They say you never know how wealthy you are until you meet someone in the economic bracket right above or below you. When you meet people who make less than you, it can make you grateful for what you have the opportunities you took. When you meet the people above you, it can inspire you to aim higher, achieve more financially, and attain a better life.
Then, when you meet those people two or three economic classes higher, that's when you turn to the internet to talk about them.
Reddit user, u/FixedFrameNate, wanted to hear about:
Wow. Not Starting Off Great...Giphy
When she told me her family was down-to-earth because they only had the housekeeper come once a week.
All The Little Extra Details
If they brought lunch from home, they always had lots of food in their lunch box. Little plastic containers full of fruits, veggies, or a sandwich, as well as a bunch of other things I still think of as special snack foods, like the little cheese wheels, chips, and the brownies with the rainbow sprinkles. If they got lunch from school, they could buy the little extra items as well as their meal if they wanted, and it wouldn't be a big deal.
They'd also have lots of stuff in general. So much clothing it felt like they rarely, if ever, wore the same outfit. Whatever the new tech thing was that year. When we got became enough to drive, they got their own car. Bonus if your parents bought you a brand new car. Also, their parents seemed able to come to the school at the drop of a hat. They might be on PTO, or volunteer for the classroom parties. They got to go on vacations far away too. We're landlocked where I am, so these kids' parents would take them to coastal areas, on cruises, or to other countries. Sometimes they'd even miss school for that.
So Much Poop To Clean Up
Was the early 90s. Tamagachis were the rage. Most kids didn't have one.
This girl walks in with 5.
The Happiest Place On Earth
When they go to Disney world.
Rolling In Them FooDollars
A ridiculous amount of signature Webkinz and a Foo Pets membership.
Seriously, There's Only One Kind Of Person Who Has One Of These
They had a lake house
Children Of The Early 00's, Where You At??
When they were able to use the internet on their flip phone without freaking out cause you accidentally pushed the internet button.
Oh, the panic of the internet button...when you scramble to hit the back button 10 times until you just power off the phone and pray that you did it in time. You'll have to spend another five minutes typing out that text again on the 10 key, but it is worth it to avoid the wrath of the parents when they get the cell bill.
Eh, Tomato, Expensive-Freaking-Car-O
There were different cues for levels of wealth. I thought I was pretty well off as I could ask for and get the big box of Crayola crayons with a sharpener and my shoes were bought new. When I got a scholarship to a prep school, I learned that wealthier families traveled during school breaks.
The most ridiculously wealthy kids got brand new cars for passing their driving test. The cars were replaced once damaged.
Small Signs, Every Day
As a young kid, it was their clothes, lunches, and general appearance. They kind of stood out from us legions of poorer kids at the school. We ate the hot lunch at a reduced or free rate, they brought in neat sandwiches, individual bags of chips, Hi C, and Little Debbie or Hostess desserts.
There was a girl in my elementary school I don't think I ever saw wear the same outfit twice, and they were nice clothes, not hand me downs from Mom, which put our yard sale and home made clothes to shame.
That's Quite The FlexGiphy
This is a really specific example but I was in 5th grade and all the 5th grade classes were competing for a pizza party. The class that "donated" the most money to this glass jar each classroom had would get the pizza party. As an adult I understand how weird and sketchy that sounds having elementary kids donate money to their public school but it's been a couple of decades now and I didn't question it considering how often we had to do fundraising and go sell stuff to neighbors and extended network.
It was the last day and my class was in second place. This one kid asked how far behind we were and the teacher said something like 15 dollars as of the beginning of the day. This kid pulled out his checkbook and wrote a check for 50 dollars to go in the jar just to cover all bases regarding the other class. I mean, for fifty bucks that kid could have just thrown us a pizza party but in 5th grade it seemed pretty cool.
Take A Look At The Make And Model
Walk through the high school parking lot. the kids from money had brand new Ford F-150s or Mercedes, or such, while those of us who didn't were relying on nearly 20 year old Honda CrX's.
A friend used to always use three paper towels to dry his hands after washing them. We never got to use more than half of one.
It's In The Finer Details
We wore school uniforms and had dress codes so you would think it would be hard to tell. For most of these kids who "had money", it shows in the small things like how polished their appearance was. But I couldn't tell for sure unless I know them well.
I guess it was also harder to tell since during my years, that was when the public started to really take digs at the scOOLh I went to due to some bad apples. You didn't really talk about your family wealth unless you want to get singled out. And anyway most kids at the school were upper middle class so no one really "boasted" or "showed off".
Authentic Trapper Keepers Were The Signal
Trapper keepers, Kudos granola bars, kids with produce on their sandwiches or soup in their thermos instead of milk
They had a sega and a nintendo
Travel The World On Her Sister's Dime
Would miss weeks of school because they were always on vacations
There was a girl in my uni class who was the sister of a supermodel, she was barely ever there because she was usually visiting Tokyo or something with her sister. She was nice tho
Guys, Come On! Motel's Are Just Tiny Amusement Parks!
They had fancy vacations or even several vacations each year.
I hated first days of school when the teachers would ask everyone what they did over the summer and you have Paige over there who went to Europe, and Connor who went all around the United States, and the most I did was maybe get FroYo if I was lucky.
Seeing The Differences In Wallet Sizes Every DayGiphy
My friend would give me more money for lunch than my parents.
Holy crap this is so real. My family didn't have too much growing up and I had JUST transferred out of a public school and got a partial scholarship to go to a private middle school/high school. My parents thought lunch prices were going to be the same so I received $5 a week for food. We didn't have money so I never wanted to tell my parents that $5 a week wasn't enough so I just waited until the end of the school day so that I could walk to McDonald's for a $1 mcchicken or McDouble because school lunches were $5 minimum for a mini plate.
I had 2 friends help me throughout my rough financial time in high school. They saw that I would never eat at school and basically fed me without pitying me. One friend would order more than he could eat and would always ask me if I could do him the favor of finishing his food so it doesn't go to waste. The other friend would do things like "hey I'll bet you lunch you can't do this" and it'd be something simple like "you have 3 shots to shoot this paper ball into the trash can" or "race to drink this water bottle first" or even just "I'll buy you lunch if you walk to the cafeteria with me"
I didn't really realize too much when I was younger and I thought they were just rich and were careless with their money. It turns out, they took notice to the fact that I didn't eat at school. They told me in college that they always saw me with nothing at lunch and when we hung out after school, I would only buy the one Mcchicken/McDouble and I would still be asking friends for the 10cents I needed for tax. These were the first friends I've made before I even knew the true value of money and they're still two of my best friends to this day.
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