Nouveau Rude

I have several acquaintances who are quite obviously new to the whole Having Money thing. They talk about it constantly.

How much they make, how much their spouse makes, how much they paid for their last car… etc.

If they’re not talking about how much they paid for something, they’re whining about the sunburn they got on the 7-day cruise last week, or saying that it’s reeeeeeeealllllly hard to find houses with all of the indoor amenities that they want in this area that are also equipped with a 3-car garage for their husband’s Porsche collection that are ALSO in a decent school district for Little Junior.

And if you handed them a direct link to this post, they would never in a million years think that I’m talking about them.

Jerry makes decent money. I don’t want for much these days. And I was blessed with an upbringing that was very much the same… But my parents were quite intent on raising a kid with a healthy respect for money, as well as a healthy respect for the people around who might have less. So I do not discuss money with people outside of my family. It just really bothers me to do so, because of the way I was raised.

Yes, we’re happy for you that you have a well-paying job that affords you all of these luxuries. We’re thrilled that your child gets to go to the most expensive school in the land, that your last vacation to Belize was so relaxing except for the fact that the volcanic mud in the spa was just a little too warm the second time you went for a mudbath. Oh! And the snorkeling!

Please. Do us all a favor and shut up about it already. I went to Answers.Com and found this definition of “nouveau riche:”

nou·veau riche (nÅ«’vō rÄ“sh’) n., pl. nou·veaux riches (nÅ«’vō rÄ“sh’).
One who has recently become rich, especially one who flaunts newly acquired wealth.

And at The Free Dictionary, I found this definition:

Adj. 1. nouveau-riche – characteristic of someone who has risen economically or socially but lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position

And from Class, a book by Paul Fussell that was a sociology text for one of my brother’s classes in college (and he liked it so much that he got my entire family to read it), p. 16:

If you reveal your class by your outrage at the very topic, you reveal it also by the way you define the thing that is outraging you. At the bottom, people tend to believe that class is defined by the amount of money you have. In the middle, people grant that money has something to do with it, but think education and the kind of work you do almost equally important. Nearer the top, people perceive that taste, values, ideas, style, and behavior are indispensable criteria of class, regardless of money or occupation or education.

So true.

Please stop talking about your material worth, and give us something else to chew on.