Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Life Lessons with Lea: Rich People

By now you're well aware I'm the product and current member of Middle Class America.  (If not, my Target wardrobe and base model hatchback should have been clues). And given my formidable years were spent with fellow austerity budgeters it's taken me several years to understand how the wealthier world functions. Below are a few Do's and Don'ts I've compiled  regarding the affluent.   Alrighty, here we go....

Life Lessons with Lea, RE:  Rich People

Rich people don't think they're rich:  Average rich people don't think they're rich, they think the obscenely, disgustingly rich people are rich and they're just upper middle class.  Let me paint a scenario for you:  A dog burglar has sent the family dog's collar in the mail telling you the ransom is $500,000 or Fido goes to the fire hydrant in the sky.  If there is even the remote possibility of you being able to liquidiate assets and pay that ransom (or call your parents for the cash) you are a rich person.  Stop trying to rub elbows with us middle classers.  

If that first lesson just provided you with the revelation you are in fact a rich person, you can stop reading now.  

Never joke about trust funds: The idea of actually having a trust fund is, in my mind,  so hilarious  it never occurred to me NOT to use the concept outside of sarcasm.  Turns out Scrooge McDuck isn't the only one with enough money to swim in and mocking that particular form of income is actually frowned upon by those advantaging from one.

Never ask "where did you get that?": I shop at TJ Maxx and Target and outlet stores, so it took me a really long time to get this one down because when someone says they like my dress I have the uncontrollable urge to tell that person I got it for $14.99 and if they hurry they can probably get it too.  This is the opposite of how you interact with rich people.  You're not supposed to ask, you're supposed to know who the designer is and whether it came from Saks, Bloomingdales or a boutique shop.  If say, you're just curious, or you want to splurge or oh, gee I dont know you plan on winning the lottery, and you do ask "Wherever did you get that coat?",a rich person will not tell you.  They will say they don't remember, which is a lie.  Rich people won't tell you where their clothes come from because in that moment of being asked they realize how ridiculous it is they've spent so much money on a sweater and they don't want to own up to it in the face of reality... or maybe they just don't want to be assholes and rub it in your face... I think it depends on the rich person.

Raising children is something the help does:  When a rich person has a baby, you're suposed to say congratulations and then ask them if they "have help".  Seriously, I'm not joking,  Everyone who knows rich people will ask this question.  If they say yes, it is followed by several details.  There's the nanny, the day nurse, the night nurse, daycare and  a gammot of credentials to match.  You're supposed to respond saying how great it is that this person is paying other people to raise their child.  If they say no they don't have help and have actually braved the frontier of raising the offspring they've born, you're supposed to throw them a parade.  

Trailers, above ground pools and coupons are off limits:  You cannot mention these things in front of rich people.  If you do, they'll look at you momentarily like you're some sort of crazy homeless person and then they'll change the subject to something completely irrelevant to the conversation. It's really too bad because I know lots of people who live/have lived in trailers and have/d lovely homes.  I grew up with an above ground pool that was AWESOME (and I'm willing to bet no less fun than my in-ground pool counterparts') and coupons, well coupons are free money, which you would think rich people would be ALL ABOUT but apparently not so much.  I'd consider launching a campaign to end the stigma behind these things but rich people obviously wouldn't donate to the cause, and I'm guessing most everyone else would be averse to paying for the upper class to understand what middle class living actually consists of. 

On the off-chance I someday find myself in the trust-fund-designer-clothing-nanny-employing-in-ground-pool-owning tax bracket, you can rest assured I won't forget that that's not how most of the world is living.  For now, I'm off to clip some coupons.