Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Beige Women of Trak

"Is that why you always look like the cat who swallowed the King Island double cream" - Trude to Prue, on discovering Trudy is having an affair with her husband, "Kath and Kim"

"In popular Australian culture, the name Toorak has become synonymous with wealth and privilege. The suburb has long had the reputation of being Melbourne's most elite, and ranks among the most prestigious in Australia. It has the highest average property values in Melbourne, and is one of the most expensive suburbs in Australia." - Wikipedia Toorak, Victoria

Sunbakers, Upper East Side, New York
"I have two groups of friends," Cara mused. "There are the normal ones like you and Ruth, and then there are my golf ones."

Normal? Me? I don't THINK so. But to continue ...

Cara lives in Melbourne. We were chatting on the phone. "My golf friends are all rich and they all have lemon-colored straight hair and live in Toorak or Balwyn. And it is weird," said Caro, sounding bemused. "They say things like, 'The government wants to get money from the rich with a new tax for the bushfire victims.' This really annoys them but of course the government must get money from the rich. They are the ones with the money. How can the governement get money from the poor?"

That's Cara for you. Logical with a touch of naiveté. Delightful.

She picked up speed. "And they don't have to go to work. And they don't believe in global warming. And they talk in loud voices, a bit like they're English but they aren't."

Sunbaker, Melbourne, OZ
I could picture them. The beige ladies of the Melbourne suburbs of Toorak aka "Trak", and Balwyn.

It occured to me today that there's no equivalent of these beige ladies in America. I've lived in old Greenwich Connecticut. If there were beige ladies of the Toorak variety, one would expect to see them there. But no. Or perhaps on Manhattan's Upper East Side. But no again.

For the first time I think I've discovered something that exists in Australia but not in America!

Of course America isn't just Manhattan and Connecticut, though perhaps it would be better if it was ... But I've lived elswhere in the States. Oklahoma for example - "where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain" - Beige Oklhoma ladies in tweeds? Trudys and Prues? Wives of wealthy stock-brokers and plastic surgeons? "Old money"? I don't THINK so. Or in New Jersey? Don't even go there!

For my American readers who don't know any beige ladies and cannot imagine them, here are two Trak wannabes from the Australian comedy, "Kath and Kim". You can see Prue and Trude on the left.

Americans, you just don't know what you're missing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh yas, I've seen a lot of 'em in my life. But then I've lived a very different life than you, Kate. And I still see it in our retirement community; women who have never worked, had husbands (one or two or three) and kiddies raised with lots of household help. They still look the same and are dull in their dotage. And when we visit our daughter in Seattle and go to her tennis club, the middle-aged ones are there. Yuk!

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