Author Topic: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood  (Read 17593 times)

jps

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #200 on: April 10, 2019, 11:27:08 AM »
Rich kids sandwiches were wrapped in tin foil
My sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper. 

Every day at lunch was humiliation when I opened my bag and pulled out wax paper (sometimes held closed with a rubber band)

Isn't it funny that what used to seem like the biggest deal in the world is now something so small that you wouldn't even notice it?

GuitarStv

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #201 on: April 10, 2019, 11:34:19 AM »
Rich kids sandwiches were wrapped in tin foil
My sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper. 

Every day at lunch was humiliation when I opened my bag and pulled out wax paper (sometimes held closed with a rubber band)

Isn't it funny that what used to seem like the biggest deal in the world is now something so small that you wouldn't even notice it?

Wrapping a sandwich in tin foil seems weird to me.  It's just the wrong tool for the job.

travelawyer

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #202 on: April 10, 2019, 11:34:49 AM »
Buying and eating food at airport restaurants or highway rest stops.   We traveled a fair amount, by plane, train, and automobile, but we were never allowed to just buy things like food that you could pack yourself for so much less.

This mine too.  I think it's more of my college definition of rich as I didn't spend much time in airports before, but 15 years later I still feel SO RICH buying a $3 soda at an airport just because I'm thirsty.

I'll also add, ordering appetizers and desserts at restaurants.  My parents were lazy about cooking (and middle class) so we ate out often, but you could only order enough to sustain you, not a multitude of items just for the variety.

Odiedog859

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #203 on: April 10, 2019, 01:05:24 PM »
I grew up in a lower middle class rural town.  There was a family that owned a cluster of 4 summer homes on one of our main streets that shared with a big mowed lawn, flower beds, an in-ground pool and a tennis court.  That was "lifestyle of the rich and famous" in my eyes.  Nice folks though.  Their kids played with us (sort of).  They still own the properties but the kids I grew up with rarely come up from the city and use it anymore.  I think they have a trust that funds its upkeep.

Another "very rich" person was a former bank executive who had a new car each year (Lincoln Continental) and a nice house (not overly large compared to the neighborhood) with a fancy living room you could see from the street.  I recall him being kind of a "get off my yard" guy but he was probably a nice guy and we were little pests.

BlueHouse

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #204 on: April 11, 2019, 12:21:22 PM »
Rich kids sandwiches were wrapped in tin foil
My sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper. 

Every day at lunch was humiliation when I opened my bag and pulled out wax paper (sometimes held closed with a rubber band)

Isn't it funny that what used to seem like the biggest deal in the world is now something so small that you wouldn't even notice it?

Wrapping a sandwich in tin foil seems weird to me.  It's just the wrong tool for the job.

@ jps -- oh gosh, I can't believe I was embarrassed about that.  Now I just shove things in something reusable -- even a cloth napkin. 
@GuitarStv -- I suppose it seems that way now, but at the time, it seemed like a very secure way to wrap something.  I do remember having limits on how much tin foil we were allowed to use (but probably because we were kids and very wasteful). 



ketchup

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #205 on: April 11, 2019, 01:39:51 PM »
I do remember having limits on how much tin foil we were allowed to use (but probably because we were kids and very wasteful).
I remember having this uncomfortable conversation with my dad about toilet paper. >_>

BlueHouse

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #206 on: April 12, 2019, 07:05:46 AM »
I do remember having limits on how much tin foil we were allowed to use (but probably because we were kids and very wasteful).
I remember having this uncomfortable conversation with my dad about toilet paper. >_>

We had something in our household called a "bandaid session".  It consisted of my mom walking into the bathroom only to find every bandaid opened and peeled with all the little sticker pieces floating all over the counters and floors. 
45 years have passed and my siblings and I will still refer to something as a "bandaid session" if someone embarks on a solo project that is wasteful or ends up leaving a mess.

Note to youngsters:  This was in the days before some enterprising person realized that children love stickers. 

the_fixer

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #207 on: April 12, 2019, 09:19:17 AM »
As a little kid

A house or even a stable place to live, we moved so many times (multiple times a year)  and we're even homeless from time to time couch surfing or staying in shelters.

