An Ode To Slippers, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:51am


 


I love my slippers. They keep my feet warm. More than that, they make me feel loved. Something about the meeting of sheepskin and foot skin.

My father loves slippers too. So much so, that for his 75th birthday each of his 4 children gave him slippers. He had an actual party, meaning non-family, and entertainment. A shindig. Public present opening. (High WASPs don’t say gift. We say present. I don’t know why. Maybe because there is a gift industry.) But we wanted to give him slippers, so we did. He opened 4 boxes, one at a time, while we 4 adult kids doubled over in less-than-silent laughter around the room. The joke was not so obvious to everyone else, maybe, but we thought we were hilarious.

To the point where, the other night, when we were gathered to celebrate my brother’s and my birthdays, my father was telling a story. It involved a friend of his, who had a son-in-law with financial resources. “Guess what (my friend) got for Christmas,” said my father, gleefully. “Slippers?” we chorused. “A driver,” said my father. He was not referring to golf clubs.

For High WASPs at a certain point on the family fortune slope, slippers are the new drivers. Without all that human folderol either.

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25 Comments

  • 10/17/09
    10:40 am

    Reply

    class-factotum said...

    Do High WASPS use "gift" as a verb?

  • 10/17/09
    2:45 pm

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    Maya said...

    I love my slippers too! And it sounds like you have a nice relationship with your father as well (unlike me).

  • 10/17/09
    2:58 pm

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    Maureen@IslandRoar said...

    I too, love my slippers. Yours look nice and cozy.

  • 10/17/09
    5:56 pm

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    Anonymous said...

    Just FYI, people of "privilege" certainly don't talk about the things you do on this blog. Real money doesn't discuss fashion and name drop brands as you do. My next door neighbors son goes to Princeton. His father is simply a pediatrician. His father would probably not mention Princeton once during a dinner party. All of our neighbors children go to good colleges, including my own three. We don't brag. Real money would never name drop or brag. Consider someone like Caroline Kennedy. Could you imagine her having authored even one of your posts? Join the Junior League and try giving back to those less fortunate. They will teach you all about life. Those from "privilege" know modesty becaue they have learned it from the true masters of old money.

  • 10/17/09
    7:44 pm

    Reply

    materfamilias said...

    I came here to comment nicely about slippers — mine are sheepskin as well, but are falling apart finally and I need a new pair.
    Instead (of commenting nicely about slippers), I find myself trying to avoid making nasty comments about people who can't use apostrophes correctly to signal possession — one of my pet peeves which I usually do my best to hide.
    More than ever, I appreciate what you do on this blog, the fresh perspective you offer on class, on privilege, on money, on the modesty that stays quiet, secretive even, to preserve a status quo.
    Now where are my slippers . . .

  • 10/17/09
    8:12 pm

    Reply

    Joyce Lau said...

    For a funny six months of my life, I spent much time around old-moneyed Brits.

    It was explained to me that only the middle class / aspiring wannabe upper class seriously fretted over what one could say or not say, whether it would be gauche to mention the brand of your purse or that your kid went to Oxford. The worst offense of all? Being so concerned about class issues that you would point out someone else's faux pas.

    These people didn't beat around the bush. Ask where their kids went, and they'd say Oxford. Ask where they had dinner, and they'd name the most expensive restaurant in town — without bragging, without fuss. They'd stand there in their muddy cheap Wellies and casually mention their family manor — and would you like to ride the family horses?

    These old Brits would never make a nasty remark after someone's sweet story about dear old dad.

    They had the most excellent slippers I had ever seen.

  • 10/17/09
    9:59 pm

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    elizabeth said...

    He he! There's privilege that's so secure that you can examine it, turn it around, see how the light shines over it, deconstruct it. And it will still stand, confidently, solidly because it was built over time and even if the money trickles away, the privilege won't.

    Then there's the angst of seeing those secure manors on the hill, striving to reach them, but never quite reaching the serenity that privilege grants.

  • 10/18/09
    5:26 am

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    Jill said...

    And you thought this post was just about slippers! LPC…we love you. Your readers get what your blog is about and we keep coming back for more.

    And to those born to priviledge and feel the need to remain anonymous…remember the old adage…if you can't say something kind, keep your fucking mouth shut!

  • 10/18/09
    5:58 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Let me say that there is so no sound sweeter than that of friends closing ranks. Thank you very, very much. Let me also say that since you have done such a good job, I won't try to fight what Anonymous says. I am going to take the luxury my friends have given me of pointing out how Anon has a (limited, I am not a saint) point. I am *not* supposed to be saying what I am saying. Not because it's "not the done thing," that's absurd, but because I *am* sort of showing off. I know that. I get a thrill I am ashamed of when I show you pictures of my stuff and tell you my pedigree.

    But, it's what I know, it's what I need to say for my own maturation, it's a culture prone to too much silence, it's what people here seem to enjoy, and I am not saying it to exclude but to entertain. We're a dying class and have joined the ranks of the barbarians at the gate. As I have said before, it's a cultural yard sale. Privilege hasn't made me any better than anyone else. But there are certain benefits that I acknowledge I have received somewhat unfairly. I tell myself I am giving back by writing this. Maybe it's cheating, because I'm also enjoying it, but really, honestly, at some point in life fun ought to be allowed as long as no one is harmed. Shame has its use, but should also have its limits.

    What I say is as true as I can make it. I do not claim that it matters.

  • 10/18/09
    6:38 am

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    materfamilias said...

    Bravo, LPC! Can I just say that I normally would not, emphatically not, criticize someone for failing to use an apostrophe. It's just that when claims of class and good colleges are being made, and someone I admire is being scolded . . . well, you know what they say about glass houses.

