Reality check

Oprah’s mom has a problem with spending. She racked up a bill at a hip TOWN of Brookfield clothing store, Valentina. They sued because she hasn’t paid. Today she countered with the argument that she has a little problem with spending too much, therefore, she shouldn’t be held accountable.

Here’s the line that blew me away: “He [the owner] has said that it is not unusual for women with full social calendars to run up six-figure clothing bills.”

Well, obviously, I’m dull. I mean, SteinMart sells some nice stuff, but it’s rare that I break a hundred dollars at the check out.

I go to a good chunk of the events where these full-social-calendar women would be wearing their expensive clothes. I haven’t been wowed since about 1986 when I saw a knockout suit leaving the ballet in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (It had an eight-gore skirt with contrasting fabric in the insets and perfectly fitted to the wearer.) The ladies I hang with have never rendered judgment on the fact that I have brazenly worn the same black crepe skirt and black pumps to every event for six years now. A series of silk jackets offer variety. Most of them are indeed from SteinMart.

I love the story. It comes on the heels of yet another “you’re so out of touch you should live on your own planet” e-mails I received today. The proof is in the clothing bill. I’m a little more in touch than Oprah’s mother.

One guess for whom she’ll be voting in November.


  1. Hello fellow “dull” blogger. This story blew me away too. I cannot imagine spending 6 figures on myself in 10 lifetimes, much less at one store. I am not impressed.

    What would impress me is if she had donated 6 figures to a worthy cause!

    True story: At the last Journal blogger meeting, I had on a Ralph Lauren red denim jacket. One blogger I know came over to chat and remarked she had the same jacket–from a resale shop. I laughed and told her mine was from the ECFA thrift store. Maybe bloggers tend to be “dull”?

  2. I have a Ralph Lauren red gabardine jacket from Goodwill…maybe we should start a club!

  3. Although I enjoy reading the blog, I never felt compelled to post a response to a posting until now. Don’t take this as an indication of my poltical leanings but…

    The outfit Cindy McCain wore on the opening day of the Republican National Convention cost between $299,100 and $313,100, Vanity Fair estimates.

    McCain’s gold Oscar de la Renta dress cost $3,000 and her heels cost $600, the magazine reports, but it was the accessories that made the ensemble a pricey gambit.

    The potential first lady wore three-carat diamond earrings worth an estimated $280,000 as well as a four-strand pearl necklace with a price range between $11,000–$25,000.

    She completed the look with a $4,500 Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch.

    Further, it has been reported that Cindy McCain carries a balance of at least $225,000 on two American Express cards. The median interest rate on AmEx cards is about 14 percent, says Consumer Reports. Given that Ms. McCain is heiress of a beer distributorship, she may get something a little better. But not much. So she’s paying more than $20,000 per year in non-deductible interest on balances that presumably she could easily pay off or refinance at a much better rate. But she doesn’t.

  4. RC,

    But did she pay her bill on time. 😉

    BTW…you left out part of the Vanity Fair article I think….where they admit they “assume” the jewels were genuine.

    Last I knew…diamonds were forever.

  5. Such is the luxury of wealth. She is really, really rich. She can wear whatever she wants.

    I tend to work under the rule that if you spend it you don’t have it. My zeros don’t compare to Cindy McCain’s, but I’m sure as heck not going to spend it on a dress! That would buy airfare around the world. Much more my preference 🙂

  6. Nancy Pelosi is no slouch in the clothing/jewelry department either–but looks better.

    What I find so amazing is that someone who spends as much as Cindy McCain can still look so bad. She is an attractive enough looking woman, but I find her fashion and jewelry choices rather odd. (I think my Barbie doll from the early 1960s had some similar outfits–they did not look good on Barbie either.)

    As Cindy Kilkenny stated though, it is hers to do with as she pleases. She isn’t asking Valentina’s to forgive her debt!

