I bought cheap soap yesterday.
You know, the kind that has that distinct goldish yellow color and smells like the soap used in pretty much every cheap hotel worldwide.
Incidentally, it’s the same soap used in jails.
Yes, I speak from experience there.
As a homeless man, the one thing I pride myself on is my appearance.
I want to, for lack of better words, fuck with your senses.
When you at me – that is – when I do not have my suitcases, you will see a long haired hippy kinda dude.
Neatly parted down the middle.
And chances are I’ll be wearing a designer shirt and my Lucky Jeans.
And my Timberland shoes.
That’s how I feel.
Years ago, when I had my Lexus RX450 Hybrid back when I was making anywhere between $100,000 to $300,000 a year, had $3 million in the bank, living in Scottsdale – kinda like Beverly Hills of Arizona, where I had a girlfriend and a mistress pretty who both knew of eachother and were fine with it…
I remembered a TV Show, imported from the UK called Top Gear.
They’d done a review of SUVs, and had made the comment about my beloved car, comparing it negatively to the BMW X5, and said what they clearly thought was an insult about my car:
“It’s like driving a sofa”
They were entirely accurate.
And that’s among the reasons I had bought it.
Driving a car shouldn’t break your back or give you a stiff neck.
For them, this ‘insult’ was precisely the reason I had NOT bought the BMW X5 I went for a test drive in. It was stuff. Uncomfortable. And I felt EVERY bump in the ground.
I’ll put this in perspective – in my Lexus SUV – I could soar through a parking lot at 40 miles per hour in Scottsdale where the speed bumps were built taller than the surrounding mountains and not feel a thing.
I did the same thing with speed bumps half that height in the BMW I test drove. And my head hit the roof.
I quipped to the sales guy when I took the car for a test drive “Do you have any models where my neck won’t break if I hit a bump too fast?”
He responded with “Clearly, this is not the car for you and you’ don’t appreciate perfection.”
While I appreciated the snobbery, his observation was spot on about one thing.
I told him I was going to stick with my Lexus.
He quipped, thinking he was being clever “If you want a couch with wheels, then go for it”
I smirked at him.
Funny how sales tactics for BMWs resort to insulting the competition to try to inspire the sale.
“Top Gear, right? Wonderful show.”
The wind knocked out of the poor little dweeb’s sails, I drove off in my rental car and purchased the Lexus the next night.
Now here’s the thing about class.
You’re not born with it.
Some people think you are.
But, much like dollar millionaires in Scottsdale – that is – guys wearing knock off watches they bought on Ebay and expensive shoes you can only buy at Nordstrom’s on credit, to attract shallow women who look at the watch and shoes and like Pavolv’s dog immediately identify the guy with wealth …
Sure. They can walk the walk.
But let’s be honest. There’s no substance.
It’s like looking at a copy of a Mona Lisa – you know, the one in Paris – where you know, undoubtedly, this is a well made forgery.
You can FEEL it.
The men. All have the same hair. Polished look about them straight out of GQ. And the women, the same. And you talk to them in any detail and you learn – there’s no substance to their life. Their depth is what you see, and what you see is a man or woman with pretty clothes and a pretty face but look into those eyes and you realize, quickly, that the lights are on but no one’s home.
Class isn’t driving that Lexus or BMW.
On credit, anyone clever enough with the internet can purchase one nowadays.
Class isn’t wearing name brands like Gucci or Prada or True Religion thinking you’re being cool.
You’re just a lemming, following the lead of a textile industry that has your mind by the balls.
If a mind had balls. Don’t imagine that by the way.
Class is wearing flip flops and a ratty t-shirt with holes in your shorts to that Lexus dealership. Bringing cash with you in your pocket, and paying cash on the spot to the first car salesmen who looks past that exterior and is just curious enough about you to warrant a sale and intentionally providing a healthy commission as you reward him for being a human first and a salesperson second.
Class is smiling and waving at someone who flips you off on the freeway telling them politely in your own way ‘have a nice day’ even though you know they clearly don’t want to.
Class for a business isn’t charging someone less because you know they can’t afford more.
It’s charging nothing until they can afford more.
While it is, in part, the watch you wear, the custom suit you buy, the convertible you own, that’s just a small part of it.
It’s so much more.
How you treat people.
What you give. AND TAKE. And why.
The words you use.
I’m not homeless by choice. Some classless beings have taken from me the things I worked hard to earn which is fine.
Class isn’t just an act.
And with that education.
As a part of being a class act is knowing what happens next and why.
Some people mistake class for snobbery.
But it’s not.
Snobbery is the image.
And class is knowing – feeling – how important that image is and how it contributes to how it makes you feel.
There’s one last thing to know about class:
It’s unique and highly individualized.
That’s how I figured out this world is mine.