August 29, 2008, - 2:55 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Readers, I’m conducting a test of your instincts. If you had the same reaction as I did when reading this, you pass with flying colors. If you didn’t share my reaction, well, reasonable minds can disagree.
This morning, I read “People Who Live in Glass Houses,” a ridiculous sob story about trendy people who have it “hard” because they bought homes with wall-to-wall windows. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It fades their furniture, books, and wood floors. Ya think? So sad, too bad.
I love modern and contemporary design . . . a lot. The IKEA and Frank Lloyd Wright stuff–that’s my kinda interior and exterior design. But it’s not for the stupid, which means ya gotta use some common sense and not decide to literally live in a fishbowl. It’s hard for me to feel sorry for gazillionaires who lack basic intelligence.
But that’s not what struck me. Read this excerpt, and tell me what struck you:
Seeking views, Sara Antani bought a 17th-floor condo last August in a new Manhattan high-rise with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Hudson River.
The sun faded Sara Antani’s sofas and made it tough to read her laptop until she installed shades in her Manhattan high-rise.
She got her vistas. But she got other things she didn’t bargain for. The strong and relentless western light forced her to don sunglasses while reading. It made watching television and using her laptop computer almost impossible. The air conditioning could barely keep the temperature tolerable as sun baked the $1.5 million apartment on summer afternoons. And the sun bleached her pair of brightly colored European sectional sofas, which cost $20,000.
In June, Ms. Antani gave in, spending $12,000 on motorized shades that she keeps lowered during the day. “I love being able to see everything,” says Ms. Antani, a 23-year-old graduate student. But “the sun’s just in your eyes; you can’t focus. Everything is so bright.”
What bothered you about this?
Here’s what bothered me:
How the heck is a 23-year-old grad student able to afford a $1.5 million high rise condo in Manhattan? I thought this only happened on the fictional set of “Friends”.
Where did she get the money for $20,000 European sectional sofas? Or the $12,000 motorized shades?
What does Daddy Antani do for a living . . . ‘cuz you don’t have this kinda largesse as a young grad student (unless you’re the founder of Facebook, and she isn’t.)
These are the questions Wall Street Journal reporter Sara Lin completely missed. And, frankly, she missed the whole story. The bigger story is the answer to those questions, not about how her apartment is too sunny.
And most important: Why in the world should we feel sorry for this 20-something grad student who lives like a Rockefeller?
I’m not a believer in the politics of envy. But let’s get some perspective here.
The other people in the story–they’re investment bankers and business people who earned their money. But this kid?
It’s gauche, especially in tough economic times, to read about a real-life female Richie-Rich 23-year-old whining about how her $20K imported couch is fading. Cry me a frickin’ river.
Is this really the worst or even the 50,000th most pressing problem facing America . . . or even this spoiled young woman?
Only if your world is “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” And that show was canceled long ago. Even Robin Leach is laughing at this whinerette.