Monday, February 4, 2013

I'm Mad at a Luxury Vehicle

I'm in a funk. Actually, I'm really irritated about something. Something stupid. But I haven't been able to shake it, so I'm writing about it here in hopes to get it out of my system.

One of my co-workers bought a new Lexus. And it ticks me off.

For no reason at all. I mean, why should I be in a funk because someone else bought a car? Makes no sense, right? Exactly! That's why I have to get it out my system. Hence, the writing.

This is not an unusual development. Stuff like this happens all the time. So maybe it's just a straw-broke-the-camel's-back sort of thing.

For the past nine years, I've worked with people who make (in my perspective) a lot of money. Co-workers just one level above me make about what Jason & I make combined. And it increases the higher on the totem pole you get. Understandably.

And since I work with a lot of men, this means that with few exceptions, their wives are all stay-at-home-moms. Most of them live in nice houses in nice subdivisions and drive nice cars. They wear name brand clothing (Polo Ralph Lauren seems to be the brand of choice). They go on vacations that are on my "dream" list. With few exception they all belong to a gym. The children attend private schools and take dance / gymnastic / karate classes at expensive private studios. Many of them have cleaning ladies that come weekly. Because I am friends with several of the wives, I know that they shop for... whatever... pretty much whenever they feel like it, with little worry for the budget. They buy ridiculously expensive dogs from "breeders". They pay for doggy day care. The list goes on & on.

And for the first time, possibly in my life, this bothers me (see camel-back reference above). I don't know why it bothers me, I can't even tell you how it bothers me. I wouldn't classify it as jealousy (the obvious answer), or resentment, or... anything but just being irritable about the whole thing.

I have worked with these people for nine years. I like them. We are friends. Some of them I consider almost as extended family. I know their wives & children. We hang out. They are nice to me.

But when I pulled up to my co-worker's house, and saw the brand new Lexus SUV sitting there, it pissed me off. I knew he was trading in his vehicle. I kind of assumed maybe for a minivan, since they recently had another child. But a luxury SUV?

I think in a way it's a feeling of being left out. Maybe.

Because in my group, in the 50 people sitting nearest to me, I am the only one not at this financial level. Sometimes it feels like an exclusive club to which I will never belong.

I don't want to come across like I'm whining, although maybe I am. It's just... like I said it's like they all belong to this club that I just can't get into. When it comes to anything financially speaking, we just can't relate to one another. Nine years later, this is one area that we cannot connect thru.

At best, I stand there and smile during their conversations, pretending like I know what it's like to have problems like "having" to replace all the furniture in your house because you moved into your brand new custom built giant house and now nothing "goes".

At worst, I've actually manage to end conversations by saying things like how we altered travel plans because of the high gas prices. Why? Because this would never occur to them. And now they feel bad. And then I feel bad for making them feel bad. And... insert awkward silence until someone has the presence of mind to change the subject.

And I don't want it to seem like I think they don't deserve it, or anything. I am not a punish-the-rich type of gal. I'm happy for them. I'm glad that they have that type of financial freedom. I know them personally, so I know that they've worked for it. Hard. They've gone thru add'l schooling, all of them have bachelor's degrees, many of them have their masters. They put in long hours. They spend numerous nights away from their families. They have earned every dime.

I just... I just feel like an outsider whenever these things come up, and I'm tired of it, and Jason & I work hard too, and maybe I want to buy a luxury vehicle without sacrificing our mortgage payment or not have to argue about whether or not we can afford the YMCA or maybe I freakin' wanna be able to buy one stinkin' outfit without worrying that I'm busting our budget!

I'm sorry. This is such a long & rambling post. Maybe I thought about deleting it. Maybe I decided I won't because surely someone else out there can relate. Maybe I think everyone can relate at some point in time, not necessarily about the money issue, but about another way they feel like an outsider and they can't break thru and it just gets to be too much.

So that's my long rambling post about being mad at a luxury vehicle. Thanks for checking in.


'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Oh, it's so sad these days how many people feel like they can't relate to each other. I blame the media and the POTUS, which may sound crazy to you!!! Seriously, I have never seen so much division and talking about our differences rather than all the things we have in common as human beings.
I don't know what your exact situation is with education level, etc. And I won't pretend to have advice as to what direction you might go to get to the things you want/need. I will only say that yes, so many share your feelings of not fitting in. It may sound weird that I can relate so much by being on the other end of the spectrum. Let me explain: I was the only one of my group of friends to go to college. I remember feeling immature as I watched my friends move on to 'real' life and yet so compelled to finish my degree, with no support from my family either as none of them had ever gone to college and didn't even get why I wanted to. Also, there has been so much weirdness about my husband and I not choosing to do the 'expected' things. The big one being choosing not to have children for so many reasons. Then there are the small differences: we don't have the latest greatest technology- none of it. We don't go to movies or eat out. We spend all our money on travel and larger investment type items that most people we know can't even imagine enjoying or even wanting. Someone I work for told me that I am the most pragmatic person she knows. I don't know if she meant that as a good thing or not! I often feel as if I am still searching for a friend who will understand me.
So yes, all of my own rambling is meant to say that although it irks me to no end when I see my friends who don't have money for real needs spend money on eating out every other day, I know that I can't spend the money in someone else's pocket. Doesn't make it any easier to watch and I wish I could say that magically it all works out. To some degree it seems to, over time. All I can say is that I try to revel in the people I meet that make me feel some degree of 'normal' and try not to think about the others too much. And I've made it my goal to get closer to people that make me feel good over all, in the not so far off future.

Tracy Anne said...

I question when people like that will realize money can't buy happiness. Money can't buy the time back they spent at the office while their kids were little or starting in the varsity football game. And all the trips to Europe and new cars and all-expenses-paid college education won't make up for it.
And I always remember 'things' are not a reflection of financial stability. I know people who look like they're extremely wealthy but it's all to keep up with the Jones' and they're approaching bankruptcy. I prefer hand-me-down furniture and a little left over at the end of the month.

The Dose of Reality said...

I do actually understand what you are talking is hard to be surrounded by people who have so much more than you do and know that it is out of reach. Stopping by from SITS.

Unknown said...

I feel the same way sometimes. Like when my husband's best friend comes over with his wife and two kids. She's a stay at home mom, with a cleaning lady, and her one kid is in school, and they're buying a gigantic house and while we're doing ok, I don't have nearly the life they have. Or when my single friends go shopping and spend $300 on a dress and that's the cost of probably my entire closet. It sucks sometimes.

But I try to remind myself that it's ok to get down about things like that from time to time. I just try to think about how far I've come. Growing up we had practically nothing and now I live in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood, and half of my cars are working lol. Sometimes venting puts things in perspective.

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