Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rich People

For some mysterious reason, I always end up surrounded by rich people. I went to a high school for rich kids and hated it. Then I ended up in a graduate program at a university for rich folks and hated it even more. My first professorial job was yet again at a place for rich students. I always was the envy of my friends because of constantly attracting very rich admirers. They were all nice people, those admirers, but they were rich, which made any relationship between us hopeless. Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing whatsoever against rich people. I want them to keep being rich and become even richer. I'd just like them to do it far away from me.

My great-grandmother whose personality I have and whose life journey I'm repeating down to minor details was a passionate Communist. She benefited greatly from the October Revolution and the Communist regime. I guess I'm now repaying some karmic debt for her Communist beliefs by constantly having to suffer through the company of rich people whose way of being, while completely worthy of respect, is extremely alien to me. 


Leah Jane said...

That's something I can relate to. I went to a private Catholic middle school, and my sister and I paid our tuition at that nastily expensive place by working during lunchtime in the cafeteria, and during our recess, we would clean classrooms. Now, in college, I'm in mostly honours classes, and I have to listen to my classmates talk about the private beach in Costa Rica their parents own, or the ski house in Whistler.
I however, have no Communist relatives that I know of. I guess this is just the price I pay for growing up in a beautiful place that attracts a lot of rich people, going to college in a beautiful place that attracts a lot of rich people, and moving to a place that is beautiful and attracts a lot of rich people. I guess I can't fault them for having good taste in places to live.

Clarissa said...

"Why are you stuck here all summer? Don't you want to go traveling in Europe? This is what I'm going to do."

Or, "I went to the casino last night and lost 10,000. Of course, my father will send me a check but he said he was getting tired of this."

Yeah, I know what you mean.

Leah Jane said...

My favourites: "So, where do you summer?"
I had no idea summer was a verb!

"I can't believe I have to spend all summer in Italy with my parents! We go every year, I am so over it!"
... Will your parents adopt me?

"I can't believe my parents won't help me pay for my new car! I'm going to have to dip into my bat mitzvah money!"
That one made me embarrassed for my people.

And finally,
"You're so lucky you get so many scholarships, Leah. Nobody ever gives me anything, my parents have to pay for all my college."
... Speaks for itself.

Clarissa said...

The last comment is just priceless. I couldn't have invented something like this if I tried. Some people are very special.

Thanks for sharing!

Pen said...

My policy is that you can be rich around me, but be discrete about it. There is one real private school in my county (tuition for elementary school alone is what I'd be paying for a state college). My experiences with other kids my age from this school is that they are very showy and superficial and have no respect for people who are taking advantage of the free, public education that everyone else has to suffer with. For a college admissions essay class, one girl honestly said that for her future she wanted to create a utopia (we were asked what we envisioned our future careers to be). While this is all well and good (though it reminded me of a Miss America entrant answering that question with "world peace"), I honestly considered telling her to open up The Giver (a standard dystopian middle school text where I'm from) and to take a good hard read. And to the weird looks I got when I explained that I didn't have much of an interest in chemistry and so I might have struggled along at some point, I wanted to say something along the lines of "I'm going to be a music/English major" (I'm not, and I don't know what I would prove by saying this), or mention the summer when I went to Switzerland to see the CERN particle accelerator (I didn't do this either).

As the rich people in my experience cause me to want to lie (the alternative is strangle them for their ignorance, so I suppose lying is preferable), my conclusion is that rich kids who are not discrete spell trouble (this is also factoring into my possible decision to go to a state school next year, as I also find it very difficult to ignore the urge to lecture the ignorant). So I have an idea where these kinds of quotes might come from.

I also recognize that there are some decent kids who go to private schools (I speak of high school, by the way). I have never met them, but other people have gotten offended when I've expressed my hard-won opinion of students of this specific private school. They claim that I've never met the decent kids, so I shouldn't be disparaging of everybody. To folks like that, I will kindly repeat this: I have never met the decent kids, but I will happily reconsider my opinion if I ever do. In the meantime, consider this: at the end of a week-long class, I came home wanting nothing more than to go be a hermit in the woods for the rest of my life; as I've never come home from school with the desire to be a hermit, I can only conclude that this sudden urge had nothing to do with my natural social aversion and everything to do with the people in the class itself (seven out of twelve were from the same private school).