Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Great. Now I'm Making Fun of Poor Kids Who Play Polo.

I don’t consider myself particularly charitable or saintly. I do, however, consider my smartassery to be a valuable public service. So color me thrilled when I hopped a few links to the left of the state dinner crashing Scandal of the Century, and wound up at a charity that teaches polo to at-risk youth. (Though nowadays we call them at-promise youth.)

I'm not doubting the value of equine therapy. I rode and cared for horses back in Woodbridge, spent several summers at Camp Wingaroo, and I believe there are few things more gratifying than hanging out with horses.

But, admit it. Take a deep breath, hug your inner smartass, and 'fess up: don't you get a tad giggly at the idea of rounding up a bunch of urban at-risk kids to teach them how to play polo? As in, the world's most hoity-toity rich person Biff-and-Muffy prenups-and-summering in the Hamptons sport? Like, maybe they pulled in some extra funding from the charity that teaches kids to drink tea with their pinkies sticking out? Or borrowed a business plan from the charity that teaches proper deportment at cotillion, or how to drink a G&T on a yacht? My brain is a total flood of hilarious mental images.

Though, perhaps my laughter signifies that I'm the sort of throwback reactionary who would have snorted at Carnegie's libraries. Or that I'm a raging class warrior who hates rich people. Or that I hate kids. Especially poor kids.

Nah. Most likely, I just think polo is kind of dooftastic.

In the comments, invent a charity that exposes at-promise children to the opportunity to try on their very own pair of fancypants.


Brando said...

I think poor kids need to be taught the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Oh wait that's the plot of "Dangerous Minds"!

How about teaching them the joys of caviar and collecting Faberge Eggs?

FoggyDew said...

Don't need to invent one, the PGA already has "The First Tee" where they teach at-risk kids how to play golf. Since there are so, so many golf courses in downtown areas (Haines Point notwithstanding.) Of course, you could always do what a friend of mine did: Practice his driving at a local cemetery.

As for inventing one: The New York Yacht Club has announced it is starting the "America's Cup Challenge" to teach at-risk kids the joy and discipline of crewing an America's Cup boat in international competition. Boat shoes and popped collars required.

Anonymous said...

My very old fashioned, very Southern great aunt once gifted me with a copy of a book titled "White Gloves and Party Manners." Your post has inspired me to collect as many copies as I can and donate them to inner city, pregnant teens.

Tina said...

Actually I think we should also include a copy of "Real Ladies do not Pump Gas" to the inner city pregnant teens reading list.

And Ballroom dance lessons - Viennese Waltz only though - none of that low class latin or jive stuff.

And I think it only fair that we give them a general life skills class for the silver spoon set - you know handling the paparazzi, selecting a personal assistant, air kissing, choosing the right celebrity rehab center for their personal image - that sort of thing.

Brett said...

Tiffany's Manners for Teens, you've never read it?

I'd like to write a book on interview etiquette, and one on using French and other foreign languages properly in English context. I am actually the annoying person who correctly pronounces "bruschetta," and the server doesn't know what I mean.

Yes I am a snob.

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Erik said...

I'm going to stay in the equine them and go with fox hunting.

Shannon said...

Brando - Oooh, we could teach them how to shop for Faberge eggs...only the best for our at-promise youth!

Foggy - Brand-name polos only! At-risk kids can totally shell out for Ralph Lauren.

i'mgonnabreakyourheart - Weirdly, I collect etiquette guides from the 50s and 60s...I MUST find that one!

Tina - Ballroom dance? Piffle. Let's teach them dressage!

Brett - It's not pronounced, "Bread-with-stuff-on-it"?

Erik - I bet every inner-city teen owns a hacking jacket!

Dana said...

Our lead anchor teaches etiquette classes to children who live in the projects here. As in, how to pour your tea and which forks to use in a full place setting. I love Liz, but I can only imagine how that goes over afterwards when the kids go back to their homes with no good heat and AC and suddenly want to make a full tea service.

I would love to teach a class to teach bratty American teens how to be like bratty British teens. This would involve watching lots of Catherine Tate.