Russia, and that meant living REALLY well in comparison to most of society. The wealth worship Reagan drilled into the brains of Americans has brought us untold misery, and now Trump. Honestly I don’t care if people like these live or die. Mostly they are already dead.
Love Me (Legal) Tender
You nailed it, Walter!
I read a chilling article about Jackie Kennedy while waiting for a med appointment. Seems that Jackie O broke up with a boyfriend in the 1950s. Using her mother’s “advice” she dumped him because he did not make enough money! He made what would be equivalent to 160000 in today’s dollars. Love did not matter ; only money.
Yes, that “advice” seems to have trickled down to the working class since then.