Social Question

Aster's avatar

Is it vulgar and distasteful to live like this if you've earned it? Or wasteful?

Asked by Aster (15544 points ) 2 months ago

My little granddaughter went to a birthday party in a ten thousand sq foot home. Her mother, my daughter, had to call and tell me all about it. It had a gold leaf fireplace w/a matching one in the next room,, an indoor pool with diving board, a garage with a collection of antique cars and wet bar plus pool house. It had an outdoor pool, too and the grounds were covered with flowers that looked like The Wizard of Oz movie. The place had a crystal chandelier in every room and my daughter’s feet were lost in deep carpeting. The house was filled with imported marble everywhere. It was on four lots and very much superior to every house around it. They are adding onto it now. Do you think this is showing off or what they deserve for owning a national life insurance company whose name I will keep to myself. She said it was so huge she doubted the four occupants got to be around one another very often which gave her a “cold” feeling. Their daughter, 12, goes to acting classes and orders salads with no dressing when her friends are buying burgers and fries. Yes; they all go to hamburger joints.

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29 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

It is vulgar and disgusting.
Every cent that went into this display of opulence, is money that was denied to an insured person that needed medical treatment.
That house is built on the suffering and death of millions.

Kardamom's avatar

It’s perfectly within their rights to buy whatever stuff they can afford, but I would hope that someone with that kind of money would tone it down a bit (actually a lot), have a little bit of compassion, and help out (by service or donation of money) other people/animals/organizations/schools/hospital etc, in other words others in need. How many chandeliers does anyone need? Yes, it’s legal, but it’s also a grotesque show of greed.

Just because we can afford to buy a sh*t ton of stuff for ourselves, doesn’t mean we should.

josie's avatar

Only if envy is equally vulgar and distasteful.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Vulgarity and distasteful? Well, it’s not my personal cup of tea and I wouldn’t use my money to build my house that way.

On the other hand, it’s their money. They can do with it whatever they wish.

@ragingloli is making a vapid comment about how the money could be used in other ways and blah blah blah. The problem with that point of view is that (at least for now) people are allowed to keep the money they have earned, and there is no obligation to give money to the charity of @ragingloli ‘s choice. So it’s a little silly to blame these wealthy people for the condition of others.

I would ask @Aster – how do you know that the family does not give millions and millions to charity, in addition to having an opulent house? I don’t know if they do, but then, I don’t know that they don’t.

The bottom line, I think, is that what these people do with their money is their business alone, and sniping from the peanut gallery is just uninformed whining.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it just feels normal to them. When you live in bigger houses it starts to feel nornal to be in a bigger space. It’s possible they are bragging of sorts, but also very possible their house is for them, and not about showing of to the other people around them.

Being the biggest house on the block often is a bad idea regarding property value. I am going to have the biggest house in my new community and I think it is a financially bad idea, but we have our reasons.

If they have tons of money and can easily afford everything then I am fine with it, although their house is much bigger than I would ever want. The largest house I ever owned was 5,000 sq. ft. living space, and that is bigger than I wanted or ever want again. If they are mortgaging everything and have no money in the bank I judge it and it bothers me.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I think it’s none of my business how people spend their money.

canidmajor's avatar

Really, how vulgar and distasteful is it to make negative judgements about people simply because they have a big house? How many people were employed to build the house? How many are employed to maintain it? Like a few others have suggested, maybe they donate millions to all sorts of groups and charities. Are the children well cared for? That would be my major concern, not whether or not they choose to spend some of their money on a big house.

Adagio's avatar

They have every right to their lack of taste.

Mariah's avatar

Its their business how they use their own money.

However….

I personally find it morally questionable to live lavishly when so many others are struggling. Personally, if I end up rich, I think I’d still prefer to live modestly and put my money towards good causes.

But that’s just my opinion, and what I would do if I had the money. I’m not gonna tell anyone else what they do with theirs.

Aster's avatar

@elbanditoroso@Aster – how do you know that the family does not give millions and millions to charity, in addition to having an opulent house? I don’t know if they do, but then, I don’t know that they don’t.

