Author Topic: Comments on standard of living??  (Read 10941 times)

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audrey1962

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2009, 10:14:59 AM »
You can't control other people, you can only control yourself. You're doing an excellent job ignoring the boors and responding politely. I don't believe there's anything more you can do. We can't force people to act the way we want them to, even though we are right (of course).

Amava

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2009, 10:25:17 AM »
Quote from: moimoi
"Oh.  Your husband works with them?  They have a really nice house."  Read:  You must be loaded, too. 

I would take their statement literally and ignore everything they might be implying by it.
Depending on whether I have seen or visited the house in question, I would reply something like:
"Yeah, they have".
or:
"They have?"

Or not reply at all and speak of something else.

PeasNCues

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 10:34:33 AM »
Thanks, ladies.  Yes, PeasNCues, there is no doubt as to the indebtedness. 

But what does that matter to you?

I was speaking in general as to the comments about people owning big houses=being irresponsible=being in debt, but even if it is true in this case it has no bearing on the etiquette question at hand.

Quote
There is no excuse for someone to be making upwards of 300k a year & complaining that there isn't enough money. 

I don't think this is your call to make, quite honestly. You can choose to ignore and beandip but I'm certain there are plenty of reasons for people making any amount of money to complain about the lack thereof because of different obligations.

Quote
As I said earlier, I am not reading too much into this.   One of the details I chose not to speak of earlier was being asked, "Why do the Joneses live at x and you live at y?  You must be saving a whole lot of money."
Which makes more sense as to why you were offended; I did not get that from your initial post. I would say you are dealing with it well - all you can do is beandip and mentally sigh that people are making assumptions about you AND about the people they think are "rich."
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

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moimoi

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2009, 12:55:49 PM »
Peas,
I agree (for the most part  ;)) with your responses.  The "yes, there's no doubt" statement was because you asked (didn't realize it was rhetorical) & lends itself to the explanation of why it's not something I'm looking too much into- the disparity of our standards of living is severe- not so much in that I live in a hole, but that they live lives that are essentially unattainable.  Sorry for not being more explicit before:  I used the initial post's quote because that is the most common reaction I receive, but you'd have to be there to witness it to really understand- think saucer eyes, mouth agape, quizzical look at my lack of head-to-toe designer branding.  You know when you're being evaluated.  It is not a transparent gesture.
As to why it matters to me... good point.  How they spend their money is not any of my business, yet they have continually made it such, dollar amounts and all , in every conversation I've had with them, singularly or in a group setting (the socially discussing money is another etiquette violation for another discussion).  Then in private to his coworkers, the husband laments no money (again, nevermind the adverse affect it can have on the company).  I just have no tolerance for lies, which is what these people are living & the standard to which I apparently am being held.  And, yes, I resent that.  Like I said before, I have lived in several other places as an adult and this is the first time I have come across this behavior- either the spending or the evaluation.  I do know "stupid rich" (by virtue of inheritance) people, too, and all of those live much more restrained lives than those of whom I'm speaking. 
Thanks for the help.  Anyone have a good bean dip suggestion?

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2010, 12:10:49 PM »
My parents, especially my mother, are the sort that equate one's home, choice of vehicles and vacations to be indicative of their income.   When I met DH, my in laws lived in a very nice single family home that was smaller than my parent's.   Once DH and I married and he was out of his parent's home, they sold their house and bought one that was smaller because my MIL felt the house they had been in felt too big once her only child had moved out.   

When DH and I first saw the house, I loved it, as it was a very nice Cape Cod and suited the IL's very well.   When my parents asked me what I thought of it, I said "It's a nice house, and very cozy, too."   They said "Oh no, I hope you didn't say anything about it being small. You don't want them thinking you are looking down on them for not being able to afford anything bigger!"   ::)

It wasn't an issue of being able to afford something bigger.  They could have, but they wanted a smaller house. 

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Fish

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2010, 08:04:29 PM »
DH and I share a house with a friend, because rents in our city are insane and the friend is generally pleasant to live with. However, the number of people who assume that we're poor, because we're sharehousing and generally buy secondhand, is mindboggling. We're not 'poor', we're saving for a house deposit, and generally don't care about new things.

The other lovely one was when I was employed and DH wasn't. Somehow, I was supposed to be supporting DH, when the fact was that he was paying his half of the household expenses out of unemployment benefits fairly easily. Again, we were living in a fairly run-down house, so it wasn't difficult, but people assumed that that was all we could afford, and that I was paying most of the expenses.


RegionMom

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2010, 01:44:58 PM »
people can get fired for disclosing their income to coworkers. 
So some employees try to figure it out on their own.
Income and out-go are not always the same.

