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.

8 thoughts on “Nouveau Rude”

  1. Only slightly more annoying are the Nouveau who are exceedingly stingy with their stash OR complain of how they can’t afford this or that or the other thing.

    Ya COULD. You just don’t WANT to. Big fat difference.

  2. No shit! I’m so SICK of my “friend” who complains about how much they struggle…husband makes GOOD HIGH 6 figures, they live in a big house, she has a full time nanny, a made and a gardener, they go to Vegas (w/out kids, so that’s a good $500 for the babysitter)…her husband contributes MAX to his 401k, tithe 15% to church, have 3 other retirement accounts and they’re 27 years old. Oh, did I mention she has a book deal in which she’ll recieve close to a million for? Bitch. I wish I were as broke as you! (Scott, too, another one…so broke I, the babysitter making $10 an hour, he making 6 figures, had to pay BOTH lawyers for the divorce, give him EVERYTHING, yet he bought a BMW (not that I want one, don’t like ’em) re-did the condo and went on vacation.) I hate when people brag about their money, but hate it even more when people complain about being SO BROKE when they have it. Hey, I had enough cash to buy more pullups for Emma~ we’re doing good.

  3. Aw, KelleyR (OH NO, that doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily! LOL), I’m sorry you’re still not getting any sleep. I swear, it gets better soon. I know you don’t believe me, but it truly does. 🙁

    And Scott wasn’t nouveau riche. He was just an ass. But you already knew that.

    How’s your hair today?

  4. I have a deep suspicion that the nouveau riche are just deeply in debt (credit card, car payments, mortgage, student loans, and otherwise). They probably do earn a decent living, but they far outspend what they earn, and pay down just enough of their debt every month to qualify for more loans. (Or maybe, it’s just that I’m jealous.)

  5. I think Angali probably has a point. Yes, no sleep. Crying it out is not working. Theo is up just about every 1.5hours – 2hours. Emma has decided that 6:30 is the perfect time to get up (I HATE daylight savings time – sunny at 6:00) which is not allowed in our house, plus Emma is having nightmares about spiders cutting her hair. Speaking of which…I still think my hair looks orange, but no one seems to notice. The highlights are what turned orange.

  6. Kelley,
    You have my sympathies. Crying it out never worked for either of my kids, and 1.5-2 hours is about how often the woke for a long tim. Best of luck. It WILL get better, because it can’t get worse.

  7. Here’s the ugly thing people don’t really tell you: having two kids is more than two times as much work as having a single kid, and more than twice as hard. Here’s the good thing: it does get better, and you do get used to it.

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