The New York Observer has a new column called ‘Isn’t That Rich?’ chronicling the social lives of the Upper East Side of Manhattan’s uber wealthy — this may sound familiar.
In the latest instalment , one dad, Richard Kirshenbaum, laments how increasingly, wealthy parents are using their drives to fill the role that too-busy-dads have left empty. Chauffeurs are meeting out punishments, confiscating phones, and hauling too drunk 16 year-olds out of clubs.
The parents, Kirshenbaum says, find that doing this kind of parenting can force them to miss spin class, come home from St. Barth’s early, and/or engage in other undesirable, socially disturbing activity.
Better to let precocious Upper East Side kids drink early (age 15 or so) in front of their parents, and let the staff (ideally retired cops as they make the best drivers) deal with the consequences.
Now, there are three types of fathers that relegate their responsibilities to drivers, according the Observer — the “me time” dads, the divorced and then the worst kind…
The last subset—perhaps the chief offenders—is a group whose own deficiencies as teenagers fuel their kids’ social lives. They’re the formerly uncool high school students who want desperately to live vicariously through their children. The men tend to be Napoleonic and, having conquered the world of finance, they often have unlimited cash and credit to dispense to their progeny. They populate New York campuses with incredibly indulged and well-dressed children and believe that money and power are the keys to popularity. For them, drivers are less chaperon es than enablers: helping kids gain club access, bottle service, fake IDs and, yes, romantic partners.
So the point is people — sometimes TV is real.