DEAR MISS MANNERS: I read on CNN about the new health study that shows drinking white wine increases the risk of melanoma by 13 percent overall for white people and 73 percent for melanoma on the torso. I am ashamed to say that my initial reaction was to gloat. I was down at the Legion Hall for a Christmas party and boasted to a friend about how those rich folks were going to get what they deserve. My wife gave me a terrible tongue lashing for wealth-shaming. Now I’m wondering if I was insensitive. What are your thoughts?
If it matters, I am a white, unemployed coal miner in Kentucky where we drink PBR (that’s Pabst Blue Ribbon, ma’am) when it’s on sale at the IGA.
GENTLE READER: If Miss Manners believed in standing ovations, which she does not, she would applaud you. Congratulations for calling on your higher self and your Christian values to find love and charity for America’s one-percenters. No, they are not easy to like. But, life is not a game of Clue and we must not cheer when Warren Buffet bites it in the conservatory with a Chardonnay. Being rich and white looks effortless in the movies. Gentle Reader, Miss Manners can assure you it’s not.
Miss Manners recalls how Friar Laurence takes pity on the fair Juliet, both white and wealthy, in a vain attempt to reunite her with her beloved Romeo. The burdens of the rich are indeed many. Have you ever gone to Neiman Marcus, only to find that they have run out of your favorite moisturizer? Of course not. Walgreens always keeps your Jergens in stock. Wealth brings so many disappointments.
Have you ever had your housekeeper shrink your favorite angora sweater? And, then, had to watch her beg for forgiveness as you have the butler pack her belongings and escort her, sobbing, to the front gate to catch the bus back to wherever she lives with those five, fatherless children? Life for the wealthy can be indescribably wrenching.
Have you had to learn to eat escargot and drink scotch straight up? Has your personal chef ever served you chicken cordon bleu when you were in the mood for filet mignon and duchess potatoes? Of course not. Every night you can get what you want in the drive-thru at Hardees. Wealth means you live at the whims and expectations of others.
Does your budget include $2,500 a month for dues at the country club? And, then you catch your sweet young trophy wife doing it with the tennis pro or the pool boy? Of course not. Have you ever had to divorce your trophy wife for infidelity, wishing you could throw her sorry, shapely derriere back where she came from but for the fact that the prenup guarantees her alimony of $50,000 a month for life? Of course not, that’s more than you make in an entire year. How could you empathize with the injustice?
Gentle Reader, charity begins in the home. Being able to afford chardonnay or pinot grigio should not condemn one to death by melanoma. In this season of giving, examine your heart. If you truly regret your callousness and indecent behavior, consider a GoFundMe Campaign for those poor unfortunate souls born with silver spoons in their mouths. Help end white wine induced torso melanoma among wealthy whites. Then, go enjoy that PBR with Miss Manner’s blessings.
Gretchen Martens is a DCH graduate who performs with Been There Done That and Brain Wearing Pants. When she’s not working as an executive coach and trainer, she writes satire for her blog www.PotatoNationUSA.com. She is finishing her first play, sanINity, an irreverent look at losing a loved one to mental illness.
(Image: Ashley Webb, CC by 2.0)