My parents were teachers. Very middle class. They just happened to work at a very prestigious and expensive private school. I got to go for free obviously, but most of my classmates were very rich. I experienced the wealth discrepancies first hand and can tell you that most of the time, the kids aren’t stuck up bratty snots…they just don’t know any other life. So when I say I can’t afford to come on the ski trip, they are more confused than anything else. That confusion is clear below, where Reddit users who grew up filthy rich describe when they realized everyone wasn’t so well-off.
YEAH, BUT HE DIDN’T GET TO HAVE REFRIGERATOR MAGNETS!
Honestly, it was the little things. I knew we had nicer cars than average, a bigger house, went on more trips, etc. But I thought everyone’s refrigerators had wood-paneled cabinet doors, for example. We had a Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator and freezer. The first time I saw a metal fridge I thought it was weird, and I thought it was even weirder that the fridge and freezer were combined. I also thought everyone had a “central vacuum” system where you can sweep dirt into a little hole under the cabinets by the floor and it sucks it up. We had these little holes all over, in every room.
HE ALSO CALLED THE LEAKY PIPES A “CAMPING BIDET”
Growing up, all of our dishes were made of fine china, Waterford glassware etc. And I just thought that’s what plates and stuff were made of because we didn’t have anything else. Then one time I went to a friend’s house for dinner and we ate on colored plastic plates and non-matching plastic cups, I just thought that was the weirdest thing ever and asked why we were eating with “camping dishes.”
LOOK MA! NO HANDS!
My boyfriend grew up very wealthy. His mom once told me a story about how, after the first few days of kindergarten, the teachers called her. They expressed concern that he might have an “eating problem” because at lunch he would not eat the packed lunch his mom (but most likely house-keeper) had made for him. His mom came to school the next day to investigate, and after watching him for a little while she noticed he was visibly avoiding eating his lunch. Then it hit her. He didn’t know how to feed himself. Yes, that’s right. HE DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO FEED HIMSELF because apparently, up until that point, he had been PHYSICALLY FED BY HIS HOUSE-KEEPER EVERY MEAL!
GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER?
I thought everyone got to eat dinner quite often with the President. I always thought the President had dinner at random houses until I learned otherwise when I finally joined regular school (I was homeschooled till I was age 9) and no kids believed me.
WHERE IS MEL GIBSON WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
Kidnapping. Whenever we travelled there were guards, I was trained in what to do if it happened; we had insurance policies against it. When I dated a middle class suburbanite and talked about it she thought I was paranoid, but that was a thing.
HE HAD A SUMMER/FALL/SPRING/WINTER HOME
I remember my parents having a sit down talk with me after a parent-teacher meeting and letting me know that there was “one” student in our class that was feeling insecure because his family was the only one that didn’t have a lake cottage or mountain home.
WHAT? HAS SHE NEVER DODGED A DRAFT BEFORE?
I think the moment it really ‘sunk’ in was during 5th/6th grade. I felt like I was getting 'too cool’ for little kid parties so I decided I wanted to go somewhere and do something fun. My parents were SUPER excited about this since it meant I was taking ONE middle schooler with us on a trip instead of having 15 stupid middle schoolers in the house. I decided on a trip a to some festival, which meant a ferry ride and then drive to a Canadian city and have a big fancy meal. The girl I picked had been my friend for years, I had no idea her life was so different. She lost her mind on the ferry it was 'so fun!’ She had never seen Canada before so we stopped and took her picture. My mom would not let her order the cheapest thing on the menu, which I never realized is something poor children are trained to do. I thought you could just pick whatever you wanted to eat. She was the first person in her family to travel more than 30 miles from her house. We are both adults now, and occasionally run into each other and she still talks about the time “we rode a ferry and went to Canada”. Had she not brought it up, I probably would have forgotten.
THAT’S A LOT OF SECRET’S, VICTORIA
My mom used to take us to the mall and drop $500 in a day without thinking about it. Budgeting in general was a foreign concept until I racked up credit card debt that I couldn’t pay off immediately.
LIFE ON CAMPUS
Growing up I thought apartment buildings were only for college students. I didn’t know families lived in them.
TO BE FAIR, HER FATHER OWNED NASCAR
I was trying to show a friend of mine that she’s rich because her family has a TEAM of maids and drivers. Seriously, a driver for every member of the family. She said she’s not rich, because “Everyone has maids and drivers.” I asked her… do you think your maids and drivers have maids and drivers? I think then it clicked that she might be rich.
DON’T LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH
I thought until the start of high school that a $100 bottle of wine was cheap. Expensive ones are several thousands, after all. At the end of the year my family decided to offer our retiring teacher a bottle of wine and he said, “Don’t buy a $100 bottle”. I made a joke about how picky he was and made a fool of myself.
OKAY, I OFFICIALLY HATE YOU
My parents paid in full for my $60,000/yr college tuition. I was always grateful for that, but it wasn’t until the postgrad reality of my friends working to pay off their student loan debt while I was able to directly pursue my professional goals that I truly realized the advantage that I had from my parents’ wealth.