My buddies at work and I formed a boys' club called DWI (Distinguished, Wealthy, Intelligent). (opens in new tab)It's our spoof on super cultured rich guys that we jokingly strive to be.
Whenever I hear that first verse of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," I want to be like that guy she's singing about.
She sings "you walked in to the party, like you were walking on to a yacht..." He is rich, cultured, obnoxious, and confident (opens in new tab)..."and all the girls dream that they'd be his partner..."
Despite my parents' careers as physicians, (opens in new tab)our household was not highfalutin and full of pictures of foxhunts, or expensive wines-actually my parents prefer box wines.
My sisters and I were part private school preppie-- they excelled in lacrosse, part blue collar (my mom grew up in a blue collar household)-- we loved the Ocean City, MD boardwalk with the horrible funnel cake and make your own T-shirts.
I'm not that cultured, so sometimes I feel like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," (opens in new tab)when I'm around cultured people.
Here are some areas where I need improvement:
At a wedding a few weeks ago, I was sitting next to a girl I've been wanting to makeout with forever. I targeted this wedding as my time to shine, but I think my wine ignorance did me in.
My glass was almost empty, so a waiter came around and said:
"Would you like more Merlot?"
I said: "No that's OK, I'm actually drinking red."
The girl looked at me with that record scratch awkward look.
Later that evening, she was chatting with this sophisticated looking guy who was wearing a scarf. I think they spent the night together. (opens in new tab)There's no doubt in my mind that guy knew that Merlot is red.
Honestly, most wine tastes the same to me. All I know is that I like red more than white.
On dates, I'm up front about knowing nothing about wine as soon as the menus are handed out. This isn't such a sin because many women enjoy picking out the wine when we go out.
I'd probably fail a fancy dinner manners quiz.
I didn't get too much Manners 101 growing up. My dad would tell me to keep my elbows off the table, but to this day I still don't understand how one can eat or sit at a table without putting their elbows on that table at some point.
I have enough discipline not to eat until everyone gets their food (opens in new tab), but I don't understand this rule-- I wouldn't care if people started before me.
No matter how hard I try, I never remember what utensil to pick up for each course-I think you're supposed to pick them up from the outside and work inward?
On dates, I must concentrate intensely to dine "correctly." (opens in new tab)
There are many cultural things that I don't know. For instance, at that wedding a few weekends ago, the "whole bridal party" was summoned to pose for a picture. I didn't budge. I thought I was in the "groom's party." Apparently the "bridal party" means both bridesmaids and groomsmen. (opens in new tab) I need to learn those little nuances-women seem to know these nuances naturally out of the womb.
Even those fancy French cuffs and cufflinks gave me trouble: it was truly an epic battle getting those things on correctly.
Arts & Politics
I'll never be one of those people who can quote Hemingway, though I wish I could. I know books and art that I'm interested in, but I don't learn about stuff I'm not interested in. I like Art Deco more than French Impressionism, but seems like I'd be more cultured if I knew French Impressionism.
I know stuff from the CNN homepage but I'm not in to politics, and I try to stay out of political arguments.
Whenever someone gets in my face and says: "do you know that so and so is happening in country X?" I say: "no I don't, and I don't know how to solve it."
I'm looking for a girl who is somewhat cultured, but still loves her box wine, because she'll be very much like me. (opens in new tab)However, I've definitely been attracted to super preppy girls who triple my cultural knowledge.
It's easy to find people that are too cultured, or not cultured enough. Deep cultural knowledge can give you the appearance of being wealthy, but obviously there's no real correlation-- anyone can learn how to be "cultured".
Are any of my three deficiencies above deal breakers? Do you find yourself going for super cultured guys, or less cultured guys? Do you think a guy looks wealthier if he's cultured? What bad manners are pet peeves for you?
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens (opens in new tab)
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