Saturday, February 1, 2020

A world of beautiful unnecessaries.

“Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous."— Queen Victoria

HOUSECOAT, people. It's amazing.
It makes me feel SO luxurious.
THANK YOU, friend who gifted it to me.
This is one of those quotes I've heard my whole life, but never understood until years after Brigid Kaelin LLC -- aka Brigid Kaelin the artist -- started paying the bills. Also, being a blogger, not a journalist, I only googled the quote and fact-checked it on GoodReads rather than an extensive and proper resource because my blog doesn't earn money. So I think it's Queen Victoria, but it might not be, but I'm not being paid to write this so I'm not fact-checking on a Saturday morning while I write.

ANYWAY: I understand the quote.

I'm an artist. I grew up upper-lower class (posing as lower-middle class). I know a lot of other artists who don't/didn't have a lot, but I meet all kinds of people out at gigs. I often get hired to play very fancy parties. On set breaks I've spoken with Lords and Ladies and United Nations Ambassadors and royalty and literal billionaires -- with a B.

Having spent the last 20 years as CEO of, ahem, Brigid Kaelin LLC, I have learned some things about the world that I initially found ridiculous, but apparently common:

Y'all, there is a whole world of unnecessaries out there. Here are a few that I've learned about in the past ten years:
  • chargers: essentially, these are plates that you can't eat off of
  • housecoat: functions the same as a sweater, but operates like a robe that you wear over your clothes. ideally, it has pockets. (I recently received one, and it's the most luxurious thing I've ever owned and I'm never taking it off!)
  • tablecloths: people actually use these, not just at weddings apparently, but it's not good to get them dirty which is confusing. some people own more than one. It's like a housecoat for your table, I guess?
  • white t-shirts that men wear underneath their shirts: they need to remain so very brightly white, despite the fact that no one ever sees them
  • decorative candles: many people in this world own candles that are not merely for when the electricity gets cut off

Help me add to this list! What crazy/dangerous/amazing/life-changing things have you seen or learned about since you started mingling with other classes?


  1. Visible 'wealth' is important for some from generations of poverty such as expensive nails, hair, jewelry, clothing and cars. And these consume what income is had often sabotaging the building of wealth to break the generational legacy. If I remember sociology 101, the.economist Thorstein Veblen talked about this.

    1. I have been thinking about your comment for days -- thank you for posting! I'll have to read Veblen. It's so interesting about the whole nails, hair, jewelry thing. I grew up, I think, with parents who kind of did the opposite: instilling in me that those things were a waste of money. At the same time, they had a house in the "right neighborhood," and while we skipped meals and had secondhand everything (except tech gear!), I was in the good school district. Priorities among generations are so strange.
      My parents could NOT handle the fact that David and I chose to continue living car-free once we finally could afford a car. They deeply believed that having a car was so vital to the American Dream or something -- i feel like a lot of that was generational and certainly linked to a level of freedom. For us, the lack of car, was a new kind of freedom.
      Anyway - thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  2. Specialty forks: pickle, carving, crab et cetera.

    1. Oh yes!!!!!! I felt crazy-rich when I bought myself a grapefruit spoon once. I have since purged it for minimalist-sake.