5 Names to Know Before Having Brunch with Your Partner's Rich, Snobby Parents at Their Country Club

By Noah Kaufman |


Congratulations, you've landed yourself a real blueblood.  Your significant other can trace their family history all the way back to the Mayflower and comes from money older than most European countries.  You could be set up life if you can just get through brunch at the country club.  Here are some names to drop:

James Spithill, Yachtsman

Why You Should Know Him:

Last year, aussie James “Jimmy” Spithill (apparently they’re not very creative with nicknames in the yachting world) pulled off the greatest comeback in the history of the America’s Cup for Team Oracle USA.  Just the fact that you would bring up the world’s most prestigious sailing race should get you in good with the Brooks Brothers-wearing couple across the table from you. Bonus points if you tie a good buntline hitch.

Fly Club, Finals Club

Why You Should Know It:

No, this is technically not a person.  But chances are good that one and probably both of your sweetheart’s parents went to Harvard.  And if they’re as well connected as they seem, chances are dear old dad was in this prestigious Crimson version of a fraternity.  Depending on whether he is old or very, very old, he was either there with a Roosevelt, a Rockefeller, or the guy that played Herman on the Munsters (all members, really).   

Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor

Why You Should Know Him:

The only music allowed in their house is classical.  So if they ask you what you’re into, drop the name of the conductor of the LA Philharmonic.  His crazy hair and crazy energy make him one of the most exciting things going in the world of rondos right now.  The folks probably jet off to see him once a month.

Adolfo Cambiaso, Polo Player

Why You Should Know Him:

When it comes to old money, there is nothing more popular more than polo.  Somewhere there is a scientific study to prove this.  And there is no better player than Adolfo.  Start using terms like “chunker” (period of play) and “pony goal” (when the horse kicks the ball in the goal) and mom will be inviting you for tea in the Hamptons next weekend.

Richard Morris Hunt, Architect

Why You Should Know Him:

When it comes to incredibly wealthy people, no neighborhood can claim more than New York’s upper east side.  And when it came to designing houses for the original matriarchs and patriarchs of those families, no one did it better than Richard Morris Hunt.  Even though a lot of his mansions were torn down to make way for larger buildings, just tell the folks you love what Hunt did with the Met and they will undoubtedly nod knowingly to each other…before quietly tearing you apart on their car ride home.

Related: 10 Ways to Survive Dinner with your Partner's Awful Friends 
11 Ways to Become Besties with your Bartender 
7 Ways to Ruin a Destination Wedding