Deconstructing the "Hamptons" 

I love summer! What isn’t to love about the sun, the beach, and the livin’, which is easy? Well, the sun causes cancer, the beach is a boring place where land ends, and the livin’, according to the imaginary song playing in my head right now, is exactly like the rest of the year, except that all the upper-management assholes beat feet at noon every Friday to go hang out in their made-up vacation communities, like the alleged “Hamptons.”

Because listen, the Hamptons don’t exist. Oh yeah? What? Prove it. Obviously you’ve never been there; the target demo of this magazine has about two pennies to rub together. I have no problem with the concept of rich people abandoning this fetid steamroom of a city between June and September, but I simply cannot believe they voluntarily sit in hours of traffic to spend two and a half days on an alleged “beach” on Long Island. I’m not fooled. There is no “beach” on Long Island, unless it’s in the Beachy Margarita Surprise at a strip-mall Chili’s.

All right, calm down, I’ve seen a map and that one episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte gets crabs; I know the Hamptons technically “exist.” But it doesn’t matter, because you and I will never get there. Oh sure, we could somehow locate an automobile and some money. But the closest we’d get to a glamorous oceanside celebrity run-in is sharing counter space at some Jones Beach shrimp shack with Danny Pintauro. Because the Hamptons, or “the Hamptons,” as Derrida would call them, do not exist for the non-rich, and therefore the fact that they “exist” for the rich is irrelevant. Their apparent dearth in your life and mine is equivalent to an actual dearth in the universe.

Therefore, the non-rich person can take two possible courses of action.

One: he can spend the rest of his employed life sucking up to everyone he knows with three first names in the vain hope of reaching that one beautiful day when some assy male WASP named Marjorie says, “Say, Off-the-Rack-Suit-Guy from Marketing, why don’t you join the gang at Sag Harbor this weekend? The help make a killer mojito!”

Or two: he can accept the fact that there will never be a place for him at the Northeast’s preeminent playground of CEOs who hate each other but hang out at each other’s pools every damned weekend for some unfathomable reason anyway.

Now this is a hard choice — I want to join the gang at Sag Harbor as much as you do, believe me. But I also know that these assholes create tiny pockets of happiness in their lives of sitting-room redecoration and pedantic dissatisfaction with pool-landscaping companies (come on, you have your celebrity gossip and your religion; I have the delusion that rich people are miserable) by knowing that schmucks like us spend our entire summers wallowing in our own grit and bathing ourselves with whimpering, pathetic wishes to get into their club.

So I say: join me this summer in my anti-Hamptons-envy revolution. We’ll find something else to do. We’ll make everyone envious of our fun in the face of thrift. We’ll shine like the no-money-needing hipster stars we are! All right, we’ll probably eat two packets of Cheez-Its from the office vending machine and then cry softly to ourselves because we know there are no air conditioners in our apartments, but those assholes living it up on Lilypond Lane won’t know that — I mean, if they even existed, they wouldn’t.


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