We took a ski vacation over spring break and did not tell most people when asked of our spring break plans b/c I did not want the assumption that ski vacation = rich! 

I luurve me some yard sales, drive an old mini-van, cut my own hair, buy almost ALL our clothes and furniture 2nd hand, use a cash only/envelope budget system, cook our own meals instead of going out, (even on vacation I cooked some!)  and yet b/c we did a "rich" thing, we must be rich. 
nevermind that we are not vacationing this summer or Christmas. 

People are going to comment. 
they will see what they want to see.

That people are commenting to you about others is just plain t.a.c.k.y.

Bean dip them.  They may want to hear juicy details of debt or salary or lay offs, or whatever.  stay out of it. 

Money does not equal happiness. 

And, MadMarge, I hope you enjoyed a lifetime of memories during your trip!  What a wonderful gift and I am sure the person who gifted you will be pleased that you have been enjoying their generosity. 
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2010, 04:36:06 PM »
I'm all about saving money where I can.  I'm not cheap...I will pay more $ for a quality item if someone recommends it or the reviews of a product are satisfactory.   Like I just replaced some earbuds I bought at $5 below with a $16.99 set of SkullCandy earbuds.   The $5 ones were a similar style but I kept getting an annoying buzzing and they were still always falling out of my ears.   And I've got a pair of Croc sandals.  They were more than the $9.99 pair I got at Walmart last summer, but they'll last a whole heck longer!

I love bargain hunting though.   Thrift stores, antique/flea markets, anyplace I can get something for a lot less than it's worth, I love.   I told a friend once, even if we won the jackpot from playing the lottery I'd still be looking for bargains to make the money last longer.   

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

icfrugal2

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2010, 05:13:46 PM »
Eventually though, I did have to let the people I became close to know that I wasn't really working, and I could see their minds start to calculate. Since I've been home and bought a house in a really good neighborhood and still don't have a job, you should hear the comments- "really? most people get jobs then buy houses", "how did you buy a house without a job?"

And truthfully, I can't blame them. I know my mind calculates things automatically. If it didn't I might not be able to do this  :-\.

So my advice, keep bean dipping. You might on occasion drop the line, "well, people do have different values and spend their money differently ..."
I also feel your pain, I inherited some money almost 4 years ago and this year have done some very much needed work on my house and people are "looking" at me funny. I replaced a 30 year old vinyl kitchen floor with new vinyl you would have thought that I rebuilt the house. LOL   I am known as cheap by my family because I save my money ect. I did send some money to a nefew because at a very young age he bought a house and he thanked me saying that it meant a lot to him because he knew how cheap I was. LOL

IC

girlysprite

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2010, 04:01:34 PM »
If people are getting way too direct, instead of hinting/suggesting, you could say that you just don't like to talk about money issues. If they ask why, just repeat. You shouldn't have to explain yourself over that.
And then tell about the new rainbow flavoured beandip of course.


baglady

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2010, 12:22:01 AM »
Sigh. It amazes me how many people out there simply don't get the concept of "different people have different priorities." Not everyone *wants* to live in a "big beautiful home," even if they can afford one. I know people who have homes like that. I'm happy for them. But I have no desire to live in a house like that -- all that space to clean and furnish and heat! I adore my little apartment, and I love the fact that if something goes wrong, it's not my headache or my expense. (Yes, I have owned, and I have no desire to do it again.)

There are people who live in trailers and spend their disposable income on cool cars. There are people who drive beater cars so they can have big houses to entertain friends and family. There are people who buy their clothes at the Salvation Army so they can send their kids to private school -- or stay home with their kids.

I keep hearing about these folks who judge others based on the houses they live in and the cars they drive. I'm fortunate not to have any of them in my circle of friends. If I were to meet one, I hope I'd have the presence of mind to say, "Oh, but I love it here! I wouldn't dream of moving to McMansion Estates and leaving this neighborhood, where I can walk to the market and the library and the bank ... and there's this funky little deli around the corner that sells the most delicious bean dip ... ."

« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 12:43:53 AM by baglady »
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Missy2U

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Re: Comments on standard of living??
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2010, 09:12:45 AM »
baglady, I know exactly what you mean.  My husband and I rent - and always have.  He's owned before and doesn't want to do it again.  I never have, and have no desire to.  Why people think they can make judgement calls on our "lifestyle" (or lack thereof) is beyond me - and you're right - people make choices as to what their priorities are! There are people who drive beater cars but have a nice place to live only because they can't afford to move, don't want to stick their very understanding landlord with an empty place (at least now she gets rent!) and can't afford another car.  The one we (hypothetically, of course) have has 225,000 miles on it - yep - 225,000 miles.  Heck - I'm happy one of us is WORKING!  ;D