I was reading through the Gourmet magazine cookbook I got for my birthday the other day (used because Gourmet is sadly defunct). In the entertaining section it has a couple of pages recommending that when you throw a party, you just hire caterers and be sure to rent 3x the wine glasses you think you’ll need. I guess not unexpected advice from a book that starts with 33 pages of cocktails*, though perhaps a bit unexpected from a cookbook that one has bought, presumably, to cook the recipes therein. I’ve been to catered parties for work, but I’d never thought of actually throwing one myself. In fact, other than Thanksgiving and the occasional playdate (either DC1 or DH will have a friend or two over to play boardgames, and/or in DC1’s case, video games), we really don’t throw parties at all. That year in paradise we would have people over and we’d get take-out (usually dips and salads from the local Israeli place), which is sort of like catering, but much less expensive. Here, presumably, we’d go into the city the weekend before throwing a party and get lots of frozen canapes from WF and TJ’s to reheat.
The military couple who owned our house before us set up the kitchen for caterers with lots of warming trays and heat lamps and an entire wall of our huge pantry filled with alcohol (the side where we keep tupperware, plastic cutlery, the mini fire extinguisher, extracts, and where the children keep their personal candy stashes). So maybe catering is something that “normal” upper-middle-class people do, or more likely, they catered a lot of work events so someone else was paying. The state-side military seems to be into government funded catering.
I wonder at what income/wealth point people hire personal assistants and if we will ever get there. I’m guessing not. (What would we use a personal assistant for, you ask? This weekend we decided that finding a competent handi-person was too difficult so DH is in our back yard pressure-washing the deck himself and after it dries, 3/4 of us will work on staining it. A good personal assistant would find a handi-person and negotiate a reasonable rate for hir services. Similarly this PA would find a reasonable yard service that doesn’t have to be told every single week not to cut the grass so short, not to use leaf blowers, etc. So, I guess a good PA would mainly find ways to spend more of our money. I’m guessing we will never get to that point.) I do know economics professors who have personal assistants, but they’re dual-economist couples at top schools who are jointly making somewhere around $500K/year (or more). So, maybe the answer is $500K/year, adjusted for inflation? Must be nice.
Is this why obnoxious people say you cannot possibly be rich in the Bay area on a mere 300K/year? Because they can’t afford to live the life of movie stars from the 1930s? Is this why the evil rich want more income inequality, so it’s easier to hire competent servants?
How could you become more obnoxious with (lots more) money? Giving to charity or saving it not allowed for this thought exercise! Hiring a toothpaste sommelier, on the other hand, is totally allowed.
*Two thumbs up for their Moscow mule. Also the chocolate egg creme.