The bottom line, I think, is that what these people do with their money is their business alone, and sniping from the peanut gallery is just uninformed whining.”
I have never met them or seen their house. I am not sniping from the peanut gallery? I was asking opinions. Are we not to ask opinions on fluther? Of course they could give millions to charity. I’ve never even met them. It seems to me that when I ask opinions on fluther I’m charged with finger pointing and judging. My opinion of their home is that they worked for their money while at the same time they know this is a competitive town and knowing this I’m sure that many people think they’re showing off. I do not care one way or the other. I’d like to see it.
Thank you to the people on here who gave their outright opinion without flaming me.

jca's avatar

I read this q this morning but didn’t have time to respond then.

I agree with @JLeslie that having a house that’s way larger than others in the neighborhood is actually not the smartest thing to do.

I feel like hey, if they can afford all this ostentation, then more power to them. I used to watch “MTV Teen Cribs” or whatever it was called. They would go to the homes of rich teens and the teen would take them around and show them the indoor pool, outdoor pool, horses, dirt bike track, indoor play area, incredibly decorated bedroom and bathroom and kitchen with brick pizza oven, outdoor kitchen, TV screens all over, fancy mom, older dad, all this incredible stuff. The show was fascinating just to see how the other half lives (actually, the other 1%). One of the dads said once that he had all that stuff because he’d rather his kids stay home and have their friends over than go elsewhere and he doesn’t have his eye on them. I could see that logic.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I have a couple friends who spent extra money than they might have to make their house attractive to the friends of their children. They both were the houses where all the kids used to like to hang out. They had pools, large play rooms, games. One would have had a pool anyway, but I know she specifically added a basement to the house and finished it so the kids had a large game room. the other one put in a pool for the kids to have their friends over, otherwise she might not have bothered, she never used it much herself.

I would love to have a kart track for my husband. I have a fantasy about that, but out in a more rural setting where the land would not be a fortune. We would only need about 5 acres to do the house and track. I would do a mini house though, and maybe a converted barn for the cats and karts. Or, maybe an apartment over a garage. Nothing fancy like you described. I never watched that show.

Aster's avatar

You can add a basement to a finished house??

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster No, they were building a house and stretched their money to add the basement. It’s completely underground, it wasn’t a natural like when you have a walkout basement on a hill. Most houses where they live don’t have basements. I guess they pour the walls out of concrete? I don’t know the process. They finished it in the most minimal way possible not having a lot of money when they first built it. They left the ceiling open so you see the air ducts, that sort of industrial look, and I don’t even remember if they finished floors or left them cement. Now, it is 15 years later and they have remodeled it a little. Their youngest son left for college two years ago.

canidmajor's avatar

Sorry, @Aster, I probably shouldn’t have sounded so huffy, but I was reacting to the fact that you only gave us negative choices (“vulgar”, “distasteful”, and “wasteful”) which made me think you had formed strong negative opinions.

Aster's avatar

I thought when I said, “if you’ve earned it” people would know that I realize it’s their right to build a castle if they wished.

jca's avatar

@Aster: You did but then you gave negative opinions, as @canidmajor pointed out.

Aster's avatar

Please quote one negative opinion.

jca's avatar

The way your question was written seems jealous.

This is not a @jca opinion, as also @canidmajor points out. @josie made a comment that you seem envious. I don’t wish to get involved in a ”@jca vs. @Aster argument.” It is my opinion that you sound jealous, and apparently, the opinion of others.

“Her mother, my daughter, had to call and tell me all about it. It had a gold leaf fireplace w/a matching one in the next room,, an indoor pool with diving board, a garage with a collection of antique cars and wet bar plus pool house. It had an outdoor pool, too and the grounds were covered with flowers that looked like The Wizard of Oz movie. The place had a crystal chandelier in every room and my daughter’s feet were lost in deep carpeting. The house was filled with imported marble everywhere. It was on four lots and very much superior to every house around it. They are adding onto it now. Do you think this is showing off or what they deserve for owning a national life insurance company whose name I will keep to myself. She said it was so huge she doubted the four occupants got to be around one another very often which gave her a “cold” feeling. Their daughter, 12, goes to acting classes and orders salads with no dressing when her friends are buying burgers and fries. Yes; they all go to hamburger joints.”