Having a parent at home. My mom was raising me by herself and worked multiple jobs even as a grade schooler I would come home to an empty house, cook my dinner and put myself to bed many nights.

Home cooked meals... When I would go to a friend's house and they would sit down to a home cooked meal it was an amazing treat compared to my normal microwave meal or can of soup.



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sol

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #208 on: April 12, 2019, 09:41:20 AM »
Home cooked meals... When I would go to a friend's house and they would sit down to a home cooked meal it was an amazing treat compared to my normal microwave meal or can of soup.

I know that this is a rough situation and not something to be envied, but just as a counterpoint:  I met kids from wealthy families in college who could not make themselves a can of soup.

Like they had never gone hungry for an hour in their entire lives.  They had always had someone on hand, taking care of them 24/7, until they moved out at age 18 and suddenly the big bad world was a real shocker.  The campus meal plan didn't provide breakfast, and they had no idea how to buy cereal and milk and their own dishes so they could feed themselves in the morning.  They would graduate using the same toothbrush they arrived with on orientation day, because they never thought to replace it.  They had cars but didn't know they needed to change the oil.  Someone had always done all of that stuff for them.

Sometimes a little bit of poverty teaches valuable life lessons.  I'm already struggling with the idea that my oldest is headed off to college in a few years, and he has no idea how to file his taxes, or find an apartment, or buy his own groceries.  He has a lot of life learning to do in a very short amount of time, because his life has been genuinely pampered thus far.  We try to shelter and protect our kids, but I think it's easy to take that a little too far.

jps

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #209 on: April 12, 2019, 10:16:56 AM »
I'm already struggling with the idea that my oldest is headed off to college in a few years, and he has no idea how to file his taxes, or find an apartment, or buy his own groceries.  He has a lot of life learning to do in a very short amount of time, because his life has been genuinely pampered thus far.  We try to shelter and protect our kids, but I think it's easy to take that a little too far.

As a young person (24), I didn't know how to do any of that stuff when I was 16 either. I don't think that's a bad thing. A 16 year old probably shouldn't know how to find an apartment.

What my parents did impress upon me, though, is the knowledge that I would be taking care of myself when I moved out of their house. They would gladly help me know how to do things when I called, like dealing with a landlord, but they weren't going to do anything for me, or even bail me out when I made a mistake.

Don't worry about it, Sol. I am sure that your kid is fine. It's more important to teach resourcefulness and responsibility than it is to worry about making sure they know every step of filling out an apartment application. He'll figure the rest out.

(Also, as someone who has been a #PNW lurker for a while, it is an honor. Consider me a part of the unofficial Sol fan club.)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 10:25:39 AM by jps »

partgypsy

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #210 on: April 12, 2019, 10:38:29 AM »
Home cooked meals... When I would go to a friend's house and they would sit down to a home cooked meal it was an amazing treat compared to my normal microwave meal or can of soup.

I know that this is a rough situation and not something to be envied, but just as a counterpoint:  I met kids from wealthy families in college who could not make themselves a can of soup.

Like they had never gone hungry for an hour in their entire lives.  They had always had someone on hand, taking care of them 24/7, until they moved out at age 18 and suddenly the big bad world was a real shocker.  The campus meal plan didn't provide breakfast, and they had no idea how to buy cereal and milk and their own dishes so they could feed themselves in the morning.  They would graduate using the same toothbrush they arrived with on orientation day, because they never thought to replace it.  They had cars but didn't know they needed to change the oil.  Someone had always done all of that stuff for them.

Sometimes a little bit of poverty teaches valuable life lessons.  I'm already struggling with the idea that my oldest is headed off to college in a few years, and he has no idea how to file his taxes, or find an apartment, or buy his own groceries.  He has a lot of life learning to do in a very short amount of time, because his life has been genuinely pampered thus far.  We try to shelter and protect our kids, but I think it's easy to take that a little too far.

