In my mind, that’s what the short story "The Standard of Living" by Dorothy Parker addresses. Simply, the narrative finds out what happens to the forgotten near-chums. It follows two bland if not slightly attractive (or slutty) friends who work as stenographers in post-World War II Manhattan. I picture the assistants that come on to the advertising executives in Mad Men, but with no emotional depth (meaning, these women don’t hold higher aspirations than serving as floozies).
Lacking an action-packed narrative arc, "The Standard of Living" deals with gluttonous, near-Gatsby gals and a Saturday-afternoon pallor game they play. The question: What would you buy if you had a million dollars? These ladies aren’t buying lots of macaroni and cheese, either (sorry Bare Naked Ladies). No, these dames – a term used in its most accurate way possible – possess a taste for the finer things: mink stoles, elegant pearl necklaces, perfume from Chesarie cats, you get the idea.
Slowly these evolved into a genii’s three wishes, but so be it. I got a hundred grand to work with, and I’m going to make it count. I mean, season tickets to the Phillies or Eagles would be sweet. So would a private miniature golf club in my backyard. But, I really love my family. So I think a group trip to Ireland would make us all happy. There we could…
Wait, I didn’t mean it like that. They’d all be there supporting me. Any fun they partake in is purely supplemental. It’s still totally selfish. Oh come on. How could I go there by myself? You mean I LOSE IT ALL!
Maybe, I should have stuck to mink stoles like the Manhattan ladies.