The Inheritance, Part 1


A ways back, someone asked me what a High WASP was. The WASP part is straightforward. White Anglo Saxon Protestant. The High part is more difficult. I believe my answer was disingenuous and I apologize. I said in a comment I thought High referred to education. This was prevarication on my part. I apologize again. We are raised not to talk about money. But the time comes. Please forgive my bad manners.

Most if not all High WASPs have inherited money. I was 21. My inheritance was the tail end of a once envious family fortune which allowed people at the turn of the century to marry in lace, live on Park Avenue, travel to Africa, and then to write books about their lives with African tribes. I sat in our sun room on a wicker chair. I asked my father whether I would ever have to work. “Mmmmmmmm,” said my father, in that High WASP way fraught with unspoken meaning whose frequency you feel in your nerves but can’t decipher, “Hmmmm. Well. No. Mmmm. Probably not.” That was the end of the discussion. Of course, he was wrong. But never mind that. These things happen.

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4 Comments

  • 03/24/09
    10:12 am

    Reply

    Judy said...

    Is there a certain amount of inheritance that qualifies one as High WASP? Or is it the mere fact that it passes through several generations, and / or how it was earned?

    I am not asking about your finances, to be sure. That is for you and your banker.

  • 03/24/09
    10:13 am

    Reply

    Judy said...

    May I ask where you went to school? Of course I may ask. You are not obligated to tell me, of course. It’s your blog.

  • 03/24/09
    1:41 pm

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Where I went to school? Yes, that’s a question we ask a lot. Enough that it should have it’s own post. Coming soon.

  • 03/24/09
    7:02 pm

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Iyeeee! I used the wrong form of its. Hang my head in shame! Put me in the stocks! Iyeee! These are the kinds of things nightmares about going to school without clothing are made of.

    03/25/11
    7:50 pm
    Danielle said...

    LPC, your writing is so wonderful, full of meaning, intelligence and beautiful imagery, that you’re allowed to make grammar slip-ups on occasion. We’re lucky to read your work exactly as it is.

    03/26/11
    10:08 am
    Lisa said...

    You have a very generous self. Thank you.

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