honorary Hose Monster:
I had a privileged childhood and I continue to lead, even while I am accumulating debt in law school, a somewhat privileged life.
Apparently, when I was very young and while my father was still building his career, my mother clipped coupons religiously and watched the dollars we spent on non-essential items. We had practical cars, a Nissan Maxima and Jeep Cherokee. we took driving vacations to sites in the Western United States, relatively close to home, and we either camped or the four of us stayed in one motel room and three of us tried to catch some Zs while my father slept and snored his way through an admirable impression of a chainsaw.
This is what my mother reports. I remember only vague parts of this.
My more recent recollections begin with the day we moved into a brand new large four-bedroom house on the top of the hill overlooking the hospital in which I entered this world. I remember my mother's excitement the day my father told her she could have a Lexus, and I remember how excited my dad was when he finally fulfilled a long pipe dream of his and bought a Porsche, albeit used. I remember the first time we stayed in my parents' second house at Lake Tahoe.
I've been to Hawaii five times, I only sent myself once. I've traveled Europe on multiple occasions, footing the bill a couple times and staying in hostels, enjoying the generosity of my parents and slightly more comfortable accomodations on others. I went to private school. My parents supported my wish to play hockey in Southern California, not an inexpensive proposition. I've always had a car, and I am always well taken care of at Christmas.
I really don't think I'm pompous about the comfort of my childhood, nor do I think I'm the type of person who does not understand the value of a dollar. I don't need people kissing my ass all the time, and I'm fine with renting a movie as my Saturday night entertainment rather than zipping off to the most exclusive clubs with $20 covers. I do those things sometimes because I can, but it's not something I need.
As I've grown up, I have really only had one friend who had more than I did growing up, at least as far back as I can remember, and in the very few times I have spent time with her family, I wouldn't say I felt uncomfortable because of the disparity, but I can say that I certainly noticed it.
It never strongly occurred to me growing up that some of my friends ever noticed or actively thought about the difference in lifestyle. My parents were never the type to inch pennies if they didn't have to, so anytime I wanted a friend or a girlfriend or whatever to join us in something a little expensive, to travel with us somewhere or something, they usually just invited them right along and paid for my friends without thinking about it. In fact, it's sort of gotten to the point where my parents invite my friends along to things on their own without even asking me my opinion.
It's wonderful to grow up and have the privilege of living life this way. And while I say that it never strongly occurred to me, I suppose I do have to admit the presence of a back of the mind awareness that the difference in financial situations could cause some strange feelings in others. I'm not really sure why I'm thinking this or what this writing is even supposed to be about, but in the last two years or so, I've had moments where I've felt a little guilty for having this life and for having parents who not only take great care of me but find such joy in doing so.