Thank Christ that we have the River Oaks Country Club, ever ready to assure the world that we here in Houston are nouveau riche dilletantes who don't give a shit about those who aren't making the big bucks.
The Economist magazine's most recent issue has a brief item dedicated to the fact that even though there's a financial meltdown looming (happening?), people who have too much money to spend and who care far too much about petty irrelevancies are still throwing debutante balls.
"The cost of playing princess, as might be expected, is steep," the magazine says." For a girl to debut at the River Oaks ball, her parents must be members of the country club (which means paying a sky-high initiation fee and steep annual dues) and be able to afford the proper clothes. Dresses cost several thousand dollars, and it is not unheard of for families to spend over $10,000 on them."
At least gas prices are (temporarily) down, so we didn't get any mentions about how all the frivolous spending was helped along by four-dollar gas.
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The Economist doesn't think the economy will stop this debauchery anytime soon: "As the recession becomes more visible and immodest displays of wealth just a little tasteless, all this may change....[But] if the shimmer at River Oaks Country Club is any indication, they will survive these times too," it says.