I was always jealous of my friends who had really rich heritages, like Italian or Greek or Jewish or Scientologist. I’m just such an average white Anglo-Saxon guy that it was kind of disappointing to not have that great ethnic history. But I did some research and I found out that I actually do have a rich ethnic history, you see, my family were Preppies.
There is not a lot of documentation about them, but what I found out was inspiring. Like the Puritans before them, they were persecuted for their beliefs and forced to the margins. I can only imagine what it was like for my ancestors to have to play croquet and eat caviar in secret, lest they be physically harmed. It must have been difficult to maintain their lifestyle among people who didn't understand the value of snobbery and cocktails in the gazebo. The Preppies were small in number, but they came to this country just like everyone else in search of a dream, a dream to build gated communities, private schools and country clubs- free of the tyranny of the old world. My great-great grandfather Thurston Reginald Bentley landed here in the early 1850’s with nothing but his tennis racket and the sweater tied jauntily around his shoulders. He worked his manicured fingers to the bone to provide for his family, so that one day I could slip on a polo shirt and hold my head high as I eat lunch on the golf course with cousin Muffy and Uncle Stu.
I always wondered why I looked so good in polo shirts and sweater vests. Now I know, and it feels amazing.