I am a lot better off financially than my parents were during the Great Depression — I can afford to heat the house with gas rather than coal; I can afford to buy a new car, rather than a used car every 20 years and I can afford lean ground beef and butter now rather than cheap, fatty ground beef and margarine. So I figure that I have arrived. In order to demonstrate that, bolster my ego and accommodate all my kids and grandkids, I'm going to build a 15,000-square-foot dream castle right in the middle of the Verdugo Woodlands on a tear-down lot I bought.
For all those kids and grandkids who occasionally visit, I need 15 bedrooms and 15 baths as well as eight garage spaces for our herd of Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs. It would be both déclassé and unsanitary to have anyone share bedrooms and bathrooms. But to show my thoughtfulness for the neighbors, I'm going to build only a 15,000-square-foot house, which is much smaller than I really need.