  • 10/18/09
    7:27 am

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    class-factotum said...

    Just out of curiosity — who makes the rules about what "real money" does and does not do? Is there an Academie Francaise of cash?

    PS If I had kids and they went to Princeton, I would totally mention it. I would be so proud. To deliberately not say something like that because you think someone else might be offended is so patronizing. "Oh — that poor man. His kids are plumbers. He must be ashamed. I will not insult him with my superiority. I must watch every word I say lest he cry in my awesome presence."

  • 10/18/09
    8:37 am

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    Tea and Margaritas in My Garden said...

    I`m glad I found your blog, personally. Although I am not a member of the "Privileged" in this sense, (although I consider myself very grateful and privileged in the sense of good health, two 77 year old parents that are still healthy, family and a cozy roof over my head and food and still a job, (be it a hard and crap one) lol).. I really enjoy reading about someone who is living a higher more secure lifestyle. It`s a different life altogether than worrying about bills etc. A fun and intriguing read and I say that sincerely. Keep it going and don`t let something one person says, put you off because there are definitely lots of people enjoying it as I do :)

    tea

  • 10/18/09
    11:58 am

    Reply

    Anonymous said...

    Anon is just a troll. However, I thought all good pedigree comes from the East Coast. California? I don't think so. Stumbled upon this blog and can't quite figure it out yet. We're well to do, but I don't notice anyone acting this way. The comment about the old brit in her wellies sounds much more true in my opinion. Come Summer on the Cape, you will see how it's really done. I am not sure I believe this woman, but I do get a kick out of the few posts that I have read thus far.

    Liz, Boston/Cape

  • 10/18/09
    1:01 pm

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    What a Splurge said...

    They look toasty!

  • 10/18/09
    3:14 pm

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    LPC said...

    Thanks again all. Slippers are on my feet as we speak:). Just one thing. I have to ask. Why would I make all this up? If I had such a vivid imagination I would want to be a novelist…But as long as you get a kick out of it all, I suppose it's OK if you don't believe me.

  • 10/18/09
    4:20 pm

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    Her Preppiness said...

    Love your blog. Very impressive that you went to Princeton. So did my brother. That's something to be very proud of.

  • 10/18/09
    7:20 pm

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    Judy said...

    Through correspondence with LPC, I have figured out who her family is. It is shot through with some signers of the Declaration and drafters of the Constitution, prominent government and business leaders, and astounding wealth. It is shot through with multi-generational Ivy League degrees, educational / scholarly / literary accomplishments, patronage of the arts, and old-school society involvement. It is shot through with apartments in the finest areas of NYC and summer houses of the Newport mansion style. Whoever these anons are who doubt her, they are completely off base. She is exactly who she is, and I couldn't be more delighted to read her musings. Special note to First Anonymous: Being well-to-do, upper middle class, pediatrician-or-equivalent isn't what we're talking about here. Special note to Second Anonymous: People can move from the East Coast to California.

  • 10/19/09
    6:06 am

    Reply

    cdclaycomb said...

    Wow. One of the greatest gifts in life is the abillity to laugh at oneself.

    Evidently, Anonymous #1 skipped the passage in Emily Post regarding how rude it is to point out what one perceives as the crassness of another.

    I think I'll skip it as well and point out that it must be incredibly hard to troll the internet, depositing ugly toady words upon the blogs of others, whilst standing with an enormous stick up one's a**.

    I truly love your blog LPC.

  • 10/19/09
    8:53 am

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    LPC said...

    Thank you all very much. I really love writing this, so it's a double thank you.

  • 10/19/09
    2:04 pm

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    petitechablis said...

    As someone who married into a family much like LPC's, I am very, very happy she has chosen to write this blog. It has given me much insight into my wonderful in-laws and their values. And it is precisely because so few people are comfortable discussing these things that makes LPC's blog unique, and that is precisely why I admire her and value what she writes. So I'll add my thanks to the pile.

  • 10/19/09
    2:36 pm

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    Tickled Pink And Green said...

    Love the slippers. And I just posted something and thought of you, Miss Skye Peale.
    ;-)

  • 10/19/09
    4:46 pm

    Reply

    Mrs. G said...

    Love the slippers, love the post, love your blog and all but a couple of the comments. Friends closing rank are priceless.

  • 10/19/09
    8:54 pm

    Reply

    Buckeroomama said...

    I totally missed this post on account of the manic weekend I had. After reading through the two Anonymous comments, I can but roll my eyes.

    I am in total agreement with all those who commented in your support. This is your blog and you can write about anything you want. Your readers can either take it or leave it. As for what you do choose to write about –whether you talk about fashion, about parenthood, about anything under the sun, really, –I just want to say please, please continue on. I so enjoy reading your posts. How you write, your special way with words, and your unique way of looking at things are as much the reasons we keep coming back for more as the topics that you choose to write about.

  • 10/20/09
    12:15 pm

    Reply

    the Preppy Princess said...

    Silly me, I was suffering fom the misguided notion we were all grownups, beyond the need to make judgments from afar about persons and situations we do not know. The choice to do so anonymously only serves to make the conduct even more egregious.

    As I have said previously Miss LPC, I adore you and your writing, you know you'll always have my support. And if you elect to bend the rules regarding calling attention to oneself, that is your decision, no one else's. Besides, how can one have any fun if they never-ever-ever-ever stray outside the lines?

    You go girl, with grins, giggles, and loads of hugs from these quarters!
    tp

    PS: The whole to-do made me completely forget to mention the Christmas at my father's very similar to the slippers; he received three boxes of grapefruit. He was not amused.

  • 10/22/09
    8:19 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    'simply a pediatician'?

    kinda harsh…..what would Caroline Kennedy think????

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