Tuesday, 21 October 2014

When Living in a Mansion, Don't Throw Rocks

I noticed in today's news that Louisiana Senator (currently in the running) Mary Landrieu (a Democrat) got into some verbal discussion over her house.  Folks had said it was a mansion....something that most Louisiana folks hate.  Mary came right back said her $2.5 million-dollar house was not a mansion.

So the argument is....when does a house become a mansion, and is there any relationship to money?

In Bama, a guy could spend $32,000 on a house-trailer, and say to his wife that it qualified as a mansion.  We also could buy a cabin in the deepest part of the woods, with marginal running water, rattlesnakes in the backyard, and no electricity......then refer to it as a mansion.

In Arizona, folks were particular about mansion status, and it meant you had to have a fairly decent pool, both AC and swamp-cooler, a RV-garage next to the two-car garage, and three-thousand square feet of "something".  You could actually buy a mansion for $300,000 there in Tucson in the 1990s.

Down the road from me here in Germany.....there is a upscale neighborhood on the side of a gently rolling hill.....with four-thousand square foot houses, with underground garages, and the value likely runs around $1.5 million as a minimum.  Germans would hate to refer to them as mansions, but if you walked by, you'd grant them mansion status with no questions asked.

Owning a mansion, typically gets you status.  It means you made it and have something to show for it.  Mansions usually have a fancy gate, and nifty security fence.  You typically want to throw five or six parties a year and invite folks who've been on "Friends", or the Oprah Show to be on the guest list.  You also have a fancy light fixture in the entry hallway which you want to force guests to admire, since you spent $75,000 on it and had it shipped in from France.  Somewhere in the main room, there will be some provocative artist rendition of a red pony riding against a Siberian blizzard, with pink butterflies hoovering above the pony.....which you bought at a Miami showroom for $9,000 from a artist called "Bufitofo".

I can remember in the mid-1980s....the TV show of "Homes of the Rich and Famous".  I actually watched a dozen-odd episodes.  Generally, I always sat there and wondered how you cooled or heated some 5,000 square-foot house, or how you heated an Olympic-sized pool in Nashville in the midst of winter.  Desiring one?  I really can't say that.....I guess I watched the show mostly because the two alternate choices were Charlies Angels or some comedy of a one-star marginal nature.

What does Mary Landreiu do in this case?  It's hard to eyeball some house, and come to a conclusion that you spent $2.5 million on it......but it's not a mansion.  The size of her Georgetown "mansion"?  Just over 7,000 square feet.  Bathrooms?  It's got five of them, along with four hot-water heaters, and two dish-washers.

All this discussion comes up because she decided to slam her Republican associate running for the Senate seat.....over his big-scale house outside of some Louisiana university area.  Someone quickly asked Mary about her status, and this generated a fair-sized mess to clean up.  It's one of those glass-house episodes.....where you ought not throw any rocks because some other folks might throw them back.

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