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Predicament of the Week
In which Breakup Girl addresses the situation that has, this
week, brought her the most (a) amusement, (b) relief that it is happening to
someone else, and/or (c) proof that she could not possibly be making this stuff
Dear Breakup Girl,
I live in an upper class suburb. I hate it; I usually tell people I live in
a suburb a few away, so they don't think I'm a snob... immediately; I'm really
ashamed of this whole middle/upper class thing.
I went to a friend's house last weekend for her 19th birthday. She lives in
a really nice suburb, but it doesn't have the "rich, upper class reputation"
I met this really sweet boy, Jack, at her party. As usual, I told him I lived
a few suburbs away from where I really do. He doesn't live in the nicer suburbs,
and I don't care at all, but I'm starting to wonder if I do, because if it didn't
bother me, then I wouldn't be asking.
I'm afraid that if it does work out and we do start seeing each other, he
won't want to see me because of this very reason. I don't want him to see my
house. I'm not going to lie; it's huge. My parents were lucky and worked hard.
And, we have a large family. I know you will probably say, "If he does
think you're a bad person because of where you live, he's not worth it."
I know that. Fair enough. You are completely right. But it's come to the point
where I don't want him here at all if it works out. (I think it might; I'm pretty
crazy about him.) I've been thinking about it heaps.
What do I tell myself? Do I tell him that I have this huge weight on my shoulders
about people thinking I'm a snob? I'm not. I think snobbery is a horrible thing.
I wish we all were one class; life would be much easier. Another problem is
that my friends are slightly snobby. They say they don't care, but I think they
would. I know I shouldn't worry what my friends say, but if they're your friends
you will worry what they think. Can you please just reassure me?
PS Does anyone else have the same problem?
I know your intentions are sincere. And I don't want
to underestimate the "subdivisions" deep enough to outlive Rush.
But undertaking a series of shenanigans just to keep him away from your house
would be (a) patronizing, and (b) a John
Hughes movie. See, you're worried that he'll make assumptions based on the
zip code/square feet of where you live. But aren't you kinda doing the same
thing to him? I know you don't MEANmean this, but there's a weeeee bit of "Poor
people can't deal" going on here. You may or may not know Jack, as it were.
You're assuming he'll feel uncomfortable, intimidated, whatever, just because
he may be of somewhat less substantial means. And even if -- if
-- he is uncomfortable, that doesn't mean he wouldn't also be brave enough to
date you anyway.
Not to mention: Only BG and her readers know the true
reason for your hesitation. Wouldn't he -- or whoever -- be more likely to
take it to mean that you are a snob? ( I mean, when we heard that Tori
Spelling blew off Monica, we didn't think she was being magnanimous.)
Anti-Snob, it's good to be mindful of potential
differences in status (so that you don't say born-with-a-silver-foot-in-your-mouth
things like "Where do you summer?" to the guy who shucks the clams),
but to make assumptions/decisions based on them that might rule people out.
So about what your friends would think, well, it's okay -- and natural -- to
care, but that doesn't mean you have to act accordingly. They'll deal. And about
Jack: no more geography fibs. Let him see your house when the time comes. Don't
delay artificially: that'll make the issue -- even the house -- seem bigger
than it is. And when he does, don't apologize. Let your principles shine and
speak for themselves, and he'll see not the girl in her mansion, but the girl
in your letter.
PS Your PS: excellent question. Any shoutouts?
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