Monday, July 12, 2004

I have this thing where I freak out about being around certain kinds of people--situations where I may possibly be judged on my appearance/job/car/purse--and I panic and do stupid things like impulsively spend a $150 on a dress that was not in this month's budget AT ALL and is not even that lovely or exciting or (even in ther alter-universe where I HAVE $150 to spend on a dress) really WORTH $150 dollars. I feel bad every time I look at it. This sick, sinking feeling that my lame anxieties about rich people have caused me to waste my precious money that I work hard for at a job that I like (mostly) and that I think makes a difference, on trying to win the opinions of the taller, and wealthier and better dressed.

I had to go to this wedding with B on Saturday, and what you have to know about B's friends, is that they are all that brand of former high school geek-turned engineer/accountant, who work at big corporations and have girlfriends that drive Mercedes and sport "LV" handbags and like to giggle and speak Chinese. Now, I don't have any problem with them. I don't even DISLIKE them. They're perfectly nice. They're just not exactly "my kind of people." Because as much as anyone says they want to or even DO get along with "anyone"--the truth is that the world is very simply made up of "your kind of people" and... everybody else. Chinese giggling, luxury suv driving, louis vuitton toting, lollicup sipping, sanrio adoring, make-up conversation having "Oh, I love your mascara...", ARE my everybody else.

It's as if all the values you have about yourself get turned upside-down, and you are suddenly nobody. Just small and unkempt and impossibly... poor. "You bought a USED car?" The metric has changed. But you haven't.

I don't want to BE them. Not at all. But I don't want to be judged by them, either. It's like waking up in a world where people are discuss how many cows you might bring in for dowry. And you think: Why am I not worth more cows? I should have been working on my cow-worth-market-price rather than wasting time on things like hiking and book reading!!


So now, instead of all the other things one could have done with $150, I have the awful and impossibly expensive dress-of-guilt. Arg.

posted by m at 1:02 PM

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