Driving home from work at the end of a long, hot day, I got to thinking about my Most Expensive Splurge Ever.
Not counting things like planned vacations, the best pure splurge I could come up with was a bottle of Silver Oak Napa, a California cabernet that sells for about $125.
Beyond that, though, I was pretty much at a loss. It would seem I have a limited urge to splurge.
Not so Paul Manafort. If you’ve missed a slew of stories this past week, Manafort, with his rich-and-infamous lifestyle, is on trial for bank and tax fraud charges in Alexandria, Va. In honoring the judge’s wishes, I am staying away from Anything Political in commenting about him. (But I certainly encourage you to Google him if you want to know more.)
There’s plenty of other stuff to talk about, anyway. Like how he spent money. A ton of money.
Basically, Manafort managed to go through millions. Make that multi-millions. And, now, reports are that he owes a lot of people (including the IRS) a lot of money. Money that he no longer has.
So how did he blow it? According to what’s come out at the trial, for starters, he bought a bunch of houses, expensive furnishings, Persian rugs and the like. At one residence, he has a garden fashioned in the shape of an “M,” presumably in a ego-laden nod to his surname. He’s also got a super-duper karaoke machine. Guys just wanna have fun, you know?
Beyond all the real estate, Manafort is apparently quite the fashion maven. Court records show that in a four-year period, he spent $1.3 million on dozens of suits and other items of clothing.
Among them are my (and, it seems, everyone’s) favorites: an ostrich jacket ($15,000) and a python jacket ($18,000.)
I have to wonder. Where does one wear such things? Someplace casual, I assume; given the pictures I’ve seen they both resemble leather bomber jackets. Not what you’d don for a formal D.C. dinner ...
That said, if I encountered such sartorial splendor on the street, I wouldn’t recognize the jackets for what they are — and I’m guessing a lot of other people wouldn’t either.
But I’m also guessing that a status-conscious type like Manafort would want people to know, so maybe he’d say something like “Hey, this is my ostrich jacket… I left my python at home….”
Well, for the time being at least, he doesn’t have to worry about that. His fashion choices are severely limited. While Manafort gets to wear a suit in the courtroom, once he gets “home” (currently jail due to allegations of witness tampering) he changes into a nice comfy prison jumpsuit.
And then, who knows? Maybe he curls up with a good book. If so, may I suggest something by Oscar Wilde who wrote, “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”
Contat Susan Pawlak Seaman at firstname.lastname@example.org