No one else waited to order at the Dairy Queen drive through when I pulled up. The fact that you could have fit Texas between the two cars ahead of me meant I had to squeeze a little tight onto the rear bumper of the new Rav 4 in front of me. We had less than 20 minutes to get the kids fed and meet their mom for the weekly hostage exchange. So, I wasn’t going to waste time if I didn’t have to.
Once I ordered, I waited for the line to advance around the corner of the building. The Rav 4 made the turn no problem. On the other hand, the size of my truck requires a wide swing to make that turn.That’s when I noticed the driver glaring at me in the side mirror. I glared back, insulted.
As a child, I was often accused of being selfish and prideful, and I admit I still can be self-centered at times, but I don’t consider it prideful to be offended when someone looks down their nose at me the way that driver did.
Yes, I judged her based on the brand new vehicle, gold-set pearl earrings, heavily sprayed, trendy-styled hair and full makeup. She probably thought I was just another uncouth hick who almost hit her vehicle and threatened to cut the line, but I am not, and did not, and despite her apparent affluence, she is not better than me because she has money.
Back in high school, I noticed the tendency to award popularity to those who had money.
One local character, a middle aged gentleman Buck works with, often preaches about what amounts to honorable conduct, yet he will wave off criticism of a man who cheats on his wife regularly and publicly because the guy is well-off.
A couple of times I have expressed a dislike for certain uninteresting people whom this character regularly seeks the company of. Yeah sure they’ve been to Las Vegas and Cancun a dozen times each, but they don’t remember a single trip to either place. They would rather brag about the Suburban they’re going to buy next because their current vehicle needs tires.
Sorry, but I’m not so starved for attention that I’ll waste time with people who get their kicks out of flaunting their material possessions. Even when I was too broke to afford a meal out or a beer, I wouldn’t hang out with such folks even if they paid. That’s a form of kissing-up or brown-nosing.
That kind of behavior is the exact reason we hate politicians. They chronically kiss-up to voters to get into office and earn an underlying distrust along with winning the election. So why is it that many people pander to the wealthy and popular in the same way a politician solicits votes?
For some of these people, I strongly believe they suffer from a lack of ambition. They lack the desire to earn anything for themselves.
For others, there is an element of security in having affluent friends, but if you get stranded in a place or situation where your friend has no influence and money means nothing, these people melt down,throw fits and leave it to other people to bail them out.
Boiling it down, it’s the fantastical belief that modern royalty will save them from all difficulty. This attitude is the reason calling little girls “princess” irritates me. It sets children up to define their success or failure by what other people do for them rather than rely on themselves for rescue and self-worth.
This is why arrogant people anger me. Not saying they haven’t experienced hard times in their lives, but thinking over the arrogant people I’ve known in my life, few have been knocked on their asses so hard their safety nets failed. I owe them nothing, not even my time, because arrogant people only take. They give because they want you to owe them.
I contemplated these things while I sat staring back at the woman until she looked away. Then I basically forgot her.
I wasn’t born into a wealthy family, and I didn’t settle for the first guy with decent means so I could enjoy a comfortable, easy life.
Money especially makes poor glue for marriage, despite what romance novels portray and many of the older generation preach. Happily ever after rarely happens between two partners from divergent economic classes.
So, should I have felt sorry for that woman glaring at me? Maybe, but I am no saint. I’ve made poor choices in life and dealt with the consequences, including criticism, without hiding behind someone, which is all the more reason I hold no obligation to feel sorry for her.
I am tired of being expected to pity those who have no pity for anyone else. She could have taken the polite road and closed that Texas-sized gap between her and the car in front of her.
I try to not hate people like her, because they generate enough hate and drama for more than both of us. Obsessing about evil gives it more power over our lives than it deserves.