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Want To Feel Good About Your Life? November 21, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, People, Sustainable Living.
43 comments

Want to feel good about your life? 

Watch The Queen of Versailles and you’ll feel like YOUR life is GOLDEN.

This documentary is an eye-popping look at narcissistic consumerism gone wrong. 

The couple, David Siegel, a 74-year-old business mogul who sits at the helm of Westgate Resorts (timeshares), and Jackie Siegel,  his 44-year-old trophy wife, a former Miss Florida, share a home in Orlando Florida with eight spoiled pampered  kids and a number of neglected animals ~ two of which are now stuffed and on display.

The couple, rich beyond their wildest dreams, have all the trappings of wealth ~ a private jet, chauffeured limousine, 19 house servants, several nannies, a cook, etc.
 
They live in a 27,000 sq. ft. house.   But that’s not nearly B~I~G enough for this couple addicted to conspicuous consumption.

As the tale unfolds, they share their plans for a new 90,000 sq. ft. home with an obscene number of rooms . . . including an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, an orchestra pit, 17 bathrooms, and 10 kitchens.

It is to be the largest private residence in the United States . . . a modern day palace to rival Versailles.

At a cost of . . . $100,000,000.

The filmmaker asks a good question, “Why build a house so big?”  Siegel replies, “Because I can.”

Everything is golden until, halfway through the project, the stock market collapses and the real estate bubble bursts.  Their goose stops laying golden eggs and implodes.  Money dries up.  Life as they know it is over. 

But the cameras keep rolling.

Ensuing scenes reveal how dysfunctional this narcissistic ego-driven shallow family has become while milking their cash cow:

* Dogs wander the house, pooping as they please.  No one cleans up the pet mess because . . . that’s not their job.  They are not “pooper-scoopers.”

* The oldest “child” (age 18)  fails to give her pet lizard food or water.  It dies  alone in a barren tank.  In a bizarre attempt to deflect criticism for her ostensible neglect, the spoiled brat flounces from the room, “I’m sorry I’m such a horrible person.”  

She says it twice.  

She didn’t even need to say it once for most viewers to recognize that she is both a sorry excuse for a human being AND a horrible person.

* To save money, Jackie shops for Christmas at Wal-Mart.  She exits the store with five shopping carts overflowing with all manner of unnecessary items.  Not one of this and two of that.  No.  Despite the perilous financial precipice she’s perched upon, she buys six of this game, seven of that game, eight new bikes (to join 23 bikes already languishing in the couple’s  oversized overstuffed  garage), and who knows what else.  

I watched in horrified fascination to the bitter end. 
It made me glad to be ME.

May it do the same for you.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more:  The Queen of Versailles ~ The Best Film on the Great Recession (The Washington Post) * Last Words (The Daily Prompt) * Buy Less. Do More

The Sand Causes The Pearl November 21, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Magick & Mystery.
41 comments

A Terrible Horrible Awful Very Bad Day continues . . .

As I walked into the hall bath, feeling wrung out, harsh words reverberated across time and space: 

I hate you.  
I’ve always hated you.

You’re not the way I wanted to be.

I gulped as these words surfaced from . . . where??? 

I remembered thinking them as a teen.  But now?  Why surface now?

Had they been lurking about all this time?  Trapped in the dark recesses of imprisoned emotions?  Loitering about my psyche? 

To what end had they surfaced now?  Today? 

Engulfed by the day’s events, I stared at my reflection and blinked to stem the tide of tears.  No luck.  The waterfall broke free.  I ran to BFF, planning to use him as an approved flotation device, a life-preserver, while spilling out a stream of consciousness between torrents of tears. 

Tired from treading water all day, BFF pushed  me away.  He offered no solace or comfort.  He turned and walked out of the room.  He couldn’t be there for me.  Not right then.  Not at that moment.

Alone with my thoughts, anger flickered.  I fed the flames.  How dare he?  How dare he not be there for me when I needed him?  How dare he push me away?

And, then, an epiphany dawned, breaking through Ego’s angry litany like a rainbow after the rain:

It’s not HIS job to be there for you.  That’s YOUR job.

As those words surfaced, I smiled.  The pain of the day melted away.  My concern over the bubbling up of stale high school emotions faded.  The bad receded to make room for the good. 

I grabbed the gift in two fists and marched to the  living room to share it with BFF. 

He looked up, apology evident in his eyes.  “Look. I’m sorry.  I needed time to process the remains of this day ~ this terrible horrible awful very bad day.  I can listen now . . .”

“Don’t apologize.  If you hadn’t done what you needed to do, I wouldn’t have heard what I needed to hear.”

“Oh?”  

“Today conspired to give me, us, a gift ~ the gift of a paradigm shift.  The sudden awakening realization that it’s not your job to be there for me. That’s my job.” 

“So the invisible rogue wave and the food poisoning and the sandy soggy salty sticky bits were . . . ”

“All necessary.  To bring us to this door.  The sand causes the pearl.”

Ah-ha! . . . that’s better!

What say you?  Have you ever learned a necessary and valuable lesson in an unconventional way . . . through adversity rather than smooth sailing?

Have you ever glanced over your shoulder and noticed that each step you took, even those that felt like missteps at the time, had a purpose to serve in bringing you to “this door”? 

Care to share?

Quote: Embrace all with joy . . . anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.

Related posts:  Embrace All With Joy * How To Be Happier No Matter What