Friday, November 16, 2012

A visit to Big Blue, Part 2

Part 1 is here.


By now, I'm far less intrigued by this home than I am by my continued popularity in this august neighborhood.

Another walk around San Rafael last week brought more effusive greetings from the denizens. One gentleman in tweed called out, "Betty and Byron send their love!"

"And love to Betty and Byron!" I sang in reply. "We're due for a long chat at the club, over some dry martinis."

He looked puzzled, but nodded.


Albert and I hiked a steep private drive to catch a glimpse of the bubble house's back side. The blue butt, as it were. On the way, the postman smiled and gave a salute.

At the top of the knoll stand two impressive estates, each staking a claim, one to the east and one to the west. Rather than snap some pictures, I decided to play by the rules. As Albert and I made our way back down again, the owner of the east side manor was driving up, and waving so vigorously her car veered in our general direction; I feared we'd be killed by kindness.

I have two possible explanations for all the affection those in tweeds and the Bettys and Byrons throw in our general direction.

Explanation #1: Aristocracy is not a matter of money; it doesn't matter what you drive, where you live, what you wear -- breeding will out. A tribe recognizes one of its own. How to put this without sounding conceited? It's the way one walks, the set of the shoulders, the upward tilt of the chin, an aquiline nose. The ability to spell "aquiline" without autocorrect (work in progress). It's stature and bearing. Your mother told you to stand straight? Why, I have a broomstick stuck up my ass; always have and always will.


Explanation #2: I look like the local dog walker. They think Albert is their lab. Betty and Byron are cocker spaniels.

34 comments:

  1. I vote for royalty in exile--the former.

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  2. We always knew you were a closet aristocrat, in addition to being a classy dog-walker. :-)

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  3. You're welcome in our neighborhood anytime. (A word to the wise, our dogs prefer whiskey sours.)

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  4. That vista photo really reveals the setting--tho' it does include a parking lot as well as mountains.

    I've heard a metro-Detroit story that's probably true--a nouveau riche-r in a Gatsby-dwarfing, shiny, garish, tasteless new Castle-Mansion Summa Cum Magnum sued a school across the road because he could see their buses and the piles of ash they used when it snowed.

    So I cannot explain the cordiality of your nouveau riches. Maybe they're not nouveau. In fact, "Aristocrats" by definition cannot be new, can they?
    Maybe they're bored. Maybe they're on crack. Or of course, maybe there simply are exceptions to every rule and stereotype. But wealth on crack is more interesting, unless the person is on Wall Street, handling your retirement. (Apparently that's a common phenomenon. Ditto expensive whores).

    Clearly you are a journalistic soul, AH. I think you need to investigate this mysterious moneyed sanguininity. Uh oh, autocorrect is having a seizure.




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  5. My guess is that it is the dashing Albert who makes these folks so friendly.

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  6. Why, thank you Des, I think I'm going to add that title to my business card.

    Ms M, I'm willing to come out of the closet given half a chance.

    Hi Earl. Are the Giants still playing?

    Anon, send me your address and I'll bring the cocktails.

    Banjo, I hope you're not implying I drive a school bus or carry ashes. As for autocorrect, mine often trips all over itself, too.

    Jean, I'd hardly call that a vote in my favor.

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  7. If choice number one is correct, that would explain a lot. Like why I keep showing up in those u-tube WalMart videos



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  8. Let's get scientific and test your theories. I'll walk there with Abby, and if they don't greet me as effusively, it'll prove they're only friendly to those with blue blood coursing through their veins. Thanks for more pictures of the house. It has a nice view, doesn't it? In your last photo, who's the mysterious figure in the bubble window?

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  9. Not sure who he is, Bellis, but I think he's nekkid. A quick trip to Walmart could take care of that.

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  10. Maybe they still believe in the principal of Noblesse Oblige. And maybe they think you're also Noblesse.

    But explanation #2 is also entertaining.

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  11. Maybe they are just really nice people who live in that neighborhood---and who love dogs, too! It is possible, you know?
    That is such a fascinating house...I've never seen anything quite like it before. And the color "blue" is really NEAUTIFUL!

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  12. Perhaps they're expecting a delivery?

    I kid.

    They're just so relieved you have that Nordic look.

    Oh, that's cynical of me. I have it, too, pretty much.

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  13. Stepford Wives - yeah, or Prozac in generous supply.

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  14. You could easily be aristocracy if you lived upstairs. I know this because I've watched Downton Abbey.

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  15. You could easily be aristocracy if you lived upstairs. I know this because I've watched Downton Abbey.

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  16. Could it be because you walk softly and carry a big broomstick?

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  17. You need to start calling Albert "Albair." So continental.

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  18. Were you there around cocktail time? Perhaps the man in the bubble is waiting for your imminent arrival, dry martinis at the ready.

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  19. Speaking of obliging nobility, how many are you feeding this Thanksgiving, Marjie?

    Lady of the Hills, Neautiful works for me.

    Have what, Petrea -- relief or that Nordic look?

    Bandit, are insulting my new friends? No dry martinis for you.

    Pierre. Brilliant. According to Downton, just a staircase separated the classes, and they were all up in each other's business in any case.

    Katie, explanation #3?

    Petrea, one gentleman asked me if he was named after Prince Albert. True story.

    Susan, the nekkid man?



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  20. It'll be an easy year, Karen. I'm only feeding maybe 16 or so. I just hadn't thought of that as "noblesse oblige," just as "frantic."

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  21. Yes, the nekkid man in the bubble is wondering how you like your martinis. Shaken or stirred? Olive or a twist?

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  22. Clearly, your reputation precedes you. And Betty and Byron are poodles.

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  23. Putting on the dog, eh? And I love "killed by kindness."

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  24. Bahaha! You had me going until the very end!

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  25. Susan, yes, Oliver Twist.
    Margaret, if so, then Standard Poodles.
    Terry, she was driving a car I can't even spell with auto correct.
    Carolynn, you and Bandit.
    Paula, thank you for reaching the end.

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  26. saluted by the postman........your blue blood runs deep!!

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  27. I agree with Naomi (OldLady Of the Hills) maybe they are nice people who love dogs. I always think that dog people are nice people.
    So beautiful the view with the mountain in background.

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  28. Walking a funny-looking dog works, too.

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  29. Oh what cynicism!!! Why is it that money means meanness??? I've met a fair number of wealthy folk over the years who have huge hearts...one of the wealthiest in SoPas used their tennis court to collect donations for those people in need after hurricane Katrina. Their friends all gathered to sort and pack the items that were later transported by a huge semi...all at the expense of the family and their friends...with no desire for publicity...
    Rotarians are generally thought to be the wealthy/movers and shakers...and who ever hears about their goal of eradicating the world of polio? And their push for clean water for third world countries? Because they're quiet and don't expect publicity it goes unnoticed and the Angelina's and Brad's get all the kudos for doing what's been a world wide Rotarian project for years...
    I used to be a cynic about the wealthy...until I began meeting and getting to know them...

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  30. Bless you, Chieftess. When I'm rich I'll be more generous because I'll be able.

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  31. Wow Chieftess, I didn't see any vitriol here. I'll have to re-read.

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  32. No vitriol Hiker...but a bit of cynicism about the wealthy...I'm just sayin' wealthy neighbors can be just as nice as anybody...

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