Whatever anyone says, and however many problems they have, the New York Times is still the most reliable overall source of news around. It arrives on my doorstep (or nearby) faithfully every morning, sometimes to be read right then, sometimes that evening and sometimes not all week.
I cannot bear to throw those un- or partially read papers away though until I’ve at least skimmed them—what if a most astounding piece of information—that I needed to know—never reached my eye.
Last week for example, I found a story in the Thursday Home section about the bathroom habits of the rich and famous who occupy Manhattan’s skyscrapers. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” Yes, they are if we can judge them by their bathrooms. Of course these bathrooms must be the exception or they wouldn’t have warranted a major story. Still.
Wow. Stark. Hard shiny materials and glass walls overlooking downtown or Central Park. The enormous sculpted bathtub stands regally alone near the window, not a wooly warming thing in sight—or even a half-used bar of soap. Your rich skinny body springs from the tub, miraculously cleansed and dried and you and the world gaze upon each other as equals.
There’s more. Some of these unique bathrooms for unique people with unique amounts of dollars and pounds and euros and Yuan and rubles have resoundingly smashed that silly old middle-class privacy thing. They have glass walls showcasing themselves and every physical act including, in one building, toilets directly across from each other, with nothing blocking the view…of your friend, partner, loved one ‘doing their business’ as my dad referred to those old outhouse functions. How I long to be that rich.
So you out there with your windowless bathrooms with cushy bathmats and fluffy towels and wall heaters and little potpourri pots and pictures of kittens and nymphs, you are just so 99%.
See, if I didn’t go through those papers growing over there on the corner of the couch I would have missed that. And never known how pitifully non-rich and unsophisticated I am.