That Tennis Match and That Plague Called Entitlement, By the Truly Rich Lady

Is it normal to expect that you deserve particular privileges because of your last name or your fat portfolio? 

My Truly Rich Mother and I love tennis. Our string of private coaches will happily report that we have given up playing ourselves, but we still wear the attire (tennis whites, polo shirts, and diamond tennis bracelets, of course). And we do love to watch a good match.  

Our favorite among the Grand Slam competitions is Roland Garros, the clay tournament of the French Open because the notoriously challenging surface makes every match unexpected.

Our least favorite is the U.S. Open because it’s just a plain-old hard court, a medium-fast Pro DecoTurf, the Internet tells me, which is just, well, not that special when compared to clay or grass. (I’m sure it is also difficult. Please don’t get mad at me, hard court lovers.)

But we still watch, whooping at every ace and groaning at every fault! We like the oldies! The show-off Andre Agassi versus the reserved Pete Sampras! A veteran Steffi Graff versus the young Martina Hingis! The beautiful Anna Kournikova, who is now married to singer Enrique Iglesias, whose mom is Filipina Isabel Preysler! The world is small.

And, of course, there are the powerful Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, the latter of whom had an unfortunate disagreement with an umpire over the weekend, and who ultimately lost the championship to the firecracker Naomi Osaka.

I, the Truly Rich Lady, am not here to pass judgment on whether what happened was an injustice to the female tennis superstar or simply the consequence of overwrought emotions, but this would be an opportunity to pivot into the matter of manners, in particular, that plague called entitlement.


Is it ever okay to expect things to go your way by virtue of your lot in life? Is it right insist that your wish be granted because of who you are? Is it normal to expect that you deserve particular privileges because of your last name or your fat portfolio? 

The answer is obvious. (To those who have rocks in their heads, it is “no!”)

It appears that wealth is inverse to empathy. The more money you have, the more superior you feel.

I am not happy to report that unfortunately entitlement is as common as a logo-covered bag in the Truly Rich World. You see it right outside your window, where neighbors squabble over who has the right to park on the curb when one has an intimate party with a hundred guests. (My Truly Rich Mother: “Why don’t these fools just build bigger garages? Are they poor?” Me: “...”)

You observe it at a party when, to your horror, it will be the super-richest who will ransack the loot table. Not the modestly rich and never those with lesser means. You witness it at a restaurant when the fabulously wealthy sweep in and have some unfortunate group of diners moved to another table, because the table nearest the indoor koi pond “is historically theirs!”

It appears that wealth is inverse to empathy. The more money you have, the more superior you feel. Put more concretely, the more that you succeed in the accumulation of super wealth, which in your mind was only possible because of your unmatched wit, great ambition, or superlative hard work, but in reality, is possible because of the unmatched wit, great ambition, or superlative hard work of the generations before you, the more special you think you are.

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And this obnoxious feeling of being above everyone else leads to another obnoxious feeling of thinking you deserve only the best (or the better-than-the-rest) things.  

In short, the richer you get, the more inward you look. I cannot tell you how many Truly Rich Narcissists I bump into daily. Their I’ve-earned-it demeanor have left them numb to others, so much so that their natural instinct is to step on other people (sometimes literally as in the case of skipping the line for a service) just to get the prize.

Worse still, when they don’t get what they want, they throw a fit like my three-year-old nephew.

Worse still, when they don’t get what they want, they throw a fit like my three-year-old nephew. “It’s unfair, Aunt Si-si!” he says when I refuse to buy him yet another box of Lego, which he will surely throw into the forgotten mountain of toys after a day. “I want it!” he wails. (I usually give in because he is so loud!)

Most sinister of all is when the entitled Truly Rich think they are above the law! I do not wish to put the evil I know on record. Just beware and pray to the Holy Mother, Saint Joseph, and Baby Jesus that you do not cross paths with these dangerous people.

Also, be aware of becoming such an obnoxious person yourself. Here's a checklist: Do you have any regard for others? Do you ever stop for pedestrians when driving your SUV? Maybe you are some sort of goddess in your own company and that is totally fine, but do you expect others to treat you like a god? Do you demand for, ahem, certain things (“Why is the diamond on my engagement ring only five carats?”)? Do you put a crumpled 50-peso bill in the offertory basket when you make seven figures a month?


If the answer is yes to any of these questions, please take a look at the reflection in the mirror of your Chanel compact. If you still find that face flawless and your behavior normal, do the following:

One of the best cures for entitlement is to step outside your comfort zone, which is outside your gated village and to be among many people from all walks of life and income brackets. The numbness may subside when you realize how others are immensely grateful with what little they have. You will also wake up to the reality of your grossness when you see how those with very little give more than what they have (certainly more than your 50!).

Money is good and feeling special is great, but what makes the Truly Rich Lady stand out is appreciating what she already has without demanding more, and having the grace to lead a life ruled by fair play and justice.

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C.C. Coo
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