Sunday, May 27, 2007

Friday night with the family.

"I'm not going to apologize."

"I don't want you to apologize. I just want you to stop yelling at me."

"Can't do that."

"Why not?"

"Part of the job of being a dad. Union rules."

I shoved another piece of steak in my mouth and while I chewed I began to collect my thoughts trying to figure out a way to get my dad to back off without screaming at him. It was last Friday night ( Not yesterday) and I was trying not shovel my food and get out. I was going to make the effort to hold my composure.

"Isn't nice to have a pleasant conversation over steaks." said my mother as she poured her 2nd glass of wine.

A client of my father's had just come back from Kansas on a business trip and brought back a surplus of porterhouses that would choke Rosie O'Donnell. Unfortunately, Dad is on a strict no meat diet and had to give them away to his partners but Mom allowed the treat of having steak for one night. It was no coincidence that it was the night I was visiting them.

My Dad loves red meat. He practically lived on Mickey D's cheeseburgers for his first year in law school. A couple of years ago the doctor said that he was on the express elevator to hell if he kept up with his diet from law school. So Mom put the kibosh on dead cow. However, every now and then she allows my Dad to treat himself.

I watched my Dad carve a piece of bloody rare meat with the skill of neurosurgeon. He would then raise to his lips and then pause in the anticipation of eating it and then he would slowly put it in his mouth. It didn't seem like he was chewing but more like he was rolling it in his mouth like it was wine. He seemed to be a zen like trance as he savored the steak.

Then realized why she wanted me to come to dinner on Friday. Since steak was such a treat my Dad would more focused in eating it rather than screaming at me. Even he was jabbing away at me with his words, they seem to be less pointed and sharp.

I looked at my Mom. She seemed relaxed but I realized her guard wasn't down. She had barely touched her steak and instead was more focused on both us and adjusting the grasp on her wine glass. She wasn't going to play referee, but she was ready to break us up if things got heated.

I swallowed my steak and my anger and spoke.

"Why were you so worked up over my finances during Passover?"

"Because you are not paying attention to them."

"I have a trust fund. It is no big deal."

My Dad stopped chewing and put his knife and fork down. He then looked at my Mother who smiled at him. But it wasn't a friendly, it was the smile that said "Watch it." I remember seeing Mother flash that smile many times as a child when I would whine in front of company or do something that made her look bad.

Then my father looked at me trying hold on to the zen like trance his steak had given him.

"Do you remember Vanity Case?" My Father asked.

It's not her real name. But I gave her that nick name because she was constantly primping herself whenever I saw her at parties. She was obsessed with being made up to the point she would sneak off to Henri Bendel when she was at Horace Mann. She ended up going to FIT, then dropped out because she realized she wanted to be a fashion model rather than a fashion designer. But that was unlikely to happen since she was 5'4.

"Yeah. She wanted to be a model, I am not sure how that worked out."

"Well she was, in Japan." My father said cutting another piece of steak.

"That's not surprising, she probably fulfilled their height requirements."

My Dad began to pick away at his garlic mashed potatoes. It was as if he was wondering he should eat the potatoes or talk. He chose the latter.

"A week before Passover her father called me in tears. Apparently Vanity Case was a victim of a very unscruplous financial advisor."

Dad began to stir around his garlic mashed potatoes and stared at it.

As he continued the story, I began to cringe because I have heard this story many a time.

At a party in Ibizia the snake wrapped himself around Vanity Case and that night convinced Vanity Case that she was in need of her services. Apparently he was quite convincing because she handed him the reigns of her entire portfolio.

A couple months later she gets an email stating from the snake what she wants to do with her remaining 15 grand which completely freaked out Vanity Case since she had so much more money than that. Now they are in the process of suing the snake, but my Dad thinks it is a lost cause because Snake can just argue that he was following the orders of Vanity Case. He rambled on with some more legalese but basically Vanity Case is pretty much f**ked.

I don't like to advertise who I am and that I have a trust fund. Okay. I talk about it waaay to much on my blog. But I avoid talking about it in public and only discuss it with close friends and family. Because it attracts the wrong type of attention.

In college there was a boy I knew who let it be known that he was a trust fund baby. Even though people who never met him, as soon as they heard his name they assumed he was a jerk. He ended up rushing for the same fraternity three times. But they never acceted him. The only reason why they kept him around was that he always bought everyone pot.

People already assume your rich or well off when you tell them you live in New York City. I already have enough drama in my life already. The worst are hanger ons. Especially in the Hamptons. You get people trying to crash parties or sneaking into houses. It's really annoying.

"Dad." I said.

My Father looked up from his plate. There was a lost look on his face.

"I'll take better care of my finances."

"I hope so. Because if I get that call, I'll have a heart attack."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you've heard about Mrs. Atkins, the widow of the diet Dr. Atkins.
She has about 10 million a month income, had 3 idiots in charge of her trust fund, married a known gold-digger and now is watching as they fight over who is in charge of her money.
Obviously she's not.

5:40 AM  

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