  7. I can’t say I understand Cindy McCain’s style, either. Thank goodness she doesn’t weigh in on my jeans and hoodie habit. I’m sure she’d think likewise.

    Pelosi’s makeover a few years ago, though, was something to behold. That I could save for!

  8. Cindy McCain is gaudy, in my opinion. And it appears she’s had plastic surgery. She spends millions every year on clothes and the like. From what I know, she pays her bills. Okay, I can accept that.

    Oprah’s mom on the other hand is not a political figure, and has a shopping problem (entirely different from Cindy McCain’s pill-popping addiction, right?) and got into a boatload of trouble.

    I’m pretty sad that Mama Winfrey used the argument that she should have never been extended the credit in the first place. That’s personal irresponsibility right there.

    But then again, isn’t that the same line Wall Street is using on us to bail them out?

    But since Oprah’s mom is black and the mother of a Democrat, she’s probably a really horrible person who deserves no sympathy.

    Is it possible that Democrats and Republicans both make mistakes because they are people and we all make royal mistakes now and them?

    Pill-popping, shopaholicism, calling your wife a c*nt, getting caught with your pants down, etc. are all effects of our culture (and dare I say, human nature). In the end, it doesn’t have much to do with our political views, because a lot of the time our political views don’t reflect the kind of person we are.

    And Ms. Kilkenny knows all too well the hazards of addiction, she’s been throwing shoes left and right for years now. Good thing she doesn’t wear stilettos! Or Valentina! (Ha ha ha…)

  9. Shawn, it’s yet again obvious why you have a hard time fitting in. You’re rather disgusting. But that’s pretty typical for you. I can’t say I missed you. Nor can I say you’re welcome back.

    For goodness sake, child, think before you press submit. I’ll be glad to delete your babble above if that’s what you’d like. Frankly, it shows more than your ignorance. Maybe you should be getting help.

  10. What’s so disgusting? That we all make mistakes?

  11. In all of your bizarre writing above, that was your point?

  12. What was so bizarre?

    “Is it possible that Democrats and Republicans both make mistakes because they are people and we all make royal mistakes now and them?”

    That was the central tenet, yes.

    And just in case you thought I was actually accusing you of throwing shoes, I wasn’t. It just goes to show how stories get blown out of proportion. All i’m saying is, we all do stupid stuff. And sometimes we don’t even do the stupid stuff we’re accused of.

  13. Ok, so sometimes we don’t do the stupid stuff we’re accused of. Maybe you’ll let some of the trash you insist upon replaying in accusations against McCain land in that category.

    I am cutting you off, Shawn. I just don’t have the energy to deal with your BS. You know how to blog. Have at it. You are being asked to leave this blog alone.

  14. Randy in Richmond says:

    Please provide a link to the report that Cindy McCain carries a balance of $225,000 on her Am Ex Cards and the particulars of her account(s). Here is an article in Politico that contradicts every fact you offer on the account(s).

  15. **this was deleted as spam, but left as a place marker because it drew a comment**

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    Nice try.

  17. Randy in Richmond:

    My source on the McCain credit card debt is the New York Times, as well as other credible sources. Check it out:

    Maybe Cindy is using the money John collects each month from Social Security to pay off the debt? (If you doubt my credibility on that one, here is the link for your reading pleasure:

  18. Sounds like a bad case of class warfare disorder there RC. What’s the matter with being wealthy? Do others make you feel sorry for yourself or what? Do you extend the same courtesy to Bill/Hill, Kerry, etc.? If Obama makes it to POTUS, wadda ya figure his worth will be by the time he’s McCain’s age?

    So you think McCain shouldn’t receive SS? Didn’t he pay in? Isn’t that the point?

    Personally, I don’t care if Cindy has gold plated pumps and drives a $1MM sports car.

