I have mentioned money in NYC on Just Like NY a few times already. There is a lot of money here, and people spend lots of it on a variety of weird and stupid things sometimes. (Not the majority of New Yorkers, though; the majority are not wealthy at all.) To be perfectly honest, I don’t care what these people do with their money – they can blow it any way they want to. I used to be envious, then angry, and now I just don’t care. But there is one thing that still annoys me – kids who spend money.
There are many rich families, especially on the Upper East and Upper West Side. But they are also in Midtown (still Manhattan, the 50s and the 60s) where I work now. The kids are 10 or older, and they see exactly what their parents do and copy them. That means they walk into the coffee shop and order whatever they want, which varies from hot chocolate, a croissant with whatever they want, pastry, a fancy sandwich or the newest hit – the Nutella latte. Then they tip you, or not, they say “thank you” and acknowledge you the same way that their parents do – it’s this nod that says, “good job, guys.”
Two days ago, two girls came in (probably 12-13 years old), still in pajamas (“I’m cool, I’m in NY and I can do whatever I want”), ordered an iced latte with almond milk (of course) and an americano. (Girl, how do you even know what americano is? I’d bet money that this is what their moms usually order.) They also ordered two sandwiches, never asking for a price, just handing you their credit card (each girl had her own). They sat for an hour, eating and checking photos on social media on their newest iPhones. Our other location (which is on the Upper East Side – I’ve written about Upper East Side families already) is close to a very expensive private school, and kids over there are used to buying whatever they want, never asking for a price.
I see a lot of these rich kids in Manhattan. And even though I said I don’t care what their parents do with their money, I feel bad for these kids. I know that their parents think they’re making their lives easier, but I believe it’s the opposite. Giving their children access to their money is not helping them at all. All they are learning is that money doesn’t have any value, that it’s easy to get and it’s always there. This is what I think. These kids are already used to the fact that money can buy a lot (if not everything). They act weird, too. They act like adults, they mimic their parents, they think that they’re “in charge,” like their parents are. They all have this weird facial expression – like they’re tired (or bored) all the time.
Looking at them just makes me sad. I look at them and know they will end up like their parents – most likely on medication, with fake lips and Botox every few months and just simply miserable. The thing is that they don’t know that. For them, this is life. And they will never know that there is a different life out there. They will never have access to it. They are surrounded by the same kind of people, they will marry the same kind of people, with the same kind of money. Nothing will change. Then they will have kids, and their kids will get their credit cards and buy the same things at the same stores until there is money in their accounts. And the money will always be there. That’s the way it is here.