I finished The Great Gatsby last night, and my first reaction was “WTF, that was stupid! What a pointless mess!” But, after thinking about it and absorbing the message some more, I think that’s how I was supposed to feel… and I think I got it!

It was interesting how closely it paralleled some of my own experiences, and the lifestyles I was exposed to in my DC world. I frequented some lavish parties hosted by millionaires and their athlete/supermodel/celebrity friends, in decadent Georgetown and Embassy Row mansions and sparkling yachts.

Someone I know personally matches every character in the book, for better or for worse. I like to think I’m Nick Carraway – a relatively aloof and somewhat bored participant who recognized the emptiness of what we were doing, but participated anyway (albeit from a guarded distance without taking it too seriously, if that makes sense…)

Though I must say, our millionaire hosts weren’t quite as elegantly, mysteriously interesting as Jay Gatsby. There were plenty of rumors of course – but more along the lines of snorting cocaine off 14-carat gold bars just for the heck of it, and bizarre sexual practices with high-end hookers in Cannes or St. Tropez (or DC), and yes, maybe some investment fraud here and there…

But fortunately, no one’s lives were ruined by their extravagance… that I know of. Just reputations maybe… but even those stains disappeared with the relatively anonymous cycle of revelers that go in and out of those kinds of shin digs…

…Can’t wait to see the movie!

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