Monday, April 18, 2011

The only in too many ways

To me, Old Navy is nice, Gap is fancy, and JCrew is super fancy. There's really nothing above that, but there's tons below it. Tonight was the first Passover seder and I wore the fancy clothes Josh's parents got me for Christmas (this feels sacrilegious somehow), the ones I wear to work every week. Josh got new clothes for Passover, as did his parents. From listening to people talk around the table, everyone did except me and my sisters. I went on my awesome Florida vacation in January. Everyone else it seems, goes on a vacation every month to two months. Everyone is, at all times, planning a vacation. Everyone is, at all times, just getting home from a vacation.

Most everything I've got is from somewhere in New York. Some of my jewelry is technically probably from Italy because I bet my nana gave some to my mom and I have some of hers, but as far as I'm concerned, it's all from Brooklyn where I first saw it. Some of these people wear jewelry that looks so heavy I wonder if their wrists have extra muscle tone so the rings don't keep making their hands flop down. Alex has perfected the art of, "I like your ring! Can I try it on?" but she is 13 and too old, even though everyone always seems charmed and lets her do it.

I made coconut macaroons (and whipped cream, which Laurie specifically asked for) at home to bring to the seder. The other people either didn't bring anything or brought really fancy things from stores I've never heard of and can't afford. Most of the time I'm totally fine with being me, and happy with everything I have. But sometimes, like when the ninth person is telling me I "must" see Paris this spring before it gets too hot, or check out a specific island in (on?) Hawaii, or get to Israel while it's still relatively safe, standing in the bathroom to cry for a minute is needed.

Because even though they seem nice to my face I can't help but wonder if they are whispering to their spouses that at the last gathering wasn't I wearing the exact same corduroy skirt? And I would really, really rather if they felt that way, they were just obvious in their looking down on me, and not nice to my face. They must know - I mean I can feel my face get funny when they say I have to go places and do things that I'll probably never have the chance to do. Even though I try to smile and joke that I'll make a note of it.

I should be more like my sister. She flat-out lies. "You know, I've been to Paris in the spring and didn't really think much of it!"


Heidi said...

I think unfortunately, you live in a circle which is quite different than your own reality and to be honest, much different than most peoples! Where I live (upstate), most people take vacations once a year and we wear outfits to more than one event a year and don't wear heavy jewelry. Don't feel bad for what you don't have. Enjoy what you do!

~C~ said...

I'm the same as vacation a year (maybe) and so sick of wearing the same clothes all the time. I have work-week outfits and weekend outfits. Sometimes I switch it up and wear my Sunday clothes on Saturday and vice versa. ;)

Anonymous said...

It's hard socializing with people who are not in the same financial boat that you are. But, that's life sometimes. There's always going to be somebody who has more or doesn't have to worry about money. You can't feel bad about it and you can't get pissed off about it all the time because it's just a waste of energy. I'm sure some of those people couldn't have walked three feet in your shoes. That's something you should be proud of, not ashamed of. Who knows, maybe they are in awe of YOU and don't know what else to talk about except travel.

For the record, I only go on one or two vacations (short ones) a year. But if I had the means, you'd better believe I'd be going on a lot more of them!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other posters. Most people do not live the way these people do. Most are struggling to pay bills, etc. You are part of the majority.

Mizasiwa said...

i disagree here - you can get pissed off and have a little cry when you get sick of it all. this is a totally acceptable response. i like to think that becouse Josh's parents are so nice and genuine that their friends are too. maybe you can just think that they are just suggesting these things becouse its nice to suggest nice things. thats how i would take it. i know how hard it is. iv been there or rather i am there at the moment. it sucks but im almost positive that if you really want to see paris you will one day ;-)

Anonymous said...

Sam - I think Josh's family and circle of friends are the super rich that I only get to see and hear about on TV. I have clothing that I still wear that is 10 years old. I look forward to my birthday or Christmas because I know that I'll get something new. As a kid we got clothes once a year at the beginning of the school year. My parents never took us on a vacation because they couldn't afford one. However, we did go to the beach in NJ (an hour away from where we lived) went to the local county park, the Bronx Zoo, The Museum of Natural History, etc. I have a lot of lovely memories of those times. Oh yeah - we couldn't afford to eat at those places so my mom would make us sandwiches and bring a huge thermos full of water! Good times!!

However- I don't think I'm poor, but I have had to work very hard for everything I do have. I'm a homeowner plus I have an apartment in Miami (small & cute) and own my own car. My husband and I work for everything we have and want. I am very careful of what I spend my money. I like to go on vacation and spend a whole year to save for one. It's all a matter of what is important to you. P.S. I do not owe money to credit cards as I manage all of our money and budget for everything!

Sorry for the loooooooooonggggg comment! Toni

Anonymous said...

Sorry - my point is that not everyone goes on vacation multiple times a year, travelled to Europe and have tons of jewlery. They are not the norm. People like you and the other commenters are.

Nina said...

That must be really hard to listen to. If it makes you feel better...I feel VERY lucky to go on vacation once a year and it's almost always for something specific (an out of town wedding of a close friend, for instance).

One of my best friends (who happens to live in NYC now) is what I consider super rich (or bordering it) and it makes me feel bad talking to her, mostly because she complains about not having money while also jaunting off to Paris for New Years Eve (first class, of course), just cuz, and always wearing clothes I'd feel guilty just admiring, etc.

But at the end of the day, I like my life and the things in it. And I think you do too. But it's totally cool to go to the bathroom to let off steam too. Good for you for doing that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kathy. I know I will say some pretty ridiculous things when I can't find common ground with someone. I can't imagine it's all that different for super rich people. And never underestimate the social awkwardness of people, no matter their income.

Regarding the clothing thing, I'm 35 now. The idea that anyone would look down upon someone for wearing the same clothes as they were wearing the last time we met is alien to me now. I'm sure it happens, but I think it's something that you think about a lot more when you're younger. At least, I did. It never even occurs to me to worry about how many times I wear clothes in front of people. I've worn the same dress to my husband's company events for the past several years - I just don't care about clothes and I don't think anyone cares whether I do.

And finally I agree with the commenter who noted what nice people Josh's parents are. I'm sure most of their friends are the same, but just don't necessarily socialize outside of their super-rich circle much. It's easy to forget what it's like it in the real world when "you must see Paris in the spring" is something that casually falls out of your mouth.

Chris said...

Haha. Those people most likely mean well, but they're not exactly delicate. Or they think of you so much as one of them and that they really can't tell. It's a compliment, it means you dress just fine.

Anonymous said...

This is why I love and hate NY! (and I live here too)
I guarantee that these women are all remembering the others' jewelry and no one is remembering what you're wearing. And I bet you're a more interesting person than most of their own children - have fun!

Yankee, Transferred said...

Having traveled in both circles, I can tell you that the super-rich are not having as much fun as the "regular" people.
I'm sorry if it's intimidating, and I completely understand it. Try not to let it get to you too much. They don't mean anything by it, it's just the way they talk.

You are waaaaaaaaay cooler than a rich person who tells people that they must go to Paris.
Hang in there-