  19. I saw a show once about Tyra Banks (another very rich woman.) During the show, her mother confessed (and Tyra readily admitted) that all of Tyras “large diamonds” were actually fakes. She can’t stand the thought of shelling out that kind of money…and no one can tell the difference. In fact, Tyra was quite proud of it. I love that! (Evidently, if you have a soda and don’t finish it at her house, she will also put a piece of wrap over the top written with your name and save it for the next time you stop by. This was discussed at length in the same interview.) Hilarious! 🙂

  20. Randy in Richmond says:

    My only comment on John McCain collecting his own money from Social Security is good for him. We conservatives have or accept absolutely no guilt in receiving what is owed to us. Just for the record last tax year Sen. McCain donated $105,467, or 26 percent, of his total salary to charity.
    As I said before, your facts concerning the AmEx cards’ accounts are incorrect. On the Executive Branch Personnel Public Disclosure Report, the question asked is ” Report liabilities over $10,000 owed to any one creditor at ‘anytime’ during the reporting period. Check the highest amount owed during the reporting period.” The reporting period is 18 months, Jan.1, 06–May 15, 07. Cindy McCain checked $100,000 to $250,000 on two different cards. Your statement is she “carries a balance of at least $250,000”. Which months were that? Were they the same months or different? Did she pay them off immediately or over time? There is no way you or anyone else can answer because the Report doesn’t give that information. Also the Disclosure Report does not show interest paid to AmEx because it doesn’t ask for that info. A McCain aide said “it has been the McCain’s practice and procedure to pay off credit cards on a monthly basis”. Your statement she’s “paying more than $20,000 a year in interest” to AmEx is preposterous. If they are true American Express cards there is no interest charge–however, there is no way to know because, again, that info is not on the disclosure form. Also the NYT’s article you link regarding the AmEx cards is factually correct except it does not point out the period covered is approx. 18 months.

  21. Libby – my mom has a rule. “If they’re rude enough to ask, I’m rude enough to lie.”

    I’ve always thought that fit nicely. 🙂

  22. RC – your party is showing…

    The NYT article you quoted is a snapshot of finances. One should not assume C. McCain has rotating debt. Plus, she paid it, which is very different from the point in this post.

    FYI – Your NYT article shows Mrs. Obama had substantial income from the University of Chicago. Hubby Obama secured millions in pork from your federal taxes for her employer and various organizations with which she was affiliated.

    You complain about C. McCain spending her own money, while you say nothing about Obama spending yours.

  23. I thought this post was about Oprah’s Momma. The story I saw seemed to say that she’d run up some enormus debt with the same store once before and, as part of the settlement, they’d agreed to not extend her a line of credit again.

    The store did not live up to their end of the agreement. Oprah’s Mother didn’t live up to her end of the agreement. It’s a safe bet that some associate producer from Harpo turns up in Milwaukee today and rubs a check on this problem to make it go away.

  24. Grumps, certainly you know by now we rarely discuss the actual post. Heck, you’ve even contributed to a little diversion yourself in the past!

  25. What I see, is endemic to some of the major problems we see in society today. The want it now complex and victimhood. “It’s my right to have these things and it’s someone else’s fault if I don’t”.

    Oprah’s Mom claims to be a victim because she bought too many high end clothes. She’s not trying to work out a payment plan, or sell some assets to pay her bill. I expect she’s got some pretty darn nice things she could pawn. She expects to be relieved of debt because “it just isn’t fair”. WTF?

    Lord knows her daughter could pay this off with the change in her purse. I’m rather surprised Oprah let this become public, but maybe she’s paid off mom’s debts so many times, she’s sick of it. The daughter has become the mother in the relationship and inducing a little “tough love”.

    To be fair, this store was foolish and welched on their end too. If I was the Judge, I’d make her pay the principle and the store eats any interest.

    In contrast, the McCains pay their bills, living within their means. Sure their lifestyle isn’t like most we know but that’s hardly unique. Sounds like something to aspire to if you desire the “finer things in life”.

  26. Awww, geez. You make me blush.