Friday, April 16, 2010
Free Time & Membership of the Club
Traditionally, my "free time" has always been defined (since I have entered the working world) as any time after 7pm on a weekday, plus Saturday and Sunday (fun-days). Traditionally, I would spend that time with friends. We would go to the local park and sit on a blanket if the weather was nice, and in the evening we would get all gussied up to go out to our favorite bar that is always overflowing with boys in Nantucket Reds and blazers. Or perhaps I would have a meeting at my local woman's club, where we would chat over a glass of wine to plan an upcoming fundraiser event.
The point is, there is lots to do for a preppy in the States. There were lots of people with similar tastes, ideas of fun, and enjoyed the classic life of the young & preppy.
Now I am in Europe, a fabulous continent of history, culture, and classicness (is classicness a word?). But where are all of the preppies? Used to being surrounded by my forever-growing-small network of ivy league & NESCAC friends, I find myself like a sheep who has gone astray from the heard. I once lived the life where it was a rarity to go out with friends and meet someone who didn't know someone else I knew, in some way or another. It was like living in a bubble of 'just-like-me', where everyone had gone to prep school, gone to a good solid college, and was now living the fabulous, classic, carefree life of a young preppy.
There are definitely prepsters in Europe- I see them all of the time. But, how does this American preppy join that heard? We all know, being a *true* preppy is like being a member of an old, secret club. Most of us are born into the club because mummy and daddy were prepsters back in the day, and dressed us up in Lacoste. They had decided to raise us in nice 'W' towns in Massachusetts, or anywhere in Connecticut. They pushed us to work hard and make sure we came out at the top of our class so we would go to the best colleges. As a result, we were surrounded by preppy peers growing up, and thus, we were automatically part of the new generation of preppies by default. Our friends and friends-of-friends were preppies. It was easy.
So back to 'free time'. Normally spent socializing with the American preppies, I am now challenged to start fresh- no college or high school friends to rely on for my weekend planning. Where are the preppy bars and all of the Ivy League boys? Where can I find girlfriends who want to go to the Bilsdale Hunt Master's Ball in England with me in the fall?
I know the preppies are here, but it feels like I am trying to use my Hilton Gold Card at the Four Seasons hotel. While yes, you're in the top tier at the Hilton, it doesn't really mean much at the Four Seasons. You have to stay at the Four Seasons a few times first to earn that membership card. Your preferred hotel status cards really aren't transferable even though in the end, you have the same types of people staying at the hotels, give or take. Similarly, though I might be a member of the American preppy club, Europe seems to be a whole new ball came with no Hiltons in sight.