Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Poor are the Non-Rich?

My fiancée and I were in the city the other day to look at wedding bands. Blood diamonds everywhere in the Diamond District. At one point, we stopped in front of a window with these monstrous engagement rings and I asked her, "Wouldn't you be embarrassed to wear something like that?" I mean, I'm sure being rich would be awesome but certain things some rich people do are just absurd.

Or is that just wishful thinking by me because I'm not rich and could never afford something like that? [Thinking] Yeah, that's probably it.

Later that day, featured links from "Elsewhere on the Internet" and I clicked on one from The Fiscal Times: 9 Must Have Status Symbols that Say "I'm Rich." Some of the things on there were pretty uncalled for. Again, I thought about the absurdity of rich people's lives. Obviously, we'd all love to be able to afford fine wines and Ferraris, but swanky strollers and $1.5 million dogs? I'm sure my parents' running stroller and my dirty golden retriever Harry were at least as good.

Which dog would you prefer?... Yeah, me too.

So since there are plenty of stories on the Internet about new trends and ways to spend a lot of money, I decided to instead focus on the have-nots. Not necessarily poor people, but people that could never afford Alexander Wang fur sandals for $895 a pop.

9 Symbols that Say "I'm Not Rich"

1. Owning This 18.5-Inch Television

Yup, that's FranT's Polaroid television. I'll keep my head out of the gutter and refrain from making any obvious jokes about measurements in inches. Suffice it to say that if your TV is just a little bigger than the iPad used to photograph it, you're not rich. Although having an iPad means I'm not poor either, right?

2. Improvising Clothing Choices
Last week, I was at the bar and our bartender told us that he forgot his belt at home so he was using a phone charger to do the job. He's not rich. Often, girls I know use a sock to put their hair in some sort of bun. Sorry, not rich.

And if you thought you were escaping a blog without watching a Simpsons clip, you're a Looney Tune.

"What, you don't like my bags?"
Anything in the world can be related in some way to The Simpsons.

3. Being a Skell By Association
Under no circumstances do rich guys hang out with skells. It's like the Indian caste system and skells are the untouchables. It just doesn't happen.

4. Using a Blanket as a Curtain

Is it bad that I can find more than nine status symbols that say I'm not rich, all inside my tiny attic apartment? (Another sign you're not rich -- living in a tiny attic apartment.) I'll save you the virtual tour, though -- you don't wanna see the bathroom.

5. Doing Things You Could Pay Others to Do
My mom once asked my rich uncle if he had a septic system or sewers. His answer was classic: "When I wake up one morning and my toilet doesn't flush, I'll call up someone that deals with that sort of thing."

6. Wearing Equipment from One Sport to Play Another Sport
When I was growing up playing baseball, the rich kids always had the Jeter batting gloves, state-of-the-art bat, and sparkling new cleats. Then, most of the time they'd get up to the plate and not know which batting hand should go on top. My buddy Chrisdrew, though, would get up to the plate in soccer cleats with an old metal bat and smash opposite field homers. Not quite as drastic as kids in the Dominican Republic using milk cartons as gloves, but you still get the point.

7. Haggling Over Christmas Tree Prices
I'm not even sure how some rich people get their monstrous trees into their mansions. I'm pretty sure they have "Christmas tree guys" that do it for them every year. Meanwhile, my family frequently waited until Christmas Eve to get the cheap tree. Even better, my friend's grandfather once bought two "Charlie Brown" trees, then chopped the branches off one, drilled holes in the other, and combined them into one tree.

If Charlie Brown had been rich, this wouldn't have even been an issue.
8. Wearing Hand-Me-Downs
An obvious fact of not-rich life. Still, thank God I was the oldest in my family. I wasn't exactly setting trends, but at least I wasn't always wearing chewed-up, stained, or otherwise tarnished clothing like some of the middle children I knew.

9. Driving More Than 4 Hours for a Vacation
You know where rich people go on vacation? Places that are vacations, which can be defined as relaxing getaways. They usually fly there; and if they can't fly, they don't go. They just stay home and enjoy their nice Christmas trees, real curtains, and 20-plus-inch TVs.


If you have done or owned any of the things on the list, just know you're not alone. FranT falls into almost every category. Borderline PoverT.

And if you're rich and can't relate to any of the things on there? Well, just know that the rest of us envy you. Those are about the only nine things we have that you don't.

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