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August 21, 2006



I wasn't always this rich. I'm rich now because:

I get to use white lights on Christmas trees like the rich Protestant kids used to.

I have more than two pairs of pants, and all of them fit me.

I don't shop in thrift shops for the least worn-out suits for work.

There are always vegetables and fresh fruit in the house -- even if it just bananas and frozen carrots.

All of the appliances in my kitchen work.

I shop the sales racks of deparment stores that don't have "mart" in their names.


My "rich" friend's dad had personalized plates on his Cadillac. I thought that was something very exclusive. The car and the plates.


I always thought that when I was an adult, I would be rich if I made $50,000 a year. Not so much... :)


I thought it meant NOT having to buy your clothes at Kmart. I was a child of the 80's and wanted the labels, baby! Now I have them and they aren't all they are cracked up to be. I'd much rather find a cute outfit at Target :)


My rich childhood friends got to take dance classes. I didn't get to take dance classes.

Wendy Boucher

When I was little and living on the low end of middle class myself, the epitome of rich was the ability to vacation at Disneyland AND stay at the Disneyland Hotel serviced by that unirail train that delivered you from your lobby to the park. Sigh. I grew up in Oregon and we would spend two whole days driving to southern california to stay in the cheapest hotel within striking distance of Disney and we'd spend one glorious day at the park. I would always insist on riding that train that took you to the hotel and gawk at the "rich" people. So glad I'm happy with just rich people crackers these days myself.

Susan J.

My family was not poor, but we were not rich either. I wished we lived in a "sub-division" with other kids to play or hang our with, but we didn't. Ironically, it always amazed me that some poorer kids at school refered to our house as "that big house on the corner with the dog." We lived in a split-level ranch built in the 1950's. (This was when I was in 5th-12th grades.)

When I was younger I had a friend who lived with her rich grandmother. Her car had soft seats and she always listened to classical music turned down low. That is what I thought all rich people did. (She also had a chauffeur/gigilo, but that is another story!)

Robin P

I never thought about "rich" when I was a kid. We lived in a nice little house with good food and I basically got whatever I wanted,within reason. My dad was a baker and my mom worked in a bank and I was an only child for the first 11 years. We weren't poor but we were not rich!

Papa owned his own business and took the whole family out for dinner every saturday night.I loved how much fun we all had but I never thought about it or wondered if everyone was doing this. It was the way it was.

When I was 22,I went to live on a kibbutz in Israel for 2 years and I lived with people from different countries.

One guy who was from Wales,thought of me as a "rich American" and felt free to steal $50 from me when I was at work. He didn't understand that I busted my butt working to save up the money to fly to Israel and to have spending money for the time I was there. His excuse was that I wouldn't miss it.
That really hurt me.

As an adult,I think that being rich would mean I could pay my bills in full and on time the minute they arrived. I don't think that's ever gonna happen!!

Todd M

Mmmm ... I, too, love Club Crackers. They did seem like the food of rich people ... and perhaps the cause of gout!

Loved your post! Thanks!


I don't think I encountered anyone with money until college. Then it was going to a restaurant and not looking or caring about the price on the menu -- I mean not even giving it a consideration. To me being rich meant not caring about the cost. I've learned a lot since then.


Having a house. It didn't matter the size, location, or condition. Anyone I knew who had a house was rich in my eyes.


I grew up in a large family like your friend. Six kids. Rich was having meat at dinner every night of the week instead of only 3 or 4 nights a week. Rich was having air conditioning. We lived in southeast Texas and did NOT have it. Going into a friend's air conditioned home felt like the ultimate in "rich" to me.

Kathryn, dym

Rich people went to Disneyland, brought pre-packaged food in their lunches, and possibly had a boat.


Loved this post! It's funny what "rich" can seem in the eyes of a child.

When I was little, my friend Cindy's family appeared rich (and were certainly better off than we were). They ate out a lot, and when they went to shows (Annie, for instance), Cindy came home with THE ALBUM, too! What a concept!

Funny, now I take my kids to Disneyland, or Disney on Ice, or whatever the case may be, and I'm determined to buy them something... because, as a child, THAT'S what I felt was *really* living. (And my kids could probably not care less.)

As an adult, rich was when I met my husband and he asked if I wanted to order pizza. Sure!! My ex-husband and I rarely could, and when we did, it was a one-topping medium. Nothing more. My then-soon-to-be-husband picked up the phone and ordered two deluxe pizzas with a side of breadsticks and chicken wings! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.


Kids receiving a gift or toy when it was not Christmas or their birthday. And...

Did you know there are people who go to this store-type building and PAY MONEY for someone else to COOK THEIR DINNER FOR THEM?! Now we did this every GREAT once in awhile, on a special occasion. But to me families who got fast food had the dough--I mean they could eat out for no reason.

Your cracker story reminded me of a conversation I had recently; I was saying Scott picked up some Premium Saltines the other day when I was sick, and they were so much better than the generic, but later when I went to get more they were 2-3 times as much. My cousin said, "Oh, yeah, the Premium ones are worth the extra cost." And I said, "Oh I didn't actually get them. After I saw the price I reached over to the cheapies." So I guess for me even the good saltines would be lin' the high life. Although I do like the Keeblers too.

Fun post!


I don't remember ever thinking about this as a kid, but when I graduated nursing school at the age of 20, and had my first job, the holidays came around and I took one whole paycheck and blew it on gifts for my mom, day and brother. I felt rich then! It was great!

Kim S

My boyfriend's dad drove a Porsche, he was the first person I met who owned one.


It's all in the perspective, isn't it? I grew up as a "have", but looking back, about all we had was a teetering house of cards so that we could "keep up". To me, rich was a pool in the backyard. To my husband, it was never having to eat Spam again!


It's all in the perspective, isn't it? I grew up as a "have", but looking back, about all we had was a teetering house of cards so that we could "keep up". To me, rich was a pool in the backyard. To my husband, it was never having to eat Spam again!

kelly jeanie

Actual, honest-to-goodness Oscar Mayer weiners, like I got at my grandma's house. At home we had to make do with the generics. I'm sure the Oscar Mayer weiners are made from rich cows. And pigs. And whatever else they throw in there (I don't want to know la la laaa)...


When I was my poorest ever, as a twenty-year-old graduate student, buying a cup of coffee at an actual coffehouse seemed so extravagant when I could make coffee cheaply at home. It still feels like an indulgence.

My husband grew up envying the "rich people" who used sugar cubes instead of loose sugar.


For me, going to Hawaii really meant you must be rich!

Well, our monthly budget is very, very tight at the moment, but hey, we're going to Hawaii! But before and after, we eating those saltines!

Maria P.

I didn't understand money for a long time. I used to day dream about all of the things I would have when I grew up.
I didn't realize how poor we were until I was older although it was embarrassing to wear ugly second hand clothes my mom picked out for me.
About a year ago I read an article about what being poor really is. I then realized that we were really lower middle class. As bad as it was, I have never experienced what it is to be really poor. That article helped me appreciate everything I do have so much more.


I loved your post. I felt rich too!

I Dressed Myself

I liked those keebler crackers too, but for me it was the ritz crackers that were my luxury. I was one of five and PB&J was the norm for lunch. My husband was a spoiled rich kid. He had whatever he wanted.

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