Did anyone wake up on time today, or not? What with tsunamis, strife in the Middle East, and Lent kicking all our butts, who had time to notice today’s time change? (Come to think of it, Last Call did seem a little early last night—but I was in no state to put two and two together. Ha!)
As Butler for a rich family (but really rich!), today I need to go all over this big house (but really big!) and reset the clocks. We’re talking 22,000 square feet, including a master bedroom and seven guest rooms!
That’s a lot of territory to cover, and one would think a lot of clocks. But surprisingly enough, there aren’t that many around here. In all eight bedrooms, there is nothing whatsoever that remotely resembles a bedside alarm clock!
Man, these people live by a whole set of different rules. Author Robert Frank (a Wall Street Journal reporter) said in his book Richistan that the “absurdly rich” (as he calls them) live in an entirely different country than the rest of us, a country he calls Richistan. And as the Butler, living in an apartment on the estate (and therefore within the walls of Richistan myself), I’m here to tell you that Robert Frank was dead on.
Not having to wake up with an alarm clock is just one of the differences between the rich and the rest of us. Their whole way of life, their activities and involvements, their world view and thinking processes, everything about them sets them apart, in their own insulated, private world.
And if you have the luxury to wake up by your own internal body clock, then such a thing as a bedside alarm is entirely superfluous. I guess Amazonian and African tribespeople have little use for it either. Apparently it’s just us poor and middle-class folk who have to keep up with the unnerving toggle between Daylight and Standard Time.
Our one saving grace: We do have that merciful “snooze” button, giving us a momentary illusion of having at least some control over our time and rest, if only for nine or ten minutes. Ha!