Aster's avatar

ok, fine. I’m jealous. lol
If I am going to be jealous, it would have to be ¼ the size in the middle of the woods with an Artesian spring running near it. That would make me jealous. You guys need a hobby. lol

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster I didn’t perceive your question as though you thought it was vulgar or that you were judging. I just thought you were asking people’s opinion on the topic.

Aster's avatar

Thanks, @JLeslie .

longgone's avatar

I didn’t perceive you as jealous either. Unlucky wording.

Coloma's avatar

All the over the top opulence is not my cup o’ tea either, but, I agree, people can spend their money however they like. I do think ostentatious displays of wealth are in rather poor taste, but, to each to his own. Now if I had a 10,000 square foot house I’d have a 7,000 foot indoor atrium with koi ponds in a giant aviary of exotic birds and butterflies and orchids.haha
Forget the marble and indoor pools, I’d want an indoor jungle.

I’d also have an amazing cat room, with a huge marine aquarium and screened in with plants and trees and catwalk and cat towers everywhere next to the koi pond and bird and butterfly habitat. The cats would have live entertainment 24/7.
I’d also call the Tree House master and whip up a little bungalow in the trees. If you’re going to spend gazillions of dollars at least have some freaking imagination! haha

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It’s their money, their house. I agree with @Adagio.

The first thing I think of when I see a house this size is: Who is going to clean it? Not me, that’s for damn sure. If I can afford a house like that, you’re not gonna believe my yacht. I’ll be on the 122 ft schooner tied to the dock next to the big boathouse immediately behind the mansion. Screwing up my wife’s view of the water. And now she’s already pissed off so she’s not going to clean the house either.

So, we’d have to hire servants. What a pain in the ass. They’d probably have to live upstairs somewhere. Somewhere on the map they gave us when the sold us the house. And it’s not like the old days when you inherited your servants from your parents or grandparents—servants who’d been tied to your family for generations. Uh, uh. No son of your father’s butler nor daughter of your grandmother’s lady’s maid. Those days are long gone.

No, you have to hire a bunch of strangers from agencies and they will be living in your house 24/7 observing your every move. And they have all these rights now. Really. They don’t have to do shit if they don’t want to and they won’t let you beat them anymore. And if it’s in California, you can’t remove them from the premises without a long drawn out court action because they live there. It’s their residence.

Now you’ll be living with people who hate you. They’ll be right over your head in the attic and they’ll be raiding the refrigerator every night. Flushing toilets. And the place will just get dirtier and dirtier and nobody will do anything about it. It’ll be worse than the Royal Tannenbaums or even Grey Gardens.

Eventually, you’re going to have to move onto the yacht before one of them murders you in your bed or you smother in garbage. And once you’ve ceded the house to these criminally insane bastards, you might as well just hoist the mainsail and sail away and your wife can finally have that view of the water, which all she probably wanted in the first place.

jca's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus: One thing I have to disagree with you on is that if you wouldn’t necessarily have to have people live with you to clean. The house would not need cleaning at night, and if there are people working during the day cleaning, there would not be a need to clean at night as no mess is being made. My aunt has a house that’s a bit smaller than that and she has one cleaning lady come once a week. She also has landscapers and pool people, but nobody lives there. Even with a nanny, there are agencies that handle the paperwork and the nanny would have another official residence.

Even if you did hire people and they sleep there, they are employees first and foremost. Therefore, laws that apply to employer/employee relationships would trump their rights as residents, especially if they worked for agencies where there would be proper legal paperwork drawn up.

jca's avatar

@Aster: In revisiting this question, it’s the wording in the question itself that made me think you felt negatively. When I ask a question, I try to word it so my opinion is not obvious, so as not to skew the responses. For example, I would have asked “What is your opinion of living in a large, luxurious house such as this?”

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@jca Yeah, but then it wouldn’t be any fun.

And if that’s the only thing you disagree with in that little essay, I worry about you, my friend.

jca's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus: Haha! I know it was tongue-in-cheek!

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