Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wake Up Call

I've been seeing this meme everywhere, so I wanted to see how I came out:

1. Father went to college

2. Father finished college

3. Mother went to college

4. Mother finished college

5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.

8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.

9. Were read children’s books by a parent

10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18

11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs

15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs

16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child

23. You and your family lived in a single-family house

24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home

25. You had your own room as a child

27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16

31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up

34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

Well, it appears that I had a very privileged upbringing. I'm not terribly surprised, but I have to suppress a smile when I remember that many people in my high school were better off than me. Granted, my parents chose not to spend their money on outward symbols of wealth. Right now, we have three cars: a Toyota minivan, a Subaru Outback, and pretty crappy Fiat Spider cowering quietly in the garage. None of these are the Jaguars and Lexuses that were often parked outside of my temple. Our house is larger than many of my friends' houses, but nowhere near as big as those in the richest part of town. I guess that, in comparison, it was reasonable for me to have believed myself to be relatively lower middle class.

Of course, it's now reasonable for me to believe that I had been rather naive.

I now go to a pretty working-class school-- your basic state school near a big city. There are so many that don't have what I have that I feel kind of ashamed for my earlier opinions of my economic well-being. But what am I going to do? I just have to accept the fact that I was a bit of an idiot back in the day and just get on with appreciating what I have now.

Starting with finding out how much my parents pay for heat.


PS. On a totally different tack, I just saw Anthony Bourdain spit on the little heart (where people were executed) outside of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. I love that nasty heart!


  1. I grew up in a wealthy area but I myself was never "wealthy"... I placed myself in lower-middle class in comparison to my friends. However, now that I have gone to college and met a LOT more people I have come to realize how naive I was. I still don't feel guilty for having a privelidged life, but I am a heck of a lot more thankful.

  2. abzdragon: It's good to know someone understands. :)


  3. Just about point for point it seems like my answers would match up with yours. I too have just come to realize how naive I've been.

    On the Anthony Bourdain front, I'm happy to hear someone else watches his show. He rubs a lot of people the wrong way for some reason.

  4. gwyn: Kind of sobering, isn't it?

    And Anthony Bourdain is great. I especially appreciate his crusade against Rachael Ray.