In response to Trump being elected as president and his strong support from white middle and working class Americans, many have begun to ponder their own status on the socioeconomic ladder. In the article , “Notes on the Upper Muddle”, the author explains her own upbringing and shares her perspective on where she fit on the socioeconomic ladder while growing up. The strange thing was the similarity between her story and the stories of my two older sisters.
We grew up in Foothill Ranch, a small sheltered suburbia of PTA moms and kids playing in cul-de-sacs. We lived in a big house, only now looking back to I realize how big it was. Neither our friends nor us engaged in any high class activities, but any desire to do a dance class or play on a sports team was always fulfilled.
When it was time to go to high school my parents chose to send my sisters to a private school. When my sisters began going to classes there it was clear they were not in the majority in regards to social class and financial status. Their classmates first cars were Bentley’s and light pink Range Rovers and they lived in gated communities and mansions.
As a family we were very blessed to be so taken care of and have a home and food, but my sisters began looking to their right and left. Their insecurities about our house grew and about the way they dressed grew and about the activities they participated in grew. High school is already a very self-conscious time and adding in the new environment made my sisters ashamed of us ;they didn’t invite friends from school over and they rarely left the house.
And that totally sucks. I am actually angry that they felt that way and started to forget about how lucky they were to be in the home they were instead of starving or living on the streets. As this anger started to boil up inside me a switch clicked. How many times have I looked at something someone was wearing or the opportunities they had and become jealous? How many times did I wish for more instead of being thankful for what I had?
I have no reason to be greedy or embarrassed for the things I think I lack. I am loved. I am taken care of. I am protected. And that is all I need.