August 04, 2010
Kiss & Tell
Keeping It Real
On any given Saturday in the Hamptons you can pretty much find a spectrum of humanity – and sometimes inhumanity if you see the way people drive and speak to one another in the deli line. The opening day of the Mercedes-Benz Polo Cup challenge at Blue Star Jets field proved that extreme heat and humidity would not stop the game – the social game, that is.
While the polo ponies are extremely intelligent and agile on the field, the female of the two-legged kind still seem to have missed the memo that five inch platform neon orange wedges are just really not the thing to wear in a field of horse hooey. For those who could draw themselves away from the sponsor tent socializing, the match proved the skill and dedication of the players and their fine steeds.
The crowd in the VIP tent included many of the Real Housewives of both New York and New Jersey. The question arises: what happened to celebrities since reality TV came on the scene? We used to have movie stars or singers or business leaders to photograph and now the obsession seems to be on these "real" people. When did unreal become the new real?
On the same day another event featured real people and these are the veterans who were celebrated during the fundraising Soldier Ride The Hamptons. These men and women know far more danger than having one's hair extensions pulled out. While it is lovely to enjoy the sophisticated social life here in the Hamptons, it is also a total luxury. We may forget that there is still a war going on and that our loved ones are in harm's way.
Over 1200 people showed up to participate in the bicycling, running, walking and cheering on of veterans and those taking the trek to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Kudos to Nick Kraus for all his efforts and for the rocking Rock The Farm benefit, which capped off the day's activities. A supportive young crowd turned up to dance the night away and let the veterans know that they cared.
In talking to many of the returning soldiers, the common thread is how much they truly rely on their local community for support. It can be the outreach of friends, neighbors, and concerned citizens who make the difference of adapting to a new life with various physical and mental challenges. Soldier Ride is also the time when they can come together as their own community and show that a missing limb is not enough to slow them down as they cycle through towns with people cheering them on.
There is a certain perspective that comes with a day like this where you realize that life in and of itself is precious and that we live in a rarified and beautiful place with a big dose of fabulousness. Our "reality" is probably envied by many who can only dream of living this life. The least we can do is sit back and appreciate it and remember that although we get an influx of globe-trotters, we are still a close-knit small town community that can reach out to our own.
Let these veterans and their families know that we remember them for far more than one day or one party. Keep it real.
You can find more of my writing at HipHamptons.com or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.