I Don't Like Rich People

Though I don’t think they should be hunted for sport.

Probably.

Every so often I hear a song that immediately takes me back to another time and place. Some people get the same result from smells, but since I haven’t been able to breathe through my nose since the summer of 1990, I only have music.

I recently heard some crappy dance song from waaaaay back in the day. It transported me back to college. (I immediately craved pizza and felt like taking a nap in a TV lounge while skipping accounting class.)

I was at a commerce society social event one night. Despite my obvious super coolness, my buddy and I got there a bit early. There may have been twenty or so of us in the smallish house.

We were in the room with the bar when I saw a girl. She had reddish hair. Long. Plaid skirt.

I wasn’t much for the cold call approach back then.

Or, well, now.

But, I walked up and took a seat next to her. She had been turned the other way, chatting with friends. She turned to me and I said…

“Hey.”

“Hi,” she replied.

Silence.

“Is that all you have?” she asked cutely.

“I like your skirt.”

“Really? It’s a [some designer name maybe]”

“I have no friggin’ idea what that is,” I said.

She found that charming and turned her entire body around to chat with me.

And we chatted for like an hour.

In that time I found out that she was smart, even prettier close up, funny, athletic, charming as hell…

And rich.

And somehow the last point ruined it for me.

I’m not entirely sure why.

We ended up going out to a bar (Liquor Dome, maybe?) as a group. And we danced and hung out some more. She dragged me around by the hand and introduced me to everyone she knew. But, something about her just seemed off-putting.

Her boyfriend showing up later in the evening didn’t help things. Though once I met him, I knew that I could steal her if I had wanted to.

Just kidding.

Mostly.

Like 60/40.

College was a bit of a culture shock for me in general.

In my town there were people who had more money than others. But, the gap between upper and lower classes wasn’t nearly as wide. At home, “rich” meant that you had a slightly bigger house and a newer car.

One of my first days in college, I was chatting with a dude that lived next door. He mentioned that his mother “only” made about 150K a year as some kind of lawyer in Vancouver. And his dad made about a million and a half a year as “an importer/exporter.”

This guy figured that the average lower class Canadian family made about 100K a year.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to punch him or pat him on the head.

I opted for the classic, “Are you out of your fucking mind?”

He turned out to be a pretty nice guy, but the money thing oozed from him a bit. It probably kept me from becoming close friends with him.

It’s definitely not an inferiority thing though.

I think it was just a lack of common experiences.

Rich friend: “I had to trade in my year old Beemer this past weekend for a newer model.”

Peter: “Dude, I had to go parking in a Ford Ranger. With a stick shift!”

Different worlds.

The way I’m wired, it is unlikely that I’ll ever be rich. And, if I ever made a lot of cash, I’d probably just trade it for magic beans anyway.

I probably shouldn’t have slept through all of those accounting classes.

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  1. Eve says:

    You’re a mouth-breather. I don’t know about that… It definitely sounds like a post subject though.

    And that’s a weird thing, being anti-rich. You’re classist! Kidding. But seriously, it’s just a different way of looking at things. Can you really blame someone for their background?

  2. pinknest says:

    magic beans is way better than a nicer car. and why can you only breathe through your mouth now? does that mean everything you eat is tasteless?

  3. The Stormin Mormon says:

    I have a new Benz.

    It doesn’t mean shit. Most of the time people assume that my “parents bought it for me,” which just further infuriates me…

    I worked my ass of to get to the position to buy it. Gave up a seven year relationship with an amazing woman to focus on my career.

    The car doesn’t mean shit to me now, and she is gone…

  4. themikestand says:

    There’s an old joke about a farmer in Sakskatchewan who wins $25 million in the 649. When asked what he plans to do with the money, he happily says:

    “I think I’ll keep farming for a few more years, until it’s gone.”

    By the way, “hi!”. I’m enjoying your blog. And I’ve been in Halifax for 8 years and still haven’t been to the dome. Am I missing out?

  5. Jen says:

    If I won the lottery, I’d buy my favorite bar, move into a small loft if downtown Pittsburgh, and shop at Target. Being rich isn’t in my taste, even if I did have money.

  6. Amy says:

    You’re right, there isn’t much of a gap between income levels around here. Which is why (around here) I think, bigger house + newer car = higher dept ratio (“wanna be rich”, not “rich”).

    I’d much prefer to be rich, but for now, I’m just a wanna be.

  7. Mood Indigo says:

    “I’d probably trade it for magic beans” – I love that. I have a total inferiority complex around a certain type of rich people. I think it’s in part because I feel cultured and experienced enough to be one – but at the same time know I’ll never be because I’m really just a cheapskate. Taking the last month and a half off work though I’ve realized that I’d happily become a millionaire and become a full-time philanthropist. I really think that’s my true calling – I’d even like to do it on behalf of someone else. Does anyone have money they want me to give away for them?

  8. Eve says:

    Hmm, I must say, I sort of missed your point before. I don’t care if someone’s rich or poor, I just don’t like frivolity.

    But, as my grandma used to say, rich or poor, it’s nice to have money.

  9. Peter says:

    Just to be clear, I don’t actually HATE rich people. I just had a flashback, then remembered another story from that time, and then made a blanket generalization for my own amusement.

    eve: I just have world class sinus issues. Imagine seasonal allergies… 11.5 months of the year. As for the second part, I can blame people for anything that I choose. ;)

    pinknest: I LOVE magic beans. I exaggerated about the nose thing, but I am stuffed up much of the time. As for food, I really eat very bland stuff. you would think I could get away with eating spicy stuff. Never really thought about it before. I’m a riddle…

    themikestand: Welcome, neighbour! Thanks for dropping in. I haven’t been to the dome in AGES, but I suspect that you really aren’t missing much.

    jen: If I won the lottery, I’d buy the biggest plasma screen tv EVER. And then give most away to family, etc. etc.

    amy: Very good point about the debt.

    megan: Totally agree on the philanthropy thing. Though I would find it impossible to turn anyone down. I’m a giant sap.

    eve: Good point. (Eve’s grandma: Good point too!) I think my issue was more with attitude than with financial status.

  10. Peter says:

    stormin: Blogger was being a poop about publishing your comment. I definitely don’t have an issue with you buying a nice car. Especially when you worked hard for your cash. My car issue was with an 18 year old kid that felt ever so entitled. Sucks about the woman. Those “too late” realizations sting. (And linger.)

  11. MissE says:

    Magic beans!
    Hey, they get you up to Giantland, right? Which in turn means singing harp and goose that lays golden eggs… now show me some money that can get you those bad boys, hmmm?

    Win lotto = buy house, fix car, give money to cancer and MS research, give money to friends and family, go on big trip overseas, invest a bit, give rest away…. yes… I have thought about this just a little bit.

    Mouth breathing… well, since moving down to the other side of the industrial strip 9 years ago I revel in the days when I can breathe out of one of my nostrils. Sympathies to you, Peter.

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