I’ve never been a book reader. I’m more of a martini drinker. I find that I can’t concentrate long enough to read a book. Call it attention deficit or just plain lazy, but after 5 or 6 pages, my mind is on something else. Which explains why I read the newspapers for the pictures.
But now that I have more time to myself, I’ve tried to start a relationship with the hard and softcover variety of books. I was thinking of getting one of those e-book readers, but no. I don’t enjoy reading THAT much! Maybe in a few months.
The first book I finished was the history of the Rexall corporation, which I blogged about in an earlier post. The book I’m reading now was given to me by my friend Kevin O’Dea who is the night manager at one of my favorite Pam Beach restaurants, Taboo. The book is called The Season: The Secret Life of Palm Beach and America’s Richest Society and so far it’s a hoot.
Living in Palm Beach is a lesson in the surreal. Much like the state of California, the island of Palm Beach is a land onto itself. The residents, for all their money and fame, are often, well… nuts. Young women in their 30’s court men 30+ years their elder. These are the same women who ask men for their net worth before their first name. But it’s not just the women, the men are just as bad. They flaunt their young catch who they just spent thousands on breast augmentation for around like a trophy. It’s been rumored that more Cialis and Viagra is dispensed in Palm Beach during the “high season” than any other city in the country.
I find it entertaining, amusing and sometimes downright comical to socialize alongside these individuals who as one person put it to me one day, “will be very disappointed to wake up one morning and realize that the center of the universe really doesn’t revolve around them.”
I see the rich and famous daily. From the rock star celebs of today to the crooners of yesterday who struggle to maintain their looks but fail miserably. I see the truly rich and the post-Madoff no-longer-rich. I see the old money who dress up every night for dinner and tip 18% to the penny and I see the new money who are just spending their parent’s and grandparent’s money with wild abandon. I see the old stalwarts who command respect as the islands venerable long-time residents and I see the young who’s sole job it is, is to spend their inheritance on sex, drugs and parties. They go through life oblivious to their surroundings and without an ounce of brains or common sense.
I see the infamous as well. Like Frank Gifford’s mistress who gained fame and fortune by sleeping with Mr. Kathy Lee then sold her story to the tabloids. Or the 95 year old couple who just got married because she finally ran out of money because she lived so long and needed to find someone her age to allow her to keep spending. Or the disgraced money managers who were once flying high and now are grounded in jail for stealing their clients money. And who can forget the Palm Beacher who’s husband died during the height of the social season, and not wanting to disrupt her social calendar, had him put him on ice until it was more “convenient” for her to have him buried.
This is Palm Beach. This is the little island that is the subject of the book I’m now engrossed in. What I experience on a daily basis living among the rich and delirious is played out in hard cover with the tales of what goes on down here are vividly recalled by those who were part of the story or those that witnessed it. Many may pick up the book, start reading it and pass it off as fiction.
It’s not fiction. It’s Palm Beach.