Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Class

All societies have classes. It's unfortunate, but true. At least as far as I can think. These days, there's a lot of bad news about the growing disparity between the lowest classes and the highest classes. Historically, this never leads to much good.

You won't be aware of your own status for a long time.  I suppose we're upper middle class. If there was still a professional class, maybe we'd be that, but I don't know that we are. I think our choices are low, lower-middle, middle, upper-middle, and rich. And crazy rich.

I never felt my class until relatively recently. I guess that's good.

I went to an expensive, elite college (that lately makes decisions making me question its level, but that's another post for another blog). I knew there were many kids there with more money in their backgrounds, but never did I care much or feel disadvantaged or poor.  I felt fortunate when I enjoyed some nice trips or meals or travels by virtue of the richer aspects of the school's board and clientele. But still, I never felt different. Until last year.

A really nice trip was organized, an alumni event, which I wanted to attend. It was so nice, however, that it was completely out of my price range. Even for a (formerly) credit-card happy person like me.  It seemed needlessly exclusive. There's not much challenge in beefing up the price tag on something. You can always find a more expensive version of whatever you're looking for, from cars to furniture to food.  So I complained. And it was explained to me that the event wasn't designed for me. It was designed for the people who like to spend money. Who need to spend a lot of money or they won't attend. Because if it costs too little, it will be lower class, lack value, and not be worth their time, I suppose. It's why the college books rooms at the Ritz for Alumni Weekend - because even though that hotel is in Pasadena, not Claremont, some people just need it.

I never felt more like a scholarship kid.

This is something I'm still working through.

No comments:

Post a Comment