The columns and writings of
Peggy L. Elliott
"" Shopping with the "A-List" Crowd, or Buying Babies

It was bound to happen, I suppose. After all, when you have all the money in the world, have spent gazillions of it on all the clothes, accessories, toys, houses, trips, more houses, jewelry, Jewelry, JEWELRY, on and on and on it goes, until you have purchased everything you can possibly buy in order to impress everyone you can possibly impress, where do you go shopping next?

After all, it's a big world, full of wondrous, miraculous things, all just ready and waiting for those with the kind of money it takes to obtain them. ; But shopping does become such a bore, doesn't it? ; You have that momentary flash of excitement as the brand new, grossly overpriced item finds its way into your hands. ; Then it passes on into the closet, the vault - either for jewels or for furs (don't let PETA know!) - or is stashed in one of your homes, and disappears forever.

Of course, there's always more real estate to purchase. ; Houses in all the "best" locales, to live next door to, and be seen entertaining, only the "best" people. ; But why stop with something as mundane as a dozen houses? ; Why not buy an island? ; The ultimate escape from those pesky paparazzi, whose successful completion of their job guarantees you’ll have the money to continue supporting all of these little purchases of yours.

You might even buy a town, though purely for investment purposes. ; Kim Basinger added one to her financial portfolio, but lost it when sued for breach of contract over refusal to appear in “Boxing Helena.” ; Terrible movie, don’t blame Ms. Basinger one bit, still, even the “A” List has to occasionally play by the rules. ;

As towns go, it was rather small, but it must have been fun to tell your acquaintances that, “Oh, yes, I bought this town the other day,” and note their reactions. ; Wonder who she sold it to, in the end?

Still, after you’ve bought up the face of the earth, and have houses scattered throughout all the time zones, in all the hemispheres, and have options on prime Lunar real estate, are eyeing the “Face” on Mars as something fun and different, what have you got, really? ; You’ve simply taken a step up from life spent trudging from one hotel to the next, living out of a suitcase.

Sure, you’re trudging from one palatial palace to the next in your private jets, or on your lavishly appointed yachts, but, in the end, you’re still basically living out of a suitcase, being hauled from place to place. ;

And who are you impressing? ; You’ve all bought the same clothes, houses, planes, yachts, jewels, real estate, fine art, businesses - but who cares? ; There has to be some way an enterprising grossly over-compensated celebrity can spend some of that money and buy something truly unique, different and, at the same time, impress the pants off the rest of the crowd. ;

I‘ve got it! ; Buy your very own Third World Orphan!

And the rush is on. ; Everyone who is “Anyone” simply must have a little Third World Orphan to call their own, to dress up and show off, to once and for all illustrate, through this noble act of love and generosity, that those who live in the rarified air of celebrity are not above assisting those lowly creatures who appear to be in desperate need.

It’s particularly important for those in “desperate need” to be cute and cuddly, babies preferred, but toddlers, if necessary, who will clean up well and look good when dragged out for photo-ops and press conferences. ;

These personal charity cases (along with those their acquisition was meant to impress) will forever be reminded of their unbelievably good fortune. ; Once purchased by their new celebrity parent(s) these lucky little ones are not only given names from their land of “origin,” but will be schooled in the customs of their homelands. ; (Keeping a Third World teacher on staff, solely to educate little Minwukrakatutu, or whatever native Sububaland name you’ve come up with, serves to compound the image of selfless generosity you were hoping to convey.)

It’s all about the show, though; how much mileage is generated by your purchase of a helpless child. ; And there's the rub. ; For that child, as with all children the world over, needs a loving, stable home - which can not be bought, regardless the weight of your financial portfolio. ;

I’ve got a proposition for you, all of you wealthy, driven people who have somehow managed to look out over a sea of need, only to pluck out a single fingerling here and there. ; Whatever the reasoning behind this action, you do have the ability to make a huge difference - not in the life of this one, single child you decide to adopt, but to thousands of children in thousands of families.

Give your money to these orphanages. ; Pour the funds into the coffers of organizations working to educate the world’s children, to make sure there’s good medical care, that their families all have homes in which to live, clothes to wear and decent food to eat and clean water to drink.

Instead of teaching this one adopted son or daughter the customs of the homeland from which they were taken, build them schools to attend in that homeland. ; Help the families, help the communities and by doing so you are giving these sweet babies a gift far beyond anything they could find awaiting them in the many households of the wealthy elite and (largely) absent parents. ;

This rush to adopt these children will pass, as with all the "Fads" of the moment. ; However, children don’t fit neatly into the back of a closet, nor can they be donated and sold at a “Celebrity Auction,” even if it is held for charity.

Please, those of you who have the ways and means to do so, next time you find yourself yearning for a baby just like Maddy picked up the other day, don’t hop in the private jet and rush off to buy one from the first orphanage you find in Bangladesh.

Instead, use your funds and your influence and build those orphans a school, complete with the best teachers and equipment to be found. ; Better yet, find families in Bangladesh to take them in and make sure they have all they need to grow up strong, healthy, educated and ready to make a difference in their own country.

This is what the world’s children need - not another celebrity “mom” toting her new baby back to the Lear Jet, while those left behind are, literally, left behind.
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© Peggy L. Elliott 2006