Today, Thought Catalog, a blog that serves as a future embarrassment machine for self-absorbed 23-year-olds who don't know any better, ran a post called "Being Privileged Is Not A Choice, So Stop Hating Me For It" (it's just as bad — NAY, WORSE — than it sounds). What follows is the only logically possible response.
What do you suggest I do about it?
I’m sick of feeling self-conscious every time someone brings up the idea of self-awareness. I dread being asked to analyze myself and my position in the world as a function of a complicated system of prejudice, superstition, and injustice. Sometimes I lie. Sometimes I make up a line about having to go to the bathroom really bad, sometimes I just end up barking “I READ THAT IN A BOOK THAT I AM CURRENTLY READING FOR I AM A NON STUPID PERSON WHO IS CURIOUS ABOUT THE WORLD AND ABLE TO APPROACH PROBLEMS IN A WAY THAT DOESN’T RELATE DIRECTLY BACK TO ME. ALSO I READ BOOKS.”
But I’m sick of lying. I’m sick of feeling ashamed for being an rich idiot.
I am in graduate school and am thought-free. I have dumb parents who placated my childhood antsiness with brain-deadening electronic distractions and Disney cruises. They wanted to focus on their own dumb little lives, so they taught me to focus exclusively on mine. They demanded I attend college and grad school but refused to engage me in critical discussion that didn’t center on personal inanity. Now, I’m a dumb adult. A dumb, rich adult.
I work hard at thinking primarily about own little life and my own wildly inaccurate perception of my own wealth. I befriended only people who remind me of myself and refused to engage with people who made me question my preconceived notions of reality. I worked hard at an emotionally unfulfilling job so I could afford to move to a neighborhood where I don’t have to look at or think about poor people. I am earnestly interested thinking that the only reason that people might dislike me is the fact that I’m kind of upper middle class-ish.
I want to stop lying about the suits I buy for my internship, because lying about suits you buy for an internship is, objectively, only a thing that a stupid person would do. I want to be able to say thank you when I receive a compliment on them, but alas, I have projected my own self-loathing and fear onto others and as a result I’m off-puttingly paranoid. I was taught that other people are just as image-obsessed as I am, and thus I assume that when I’m dressed in more expensive clothing than my peers, I assume they’re jealous of me and my many, many possessions. I want to be taken seriously at my internship, and my lilliputian mind has determined that the way to do that is by wearing suits from a mall store and having my hair highlighted at a salon. Obviously this will make people jealous, but you can’t make a success omelette without breaking a few eggs/friendships. That’s an analogy that I made with my brain.
I’ve convinced myself that my wealth is exceptional, that I am the only person in my high-rise apartment building full of people who earn just as much, if not more, than I do (and who pay a comparable rent to me), who can afford to purchase clothing from J. Crew. I am convinced that the doorman in my building is jealous of all the clothing I have delivered, again, because I’m incredibly self-absorbed. That has to be it, right? He must be jealous of my wealth and not concerned that it seems I spend most days traipsing around with my head firmly up my own butthole.
So, Royal Everybody, stop making me feel like I’ve done something wrong. Stop making me feel like I am less deserving. I didn’t ask to be born into this kind of willful ignorance; my last package from J. Crew wasn’t filled with overpriced myopia, and I’m tired of being judged for it.
I’m not asking for sympathy, I’m asking for people to placate my feelings at the expense of discussion and progress. There is always enough money in my bank account and and never enough empathy or maturity in my personality, and I’m not sorry for either condition. Even though just, like, a paragraph ago, I kept yammering on about spending a doorman-infuriating amount of money on business clothes from J. Crew, I am going to type the following phrase without irony, because I’m stupid: “I understand the value of a dollar.” I am not wasteful, aside from the time you wasted reading this defensive, point-missing naval gaze of a blog post that, unfortunately, will follow my byline around to other corners of the internet. I highly encourage people to openly bitch about the widening chasm between the upper and lower classes in American society, as long as everyone promises to not hurt my feelings when they’re talking about it. It must suck to be poor! But your attempts to get me to examine my life in a non-stupid way will not work. I am responsible and fortunate for the resources I have. I’ll respect your poverty if you respect my stupidity.
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