Lifestyle & Culture

Singing the Palm Beach Blues

December 18, 2016

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IF YOU ASK me you can take your fancy trips around the world and your cruises to foreign lands and your winter holidays to warmer climes and flush them all down the toilet. None of them work because wherever you go, there you are: You aren’t any thinner or healthier or younger, you haven’t gotten better siblings or had your book published or sold any paintings. The dead people you once loved are still dead. All you’ve done is changed the scenery. Now if there were some magic land where when you arrive you are somebody else entirely, with a different set of memories and maybe even a new phone number, I’d be down for that. Otherwise, all the arranging and packing and schlepping and flying and car rentals and checking in and checking out and room service is just busy work.

I’m guessing the reason they say “travel is broadening” is because one tends to overeat on trips, seeing as how little else there is to do unless you zip line, which I don’t, preferring not to lose a leg or in fact any limb at all to gangrene, or hot air balloon, which I won’t, not wanting to burn to death after getting tangled up in electric wires. As for snorkeling or deep sea diving, I have not immersed myself in the ocean since I saw “Jaws” and no, I’m not kidding. So here I am at the beach with the luscious Atlantic just steps away and it does me little good, although it is fun to watch and hike alongside.

Anyway, there’s a decent-sized pool at this hotel and I can swim, so I guess I’ll do that today since tomorrow I will be stuck inside a little tube hurtling across the sky (not wholly unlike Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”) which could come crashing down and end it all — not to be a bummer but it could — and if it doesn’t, well then I’ll land in Boston where it’s cold and still have a two-hour drive back to Maine where it snowed yesterday.

But at least my cat will be there (if he survived five days without me) and I can paint, which somehow seems a better use of time than driving through downtown Palm Beach and gawking at the outrageous displays of wealth that make you, or at least me, flash on those malnourished children running barefoot around Haiti and India with distended tummies and skinny legs while these rich women with their toned arms and strappy, high-heeled wedge sandals they can hardly walk in, forget running, rid themselves of their excess cash up and down Worth Avenue (see photo), their Mercedes and Jaguars and Rolls Royces lining the street as they add yet another thousand-dollar pair of Jimmy Choo shoes to their already hideously bloated collection, making you wonder where’s Bernie Sanders when you need him.

— Andrea Rouda
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid

One thought on “Singing the Palm Beach Blues

  1. A cogent commentary on the consumer society that’s also humorous. But it’s the sorrowful image of skinny-legged children running past toned-armed women that connects. Well done.

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