We all, of course, know what it’s like when a wealthy friend insists on having us join them on a private jet trip to an exotic locale. We also know what it’s like when the same friend hosts us on their yacht. They offer their kindness because they obviously love our company and we insist on paying even though we couldn’t dream of affording such luxury and they would never accept anyway. It’s a simple transaction between friends. The largesse of one is shared by all. It’s the way all rich people think, I’m sure. Nobody keeps score. But what about other gifts?
I’m curious how someone gets their wealthy friend to pay for their grandnephew’s education. How is that subject broached in conversation? How does a humble, salt of the earth person, ask for something so personal? You may be wondering the same thing. Here is a theoretical scenario to ease your mind.
Clarence sinks into a soft leather chair, cigar in one hand, glass of brand in the other. He undoes his belt from the multi-course Michelin star meal he just finished eating and takes a long drag of the cigar.
Harlan sits in a chair opposite, delighted by the meal as well, glowing in his munificence.
Harlan: Did you enjoy the meal?
Clarence: Oh yes, of course. It was delicious. You know me, I could have settled for good old bar-b-q or a nice cheeseburger. It’s nice to change things up once in a while.
Harlan: Nobody is questioning your man of the people bona-fides.
They giggle like little children. Ginny grows concerned from the other room. She hates missing out on a good bit of humor.
Harlan: I fly that chef out here to my little compound once a month and they never disappoint.
Clarence: I know Harlan. I have the pleasure of being a guest, almost, every month.
Harlan: Yes, you’re right.
Clarence sips his brandy. He looks at Harlan closely, about to say something, then looks away.
Harlan: Something on your mind Clarence?
Clarence: Oh, it’s nothing. Nothing that won’t work itself out.
Harlan: Sure it will. You know I’ve been reading some bad news about the financial sector in this country. It seems people who shouldn’t have been taking massive loans did. And my people tell me it’s all about to start crumbling, forcing the banks to take a haircut. Can you believe that?
Clarence: It sounds terrible.
Harlan; It’s going to be a disaster for our economy, that’s for sure. I just hope the people who got in over the heads don’t try to blame the banks, but you know they will. That’s the problem with this country. Am I right? Not enough personal responsibility. Everyone wants something for nothing.
Clarence: Yes, I know.
Harlan: That reminds me. I have some people I think you should meet. They will be joining us in the south of France at the end of the month. Good people unfairly engaged in this nonsense all because they had the audacity to succeed.
Clarence: Of course. Any friend of yours is instantly a friend of mine, and Ginny’s as you know.
Harlan: Great. I’m really looking forward to that trip too. Get some much needed rest and relaxation, away from here for a bit.
Harlan gets up to refresh his brandy. Clarence stays seated, stewing for a moment.
Clarence: You know what else has gotten out of hand in this country. Something we need to address immediately.
Harlan: What’s that Clarence?
Clarence: The price of tuition at the kinds of schools we send our children.
Harlan: I didn’t know. Is something the matter with Mark?
Clarence: Oh, everything is fine. We want to send him to Hidden Lake Academy, a nice little school out in Georgia, which you probably know about.
Harlan: Of course, great school.
Clarence: Ginny and I have been looking at the numbers and we’re not sure it make sense for us. He may need to go to public school instead. Though I’d hate for him to miss out on a quality education. The kind of education he deserves.
Harlan: You know, you’re absolutely right. I’ll tell you what. I can see how this is a big problem for you just by your body language. Let me unburden you.
Clarence: Oh, it’s nothing really. It’s not even worth discussing further. I’m not sure why I even brought it up.
Harlan: No, I won’t hear any talk of sweeping this thing under the rug. I will get it taken care of. I’ll call the school tomorrow myself and pay the tuition straight away. You shouldn’t have to bother with that stuff, not with all you have to deal with and the fact that you’ve taken that boy under your wing. He deserves the best of what America has to offer.
Clarence takes a sip of his brandy, considering the offer.
Clarence: Thank you. You are a great friend. I don’t know what I would do without you.
Harlan: Of course. It’s my pleasure. Excuse me for a moment.
Harlan leaves the sitting room. Noticing that Harlan has left, Ginny pops her head in.
Clarence flashes a smile and gives her a thumbs up. Ginny’s eyes light up with love and adoration. Their hearts are full.