More people are joining this tumblr (does that mean I’m “tumbling”?) so I have to come up with something, and fast.
Just returned from Los Angeles (i.e. not a preppy city, though compared to Las Vegas it probably is one). Show business so dominates the ethos of the city that it touches everything, often in peculiar ways.
My daughter, Exhibit B, had a bad earache, so I got her an appointment with an ENT doctor in Beverly Hills. His office is festooned with gold and platinum records, personalized to him. In most of the world, one’s patients are supposed to be held in confidence. In Beverly Hills, you discover your doctor-to-be has treated Katy Perry, Coldplay (all of them?), and Tenacious D before you ever meet.
(And yes, he is a good doctor, and made her better.) So now I ask you this: in gratitude should Exhibit B send him a photocopy of her plaque (the Upper School equivalent of a gold record) as “Manager of the Year” for the basketball team? Is that the only right thing to do?
And while I’m on it, would you have imagined that Coldplay (all of them?) would have gone to the trouble of having a platinum record framed and personalized for Dr. S? That’s awfully considerate, don’t you think? It suggests that their album would not have sold into the stratosphere without help from the Beverly Hills Ear Nose & Throat Specialist.
I am struck, however, by how often we criticize people, and forget that compliments mean so much. I don’t have a gold record to hand out, but I do try to remember to thank people for their help and make sure they know how much they are appreciated. It costs nothing more than the time it takes, and it goes a long way. Think of how good you feel when someone says, “thank you, Flip. I couldn’t have done it without you.”