My mother has some entertaining stories of the women she had as roommates. My mother had two significantly younger brothers and so had to be like 2nd mother to them. She had a roommate who confused preheating from lighting the oven. So she turned on the stove (gas) waited 5, 10 minutes, and THEN lit the gas. The rest of the roommate heard a big "WHOMP" when she lit the stove. She lost the front of her hair and her eyebrows but luckily wasn't permanently injured. She was often entertained how they had no clue how to do the most basic domestic thing, even though they were going to college for their "MRS". 

OTOH I didn't know how to cook before I went to college. The only experiences I had were making my lunches and also helping my grandmother with meal prep. But I got up to speed pretty quick.

One time when showing my older daughter how to clean the bathroom, explaining when she is older she will need to know how to do these things, she said airily "Don't worry Mom, I plan to have cleaners".
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 10:40:04 AM by partgypsy »

genealogist

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #211 on: April 12, 2019, 12:21:36 PM »
I grew up in a working class family in the mid-70s and 80s. Not having much exposure to wealth, rich to me was someone who had a toilet in a separate room within the bathroom, a den in their house that you stepped down a couple of steps into from the main floor, a button in the glove compartment of their car to open the trunk, and saloon-style doors leading into their kitchen. So fancy - I was impressed!

anonymouscow

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #212 on: April 12, 2019, 01:24:37 PM »
AC, vacation (bonus if out of state), car with AC, car newer than 10 years old, computer, staying in a hotel, ordering pizza for delivery, buying clothes not from the thrift store.

As a kid I hated being poor, I'm not rich but now I don't mind many of the things.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #213 on: April 12, 2019, 02:41:15 PM »
Home cooked meals... When I would go to a friend's house and they would sit down to a home cooked meal it was an amazing treat compared to my normal microwave meal or can of soup.

I know that this is a rough situation and not something to be envied, but just as a counterpoint:  I met kids from wealthy families in college who could not make themselves a can of soup.

Like they had never gone hungry for an hour in their entire lives.  They had always had someone on hand, taking care of them 24/7, until they moved out at age 18 and suddenly the big bad world was a real shocker.  The campus meal plan didn't provide breakfast, and they had no idea how to buy cereal and milk and their own dishes so they could feed themselves in the morning.  They would graduate using the same toothbrush they arrived with on orientation day, because they never thought to replace it.  They had cars but didn't know they needed to change the oil.  Someone had always done all of that stuff for them.

Sometimes a little bit of poverty teaches valuable life lessons.  I'm already struggling with the idea that my oldest is headed off to college in a few years, and he has no idea how to file his taxes, or find an apartment, or buy his own groceries.  He has a lot of life learning to do in a very short amount of time, because his life has been genuinely pampered thus far.  We try to shelter and protect our kids, but I think it's easy to take that a little too far.

I had never done those things before college (or laundry!) and had no problem doing all of them. I bought groceries, cleaned my clothes, rented an apartment, filed my taxes, opened credit cards- I missed a bill payment once, when I forgot to mail the check, and like a big girl, I called the credit card company and asked them to waive the fee and interest because I hadn't done it before. Not everyone is an idiot who can't figure things out when presented with a challenge.

DirtDiva

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #214 on: April 14, 2019, 12:46:47 PM »
Rich = a thermostat on the wall that changed the whole house to cool or warm.  We had one wall-unit propane heater and one window unit AC in the main room for the whole 3 bedroom 2 story farm house.

As a youth I was certain I wanted a thermostat in my house some day.  So much so that I obsessively researched careers that paid well so I could assure myself of having sufficient income to buy one.


Channel-Z

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #215 on: April 14, 2019, 07:59:59 PM »
Born in '76... I can duplicate a lot of answers here.

We lived across the street from a family who had a house spread over two lots. They had computers, they were the first family I knew of with internet service, video games, HBO and Cinemax, a convertible, a 1956 Chevy (which my friend and I nearly wrecked as ten-year-olds), a two-level living room, brand-name clothes, vacations that didn't involve visiting elderly relatives, and they attended a private school.

However, they did not have a swimming pool. They packed for a day at the municipal pool just like the rest of us.

