The tiny cottage industries that spring up around the very wealthy never cease to amaze. Today's for-instance: Apparently New York parents are now paying out the ass for professionals to pack their kids' bags for summer camp. Because a bathing suit, a tube of Banana Boat and some Harry Potter books just don't cut it among the upper crust.
The New York Post has the story. The tab talked to Resourceful Consultants' Barbara Reich, who preps Richie Rich for summer camp with necessities like scented candles (fire hazard, much?) and "French-milled soaps." She explained:
"I talked three people off the camp ledge," Reich told The Post. "For a lot of mothers, particularly when their child is going away for the first time, it's very stressful. Clients will say, 'I need to touch and feel the sheets for softness.' "
"But these are the kinds of things they can control. They're paying $10,000 for sleep-away camp, so they shouldn't feel so bad for their child."
Reich charges $250 per hour; one kid's crap generally takes three or four hours. She's already packed 10 trunks this year. Nice work if you can get it! A fellow "professional organizer" says she's expecting 15 gigs in June, explaining that, "A lot of the parents that I work with want to duplicate the bedding that they have at home" and "It's really about bringing the feel of home to camp."
No one should know what "thread-count" means until they've graduated from college.
Now, to be fair, truly magnificent packing abilities are rare, and those so endowed should probably share their genius with the world. That said: LOLOL.
It's worth noting that the Post pins this trend on "moms" exclusively, as though all the well-to-do dads were off scaling the Matterhorn. (Maybe they are!) The article's kicker is perfectly calibrated to leave readers huffing and puffing and rattling their newspapers in exasperation toward these silly broads: "Women who are Type A, hard-driving, competitive career moms — that is, being a mom is their career — can hire staff, assistants, professional organizers to help them do it better."
Or maybe it's just that if you have money to burn, you find ridiculous ways to burn it?
Anyway, it's totally reasonable to be freaked about your kid leaving home for the first time, and it's hardly surprising that some parents go completely overboard, given the arms race that modern childrearing has become.
But the whole point of sleep-away summer camp is to get a little poison ivy far from the watchful eyes of your parents. Dealing with discomfort independently is part of the experience. Not to get all Teddy Roosevelt, but roughing it once in a while is good for you. Chill the fuck out, parents.
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