George Frederic Watts
I was watching a really assinine program on TV the other day called "The Real Housewives of New York City". I have never seen a more shallow, self-serving bunch of women. The series is described by Bravo TV as "Fearuring an elite and powerful set of New York socialites as they juggle their careers and home lives with busy calendars packed with charity fund-raising galas, the social whirl of the Hamptons, and interviews for elite private schools. These driven and ambitious women show everyone what it takes to make it in the upper echelon of society, where money and status are an essential way of life. The series takes an up-close and personal look at a lifestyle where private chefs, Au Pairs, front row seats at Fashion Week and Hamptons estates are part of everyday life. The Real Housewives of New York City follows five glamorous Manhattan women - Alex, Bethenny, Jill, LuAnn, and Ramona - as they balance motherhood, demanding careers, and a fast-paced social calendar, and shows what life is like in the most exclusive areas of New York."
It was horrible ... It was like watching a train wreck, but I couldn't tear my eyes away.
However, my favorite of the five women is Countess LuAnn de Lesseps. She's not quite the real deal; she did not come from an aristocratic background before she married Alexander Count de Lesseps of the Suez Canal Dynasty, and really, how many Countesses are named LuAnn? But she definitely is a cut above the rest of the women in the group, and she has an understated style and taste that I like. She is very involved in charity work, and particularly with young women whose lives have been derailed by drugs, alcohol and other bad choices. As Countess LuAnn de Lesseps says, "It's not how far you have fallen, but how you get back up."
I think in some way all of us can relate to that. I have certainly gone through some low times in my life. Fortunately I never resorted to drugs or alcohol, but there have been times when I thought nothing would ever be right again. And like the "pay it forward" philosophy, sometimes all it takes is a small amount of encouragement and a kind word from someone else to get us back on track. It gives us hope. But I must confess, I am not as diligent about this as I should be. There is a lot (lot!) more I could be doing to help people who are less fortunate than I am, so I thank Countess LuAnn de Lesseps for reminding me of that.