Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Economic Status.

I’m realizing that very few people are at ease with their place on the financial ladder. Even those who have affluence are a bit uncomfortable letting on that they are better endowed than their acquaintances. A few days ago I was in the company of some friends, including one who has done quite well for himself. He was describing to us (there was a bunch of us together) with great enthusiasm and pride a new house that he was building. One of the group pressed him for details on the house size and the cost of some items. He started to skirt around details and I could tell that there was a touch of uneasiness in the conversation. The house was wonderful, but I don’t think he wanted people to think it was too wonderful. We all seem to like to keep our financial matters private from others.

I certainly feel that I am leading a charmed life. Both Jenn and I work, which provides us with enough money to have all the things that we need and even most of the things that we want. We live in a comfortable (but not too big) house in an established (but not affluent) area of town. We don’t live with any crushing debt, unlike the average Canadian who has $24,000 of debt on top of their mortgage or rent. On the whole I consider us, well … comfortable.

One day Banana asked me if we were rich. It made me stop and think – were we? What was rich? On the spot, I came up with a definition. Rich, as I defined it, was having enough money for all that you need, then having some left over. Although we never seemed to have any left over, this did sound like us. We did not want for anything. I had just never thought of myself as being rich. I just hope I’m not snooty. Give me a kick in the shins if I start acting that way.

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