Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Rich

As bills, moving expenses, and unexpected monetary demands (such as that for my accidents and the as-recent-as-this-morning ding in my windshield) continue, I am tempted to dream of days when money will not be such a valuable commodity due to its bountiful presence. However.... My boyfriend looks like Bruce Willis - the Die Hard version of Bruce - and regularly gets told this. He always laughs it off, and says that his girlfriend just wishes he had the money of Bruce Willis. He could not be more inaccurate. I might wish we were a little less "close to the edge" at times, but I'll take poor any day. My complexities in life are limited to my finances. My character is kept in check by my need to remain honest and forthright in order to keep and promote within the workplace. Think about it - too much money, with little concern over how to pay something as mundane as an electric bill, and where does it leave you? Have you ever noticed that the richer people are, the more likely they are to do abhorrent, dangerous activities? When the common difficulties of life are removed, you have to create problems for yourself to get through - it is the human condition. Not to mention, those with too much financial comfort forget what it is like to be an average joe, and can have little appreciation for those with less. I am not suggesting that every person with a healthy bank account is an asshole - not at all. But it is a side-effect of having money, and in my opinion, only those with strong, good characters will get through it with some modicum of normalcy left. Case and point: When I was married, finances was never a worry. Not a sale tag did I look for when I shopped. Extravagant trips were expected, and our cars were the class in which the dealer picks it up for you and leaves you a car of matching value to drive in meantime. Heaven knows a BMW owner could not possibly survive in a Toyota Camry for the day! As much as I swore it would never happen to me, I became a snob. I didn't mistreat people, but I did judge people by the value of their home, cars, brand-name clothing, etc. After all, that is how I was judged - or so I thought. My friends (the few I was allowed to speak to) noticed the change, but I denied it heartily. I would NEVER do such a thing, of course. Looking back, I know that I did. On this side of the black, I am much more evenhanded with my judgments. We should base our opinions of people on who they are, not whether or not their jeans cost $200 (and they came with all those holes!) or their vehicles are custom made. I would like to think that if I ever visit that side of the financial spectrum again, that I will be more reserved in my thoughts and behaviors towards others. All I know is that it takes a strong person to see past their comfort and into the hearts of others. I'm not sure I'm that kind of person, and if not, then I would rather be middle class all of my life. The richness on this side is much more valuable, and I'll never risk losing it.