Okay - you hooked me - how did you almost wreck that car as ten year olds? ;)

We lived on a hill. The '56 Chevy is parked in my friend's steep driveway. My friend decided to show it off to me. He got in the driver's seat and I entered the passenger seat. He proceeded to release the hand-brake and off we went. We rolled backward down the driveway, into the street, and the two of us managed to turn the wheel far enough to rotate 180 degrees and roll backward up the curb back into my friend's yard. It was quite the scene. Both of us were grounded.

Misstachian

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #216 on: April 15, 2019, 11:20:23 AM »
I grew up wealthy (although not really aware of it since mostly everyone else was too). I donít remember anyone being all that impressed by material stuff, though maybe it was just that I got most of it so I wasnít that aware.

The one big thing though, among all these fancy houses, was that one girl had an elevator in her house: a real, fancy, proper elevator for their three stories. THAT was rich. She was also rumored to have had a pet monkey until it was sent away for being a monkey, though that was never verified!

Bird In Hand

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #217 on: April 15, 2019, 11:49:16 AM »
Although my parents probably could have afforded some of this stuff, they didn't buy it, and I always thought my friends who had these were living very luxuriously by comparison:

- New/newer cars.  We always had old beaters.  Now my parents drive a newer car than I do.
- A/C in a car or at home.  We rolled down windows and used box fans, respectively.  Now my parents have central A/C.
- Color TV (I bought my own console-style color TV at a garage sale w/ paper route money in high school).
- Cable TV.  We were sometimes allowed to watch PBS, and when our parents weren't home we'd browse the UHF stations.
- Nintendo Entertainment System.  We had some weird Olympic Games Pong-like console from The Goodwill.  I eventually sold enough candy bars in a Jr. High fundraiser to get a NES from the awards catalog.  That was maybe the pinnacle of achievement from my youth.
- Kangaroo Sneakers, or basically any name-brand sneaker (the closest we came to that was 'The Winner II' sneakers from Montgomery Ward or maybe Sears.  Now they're vintage/collector's items -- go figure.)
- Swimming pool.  We had the 6'-diameter, 12" deep K-Mart special that we filled with a garden hose, and my childhood friend had an above-ground pool, maybe 20' diameter and 4' deep.  I thought he was Richie Rich.

Despite sour grapes at the time about not having some of that stuff, I had a wonderful childhood.  I wish I had learned earlier that comparison is the thief of joy though.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #218 on: April 15, 2019, 12:01:43 PM »
  I eventually sold enough candy bars in a Jr. High fundraiser to get a NES from the awards catalog.  That was maybe the pinnacle of achievement from my youth.


Holy crap!
I cannot imagine how much you had to sell to do that. Just getting a freakin' tootsie roll bank was an achievement.

Bird In Hand

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #219 on: April 15, 2019, 12:19:31 PM »
  I eventually sold enough candy bars in a Jr. High fundraiser to get a NES from the awards catalog.  That was maybe the pinnacle of achievement from my youth.


Holy crap!
I cannot imagine how much you had to sell to do that. Just getting a freakin' tootsie roll bank was an achievement.

Lol, it was a LOT of candy bars, that's for sure!  Major props to my parents for doing much of the heavy lifting, bringing in countless boxes of those "World's Best" chocolate bars to peddle to co-workers for weeks on end.  But I had a single-minded focus on getting that NES (with Zapper and Mario/Duck Hunt!), and spent many an afternoon and early evening going door-to-door selling those candybars in my neighborhood.

My 7th-grader brain could hardly fathom the feeling of accomplishment and success.  The day I received it, I vividly remember clutching the NES box with a sense of both wonder and paranoia on the school bus ride home.  I was definitely afraid that somebody was going to beat me up and steal it.

Jtrey17

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #220 on: April 15, 2019, 05:19:58 PM »
In middle school I was friends with a girl from the richest family in town. Her mom kept nail polish in the fridge and that blew my mind - I still remember it 30 years later 😂

ericrugiero

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #221 on: April 15, 2019, 07:38:57 PM »
Reebok-The Pump

halftimer

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #222 on: April 15, 2019, 08:56:21 PM »
Kids who were enrolled in any after school activities. I'm not sure my parents would have signed me up anyways, but it was explained that "it costs $200 per year to do that" and then all of our eyes would pop out. Fancy lunch boxes and pre-made lunches at school. Parents of other kids who went to college!  That was especially rare in our small town. I can only remember one family that applied to, and they were definitely considered the richest.

