Today We Are All This Rich Lady Suing Her Country Club Over Wine Spilled On Her $30,000 Purse
Once upon a time, in my shopgirl days, a very rich lady came into the store, got some things to try on, and then refused to come out of the dressing room for two and a half hours. She stayed in there, sobbing to me (a person who was, at the time, making $13.00 an hour plus commission, working 39.5 hours a week so that my boss didn't have to give me health insurance) about how her friend got ahead of her on some waiting list and got the Birkin bag she wanted before she did. Birkin bags. For those of you not into this kind of thing, Birkin bags are purses made by Hermés that cost anywhere from $15K to, I shit you not, $379,261.
But anyway, I stood and listened to this woman sob for two hours, brought her white wine and told her it was all going to be OK, and every time I spoke to another customer, she would sob more loudly. Then she left without buying anything, never to darken our doorstep again. And to this day, I hate her. I hate her so much.
Why am I telling you this story? Because I am about to tell you another one — about a lady who is trying to sue someone, anyone, over some wine getting spilled all over her $30,000 pink Hermés Kelly clutch at a $19,000 a year country club.
Rich people, they're just like us!
It all happened when Maryana Beyder was having dinner with her husband and the $30,000 Kelly (named after Grace Kelly, natch) bag at the Alpine Country Club in Demarest, New Jersey. The couple ordered some red wine and then, according to her attorney, in an entirely plausible sounding scenario, the waiter just poured the wine all over her, her husband and her bag.
"Whoever the waiter was proceeded to pour red wine and didn't stop," said Alexandra Errico, Beyder's attorney. "Poured it all over her. Poured it all over her husband. And poured it all over a very expensive Hermès bag."
Now, not to get all Murder She Wrote, but in addition to having worked retail, I have also worked as a server. And I'm trying to comprehend how that could have happened, in real life, the way they are saying it happened — and I am just not seeing it. The server poured wine into a glass, kept pouring it as the glass overfilled (with no one pointing this out, mind you), and then kept pouring it until it spilled all over two people, ostensibly on opposite sides of the table, for so long that it reached the floor and Beyder's bag? HOW? That's just not how arms work. It is, however, how glasses that are knocked over work. Just saying.
Anyway! Beyder was very upset about her ruined bag that probably wasn't actually ruined, and wanted the country club to give her $30,000 to compensate her for the purse — but alas, no one cared.
Via Washington Post:
Initially, her attorney said, she reached out to Alpine Country Club to resolve the matter, but the establishment eventually stopped responding to her complaints. The same was true of her insurance company, which failed to comprehend how a bag could have such a high price tag, Errico said.
Well, really, who can?
Errico told Vice earlier this month that by not covering the bag, the insurance company itself is discriminating against her client for being rich.
"It's sort of like a rich person problem," said Errico. "They couldn't comprehend that a bag could be that much. I think that was the biggest problem with that. They kind of discriminated against her that she actually owned that type of bag."
Oh the poor dear. Life must be so hard for her. Of course, if you are going to walk around carrying a $30,000 bag, you should probably have it insured on its own — which, yes, is a thing you can do. I mean, it's basically a rule of the universe that if you walk around with something that expensive, you are going to lose it or ruin it in some way. It's why everyone jokes that they lose designer sunglasses in a week, but have ones from the Dollar Store for a decade.
But I suppose the kind of people whose husbands buy them $30,000 Hermés handbags for their 30th birthday don't really think about things like that.
Beyder has been fighting this for a year in court, and the Alpine Country Club still insists they do not owe her any kind of compensation. However, on Monday, when they filed documents claiming they weren't liable for any damage, they filed their own cross-claim against the server who allegedly spilled the wine — which, according to Errico, Beyder never wanted or asked for. But here we are! A rich lady suing a country club that is suing a waiter over a $30,000 purse. And they say we're the ones trying to bring about a class war.
I'm not sure what the moral of this story is, but I will say that I wish I could go back in time and just dump wine all over that rude customer I had. I will also say that it makes me feel even better about taxing the hell out of rich people stupid enough to buy $30,000 handbags (and not even insure them) in order to get healthcare, education and childcare for the rest of us. Because yes, clearly, we actually do know how to spend "their money" better than they do — and until they stop buying things like $30,000 purses, I'm not sure how they can argue otherwise.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse