Sometimes I feel kinda poor. Not really poor, because I know I'm so, so rich in comparison to most people. But. Sometimes I look around at the affluent area we live in, and am a tad bit ashamed. Not really. Because I KNOW.
But. There is always that "but." There is definitely a disconnect sometimes when Those Women want the rest of us to "chip in" when their nonchalant donation would be a massive struggle for us to match. It is the price of living in a wealthy area.
Six years ago, I was so very, very thankful that we were able to move here. It meant EVERYTHING for my sons' education and for a safer neighborhood for them to grow up in. For a long time I got happy butterflies when I stepped on the campus of my oldest son's then-new school. Now he's in middle school, and my youngest son is about to be an upper-classman. (Make time stop!) Even now, I sometimes look around at pick-up with a smile on my face as I survey the campus. I am so lucky. THEY are so lucky.
I knew what we were getting into. Instead of being a "regular" person in our old neighborhood, we'd be so-called "at the bottom" of our new neighborhood. But, there is that old joke about "What do you call the guy with the lowest GPA in medical school? Doctor." We still get the benefits of our location, regardless of whether we "fit in."
I am so, so fortunate to be where I am. And I know that.
Today a friend posted a query on Facebook: "Anyone know a house painter?"
My grandpa, I thought. But of course he's been gone for two decades, and stopped painting at least two decades prior.
My dear grandpa. He who lived in a mobile home park. He who was so intelligent, so hard working, and so wonderful. He who is in the Ski Jumping Hall of Fame. (And yet, was never a wealthy athlete.) And my grandma. She who tried anything just to prove she could do it. She who had confidence that I really wish I could channel at times. She who originated a particular brand of perfection in our family that is both fabulous and crippling.
When I think of solid people, I think of my grandparents. They had such high standards. And yet, they were absolutely not wealthy from a financial perspective. My grandpa was "just" a house painter.
Sometimes I feel frustrated that I cannot "keep up with" some of my relatives. They live in big houses and drive fancy cars. And yet it wasn't until today that I realized - truly realized - that some of their "ideals" came from my grandparents, who of course had internal riches rather than the bank-account ones.
I'm fine. Even if I don't carry the newest handbag or get my hair flat-ironed every week, I'm absolutely fine. My amazing grandpa was a house painter.