Bonus Life, or Upper East Side Women

As soon as you start to think that New York is a hub of independent, self-reliant people, doing all they can to reach their goal and a job of their dreams, you learn that there are women in Manhattan whose paths will probably never get crossed with your own.

These women are thirty-something, live in Upper East Side, between 63rd and 94th Street, near Lexington Avenue. They have graduated from good universities, have a good sense of humor and are smart. They frequent the gym often and take care of themselves, and so they look much younger than they are. They wear designer clothes and drop their kids off to school wearing them (they won’t be caught dead wearing jeans).

They are married to well-situated men and first of all are the mothers of their children. I say “first of all” to stress that this is the essence of their life choice. Their motto is: “I could work, but I don’t have to”. Their home becomes their headquarters, run by them like a successful business venture. Kids are an investment for them, so their upbringing is their chief priority – they get their money from their husbands. Not only can they use their credit cards (I strongly believe each card has a set limit), but also get yearly bonuses. For what? That’s an individual issue of each marriage (defined in a prenup), but mostly for “good management of the house” and “taking care of kids attending good schools”.

These women keep close to each other and often organize shared dinners, coffee breaks, parties, or even trips on their private jets, always color-coordinating their outfits. It often happens that during shared dinners with other couples men keep to their table and women to theirs, each placed in a separate room (supposedly both sides prefer this solution). These marriages sound to me more like business deals or rather deals between a Master and a mistress: the master gives the orders and the mistress follows, being paid rather handsomely. Incomprehensible? Still, I can imagine that there are many women who would accept such deal and many who actually dream of it. They assume that they don’t need to do anything (since it’s the man that’s the “hunter”) and that they can do a lot with the received money. What they don’t realize is that the real price they pay is freedom and personality – but then, those things are not easily measurable in their market value.

A piece on the subject: