• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

May 11, 2007

A Tale of Two Cities

Share
Rich City vs Poor City

Photo Credit: Andrew Hetherington

Special Offer

What grown-ups may not want to talk about, children are happy to fill in. Debbie Beran, the owner of Beran's Jewelers, a store on the town's main drag, considered pulling her kids out of the Ranch's grammar school after her daughter, then 5, asked for a Hummer for her birthday. "I don't want my kids growing up with those values," she says. The clincher came while driving her son to football practice one afternoon and listening to his two 12-year-old teammates compare the cost of their houses, and their fathers' cars and salaries. Beran, one of the rare divorced single mothers in town, cringed at the oneupmanship. After that incident, she transferred her children to a Catholic school in the next town over, where the students come from a mix of socioeconomic backgrounds.

The bubble effect at the Ranch is obvious: 93 percent of the population is white, and everyone except the help--nannies, chefs, housecleaners, gardeners -- is affluent. (The predominantly Hispanic workers tend to live 30 minutes inland, where real-estate prices are a fraction of what they are here.) Giving back is big -- women spend hours planning charity fashion shows and philanthropic luncheons, and they regularly make appearances at $500-a-plate benefits. At last year's Kids Korps benefit, an organization for children and teenage volunteers, Larry King was the emcee and the best seats cost $1000 each.

If the Rancho lifestyle seems out of the realm of possibility for most Americans, it may be surprising to learn that at the end of the day, America's richest women want the same things as women everywhere: good health, happy children, peace of mind. Burdick, who grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Los Angeles before launching her highly successful kinesiology practice, says life today isn't much different than it was during her childhood--although vacations in the family camper have been replaced by four-star hotels, and today she is more likely to shop at Nordstrom than Sears. "Having money makes things easier, but it doesn't necessarily make them better," she says. "I may be more comfortable, but I'm not any happier than I was growing up, and I didn't have any of this."


Share
Connect with Marie Claire:
Advertisement
horoscopes
daily giveaway
One winner will receive year's supply of makeup products from Dior and a year's supply of hair products from Tresemmé as selected by the Sponsor. A total prize package of 485!

One winner will receive year's supply of makeup products from Dior and a year's supply of hair products from Tresemmé as selected by the Sponsor. A total prize package of 485!

enter now
You Know You Want More

more from World News on Women

gop ad say yes to the dress
Is This The Most Condescending Political Ad Ever?

Women are obsessed with marriage, so picking a political candidate is kind of like saying yes to the dress.

This Act Could Put an End to Anti-Abortion Legislation

Women's right to choose is constantly at stake—but this might the solution.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook
Welcome!

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Continue
Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.

Continue