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I visited your exclusive gated community in Laguna Beach on Tuesday. Arriving early for a meeting with a client, I sat on a bench by the beach reading my philosophy book. You were the bleached-blond woman, late 30s, decidedly unattractive, accompanied by dog and daughter. You looked very perturbed upon seeing me—was it my cargo pants and surf T-shirt? —and finally came over to me and said, "Do they just let anyone in here now?" I asked why it bothered you. You replied, "We can't just have people coming in here. Did the guard just wave you in off the street?" I said, "I'm a guest of a resident, I have a pass, and it's none of your business." You said it was your business because you lived there. I refused to answer any further questions and finally told you to get the guard if my presence was such a big deal. You stormed off, saying, "I will!" Look, lady, just because you have money (or, more likely, just because your husband does) doesn't mean you have earned some sort of aristocratic privilege over those of us who don't. I didn't answer your questions because I didn't have to. I'm an American. That's why I was still on that bench reading 20 minutes later when you finally gave up leering and muttering and walked off to the beach. I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for anybody who lives in one of those gated worlds. You're fooling yourselves; you have no more right to be here than any of us. I can only imagine the fuss you'd have put up if I had been a minority.


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