The irony of the years I lived in Boca Raton, Florida haven’t been lost on me. Route 95 runs along the eastern part of the state for the top to the bottom. Really you can drive it’s length the entire coast line of the united States, but in this case it truly makes a difference in the way people live. The normal assumption is to go with the closer to the water, the more expensive the homes therefore the more money someone has. But in this case the houses are made up of the families who do all of the heavy lifting for the “Other People”. The entitled class that lives along the Intercoastal Waterway, where you have neighbors literally in your side and back yards, the theory of zero-lot lines really comes into play here.
I lived about 6 miles inland, technically in an area that was the “unincorporated” portion of Boca Raton. All the joys of the mailing address, alligators living in some of the pools around me, but still not really part of the town. Why this part, I liked being able to buy a house that had two floors. Living in the north my entire life, the idea of a courtyard where my bedroom looked into the kitchen across the pool was not my style. Yes, that also makes me part of the entitled class. I looked at plenty of places before settling on this home, but I wanted my two floors.
Whenever someone I worked with said they lived on the eastern side of 95, you tried not to look to crazily at them. And most times you hoped you weren’t going to invited over for dinner because the fear of what might happen to your car entered your mind. It was never founded in reality, just prejudice and ignorance about what you heard through the grapevine.
One of the biggest fallacies about people and money is about their cars. Southern Florida is a great example. Coming from Massachusetts, where you drove Volvos, Saabs, and diesel Mercedes; the land of Rolls Royce and Ferrari was a head-turner. Only later I learned that in almost every single case those cars were being leased and not a single person actually owned one of them. Sure, there was really old money there and they did own the cars, but it was all a show for the neighbors. That was my high school in an nutshell. Mommy and Daddy bought you something really nice, you complained about it, and when the time came for you to stand on your won two feet- lots of them fell over. Those companies they thought that they would inherit were sold so that people could move to Boca! Irony abounds!
My parents gave me lots of things, I can’t say I wasn’t spoiled to some degree. The summer camps, nice clothes, good vacations, and allowance when I went to college that was equal to some people’s paychecks [this caused some friction with the girl I was dating, she didn’t like that she worked her tail off and thought I didn’t do enough. My parents were happy I got out of college early and saved them a ridiculous amount in tuition, so it’s was a rub for my family.] How have I paid them back, well that Ph.D. sort of was my answer to it all.
Money is what destroyed my relationship last September. It was great when someone’s mom could brag about all these things, but when the situation changed she made sure to become an issue. It’s said when she sat in my living room and told my own mother she wouldn’t give up until she had her way, even if it meant poisoning her daughter. But then some people also wanted to know how much money my father made at his job and where he invested it.
There are things I’m an absolute snob about, the types of tea I drink and the headphones that were purchased for me several years ago. Beyond that, I’m good with anything anyone has to offer. Why those two things? Tea is just my comfort thing, I like what I like. The headphones were because I have sensitive ears to certain sounds and wanted to get the best set for the price someone was willing to pay.
What did all of this teach me? I’d crawl over my own body to help someone. That part of me is something I hope to never give up. Even with the ugliness that occurred between the ex’s mother and myself, I still worry about her overall health. [there was a rough patch and I truly hope she found relief for it, or from it.] If the phone rang asking, I’d find a way to help today, even from miles away.
It’s also why I’m so proud of my niece for giving up her saved money to help someone else. Or my nephew for starting to learn that he has been given lots of things and passing them on to others is a good thing. Teaching simple values in a world where they both are hit with messages about needing the latest something, it’s hard. Thank goodness for Netflix where he isn’t exposed to commercials every three minutes.
End of my sermon, but now I wonder about someone’s health! Need to go hit myself in the head to let that one go!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “West End Girls.”