I’m Angsty Around The Rich Moms In My New City
When we decided to move, I was worried about my daughter adjusting to the change, pretty certain it was ruining her life. Well, I’m pleased to say that about two weeks after moving into our new place and a day after school started, she’s perfectly fine and doesn’t appear to be on the road to being a serial killer anytime soon. I, on the other hand, have some serious emo new kid stuff going on. In particular, I’m pretty angsty around all of the wealthy families that populate our new little corner of suburbia.
It’s not a secret that you can get a whole lot of house for not a lot of money in Texas, and at the risk of sounding braggy, that’s exactly what we did. Without a doubt, it’s the nicest place I’ve ever lived, and though it’s hard to believe, that includes the crappy apartment we lived in where there was an honest to God rat living in one of the toilets. But even though I feel like some crazed Marie Antoinette drunk on square footage, we’re nowhere near being the most affluent people around. We’re not even close.
The biggest difference I’ve noticed between our old home, in Austin, and our new one, in Dallas, is the sheer amount of rich mofos hanging out. In Austin, said mofos prefer to stick to their hilltop chateaus far from the peasants below as opposed to Dallas, where it seems to be pretty popular to spend half a mil purchasing a mini-palace in a gated subdivision full of lots of other mini-palaces. My daughter’s elementary school is in one of these terrifying places, and she goes to school with the kids that live there, and for some reason this is giving me major anxiety issues.
Every time I run the gauntlet of Beamers and Acuras and Mercedes‘ in my little Honda, I start to cold sweat. When I pop out of the car in my carefully curated Ross outfit among mothers sporting stuff from Saks, I get a little nauseous. I feel certain I’ll be exposed for the imposter I am; a polyblend in a sea of cashmere.
I don’t begrudge rich people their money, cars, or clothing. Not one of them has sneered at, sniffed at, or belittled me. And yet, I can’t help but feel very distinctly that these are not my people.
Where I come from, there was nothing particularly awesome about being poor, unlike most places, where being poor is totally bitchin’. There was something even less en vogue about being The Poor Kid Who Went To That School For Poor Kids. Everywhere we went, the locals treated us with suspicion or pity. Other schools made up extremely hilarious cheers when we played their athletic teams; making copious use of racial slurs or trying desperately and unfunnily to rhyme the word “orphan”.
I worry my daughter will experience the same stuff, which is patently absurd, seeing as she isn’t me, a few decades ago. She comes from the kind of family I used to gawk at with wonder – the boring, middle class, two parent kind – we don’t live in poverty and her peers aren’t feather-haired acid-washed denim vest wearing bullies from a John Hughes movie, and yet…
I know I’m projecting. I know it’s ridiculous. That doesn’t make shaking this weird insecurity I feel when I’m walking my kid to school off any easier. What I need to do is try and make some friends. I highly doubt that the Buffies and Bunnies of the Dallas Country Clubs are grown up mean girl stereotypes that will shun me for having the audacity to drive a CR-V instead of an MDX. The question is how?
Maybe I should swing by the carpool lane in my bare feet on a cold day and see if they’re interested in buying some matches.