Monday, 11 January 2010

Different lives

I read a very touching post over at my blogbuddy `Behind Blue Eyes`, first thing this morning. It was a very interesting and well observed comment, spookily encapsulating something I was pondering over the weekend. You should nip over and read it. As I was free from my own work over the weekend, I helped out a friend and drove one of his fleet of `wedding` cars. It was a bloody V8 top of the range supercharged Range Rover - oh the indignity of it all after all I've written about these behemoths, but that said, I would not have managed the frozen, snow laden roads in the usual Bentley, even though a supercharged V8 in snow is about as much use as a chocolate teapot - give me a short wheelbase Land Rover anyday! I arrived to collect the bride at the family home, an 8'ish bedroomed, security-gated mini stately home in Bigcitysuburb. Guests were being bussed to the wedding and reception in 56-seater coaches - we are talking big budget, the sort of affluence that could easily slot into the jealousy/comparison sentiments "Blue Eyes" wrote about over at his blog. His observations really did slot perfectly into my own experience of the weekend and has prompted me to jot it all down before heading off to work. It's a toss-up, but I think I will be travelling in on the bus today, judging from the unpredictably dicey roads in town yesterday. "Seen any mad old bikers lately?" No, because the mad ones aren't old and the old ones aren't mad. My involvement with this wedding family amounted to barely 5 hours, yet I was struck by what delightful people they were. Beautiful, relaxed, cool-as-a-cucumber bride; equally lovely but `in-a-flap` and ever so slightly dotty bridesmaid/sister; utterly charming, elegant yet friendly and totally down-to-earth (widowed) mother of the bride and doting Grandma who was just a total sweetie. The drive to and from the venue was accompanied by happy conversations and chit-chat that I was graciously involved in from time to time. By the time we arrived at the venue we knew quite a bit about each other. After what was quite a long service there followed a 30 minute journey with the brand new Mr and Mrs on board. I finally dropped them off at the reception venue, politely declining several genuine invitations from mother and grandma to join them for some food. As I trundled back home through the aforementioned frozen roads and snow laden countryside, I felt nothing but pleasure at having met such lovely people and I quietly wished the Bride and Groom health and happiness in their life together. I have met more affluent families whilst doing these jobs, families who were totally devoid of human kindness, communication skills and basic social graces and who I was glad to see the back of. I have also encountered people who have clearly had to dig deep into shallow, empty pockets to give their daughters a memorable day. For my part, I was warmed by the fact that I'd shared a miniscule part of the lives of who I perceived were just charming, unassuming, delightful people and although clearly not short of a scheckel or three, were totally unpretentious. I could so easily have felt resentment or jealousy for their considerable financial wealth compared to my own and speculated over the lifestyle they could afford and then compared it to my own and get all bitter and twisted, but I didn't. They put me in a very pleasant frame of mind, simply because of how they were. I think people should stop watching Coronation Street and Eastenders

13 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Hurrah! You kept us waiting but it was worth it in the end! Thanks for the link. Proud to be named a "blogbuddy" by The Great Hogday.

Hogday said...

Blue, you are building up quite a bar tab for me, with all these nice comments. I'm on a pension, you know!

Blue Eyes said...

No, it's me who owes you beers!

dickiebo said...

Total agreement - about Coronation st etc.
Personally, I think it will be better if you both buy a round!

Lana Banana said...

a cut and paste, i'm afraid, of what i said on blue eyes' blog:

it's not just the uk that's "stuffed with envy." it's the world over. america is just as bad, if not, dare i say, worse.

i'll say this: it's not bad to have nice things. it's bad to have nice things when you think they're some sort of replacement for other, more important things, such as love, respect, honesty, family, friendship and hard work.

and i know A LOT of rich people (i'm not one of them and i don't bemoan that fact) and i have to say, most are a pretty unhappy lot (this includes one of my brothers, alas). i know but a scant few, who, like the family hog day wrote about, are truly happy.

what separates them?

those who see money for what it is: a thing. no more, no less. again, people who are wealthy AND unhappy are that way because they've allowed money and materials to substitute for life's more precious commodities.

Hogday said...

Lana: Bloody humanity, what can we do about it?

powdergirl said...

Shit, now I have to figure out what the hell coronation street and eastenders is. I can't keep up to you guys.

But yeah, I know happy rich people, happy poor people, and either greedy or envious Miserables from every walk of life as well.

Money's funny, but when you want to buy something its really handy, as it can make you much more comfortable in either misery or happiness. Go figure.

Hogday said...

PG: Don't bother finding out, your life will be richer for that. Well I know Coronation Street (aka `Corrie`)has a following over there. 2 yrs ago I was in The Knot pub in Lunenburg NS when this truck driver heard my accent and sidled over to me, confirmed I was British and then said, "What's happening in Corrie, its 12 months behind over here". She was most upset when I told her I didn't watch it and, furthermore, never had. Almost caused a diplomatic incident - and she was bigger than me too.

Stressed Out Cop said...

So come on How Big a Tip did you get offered?

Blue Eyes said...

Enough to get the beers in, I suspect!!

Hogday said...

SOC and Blue: [With a genuine chuckle in my typing fingertips] I can say that since I've been doing these occasional wedding jobs for my pal, I have never been tipped! I guess the poor family have seen enough money fly out the bank by the time they get to wave her off! PS: and 4 hours worth of Bentleys and Range Rovers don't come cheap either ;)

Blue Eyes said...

Or maybe the Northernshire stereotype is true!

Hogday said...

Blue, you mean the definition of a Yorkshireman? A Scotsman with all the generosity wrung out of him?