Pennycounter

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #223 on: April 15, 2019, 09:18:52 PM »
I do remember having limits on how much tin foil we were allowed to use (but probably because we were kids and very wasteful).
I remember having this uncomfortable conversation with my dad about toilet paper. >_>

We had something in our household called a "bandaid session".  It consisted of my mom walking into the bathroom only to find every bandaid opened and peeled with all the little sticker pieces floating all over the counters and floors. 
45 years have passed and my siblings and I will still refer to something as a "bandaid session" if someone embarks on a solo project that is wasteful or ends up leaving a mess.

Note to youngsters:  This was in the days before some enterprising person realized that children love stickers.

As a mother, this is amazing. I recall being such a wasteful child. Consuming was great fun!

For me being wealthy was driving a new car and having a second home. There are a lot of parallels with the rest of the thread but these two really resonate. I've been able to ditch the new car desire but still yearn for the second home. Btw we didn't have chips or soda either.

Also my kids really want a two story house, what is it about stairs that kids want?

TheWryLady

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #224 on: April 15, 2019, 11:12:50 PM »
Pinnacle of wealth when I was a kid..the people on Dallas, or Hart to Hart, fur coats, having a chauffeur, owning a stable of horses.

In elementary school, I didn't really have any concept of wealth.  I understood other kids' families were "poor", if they didn't have lunch money, or when they didn't bring the required school supplies at the beginning of school.

20957

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #225 on: April 20, 2019, 12:24:22 PM »
Wow, I'm realizing how upper middle-class we were by thinking about this.
Going to private school
Owning a horse, not just taking riding lessons
Owning a pool, not just going to the private swim club
Going to Europe every year, not just 4 times in your childhood
Owning a summer house and going for the whole summer, not just (!) staying at your grandparents' summer home for 3 weeks
Do I sound like a spoiled brat yet?
Having cable tv and snack food and video games (this was just a value choice on my parents' part but it felt like riches at my friend's house)

Awesomeness

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #226 on: April 20, 2019, 03:56:31 PM »
Born in 1970.

I donít think I saw this but a cordless phone, we never owned one the 20 years I lived at home.

Eating at restaurants. 

Clean comfortable home. We had central air but it was never set at comfortable temps and you didnít dare touch the thermostat. 

Pool

Home cooked balanced meals. Food in the fridge and pantry. I didnít starve but I rarely remember eating anything good at home.

School lunches or even a well packed home lunch.  I envied the poor kids w lunch tickets.   

Going to the mall and actually buying something.

A nice car that didnít break down and had AC and power windows. It felt like I always rode in crappy cars. One time my dad did buy a new truck but it was a two seater tiny Volkswagen. He had 4 kids.

My aunt and uncle were rich. I loved visiting them when I was young.  Comfortable clean and very house, eating at restaurants, beach and boating trips. My cousin was an only child and had anything you could ever want including a horse.  We even had tennis lessons together at their country club, fun times.

Today Iím ďrichĒ beyond my dreams compared to my childhood and comfortable in my clean small home, my kids had much nicer childhoods than I did.  My life improved greatly when I married my ex as he went into the military.  Always had nice things and never missed a paycheck, if we struggled it was our doing.

chouchouu

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #227 on: April 21, 2019, 12:07:35 AM »
A two story house and/or an ensuite bathroom, live in house keeper, anyone who played polo. Also mobile phones, back when they costed a few thousand I remember my cousin being annoyed that his rang when he was spending time with the family and he nonchalantly threw it in the pond. I was amazed.

We actually ended up with a live in housekeeper but didn't have the house or lifestyle to match. My single mum needed one since she had four kids and a business to run. She made good money so we were relatively wealthy but she always drove a van and didn't spend on status symbols.

chouchouu

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #228 on: April 21, 2019, 12:56:51 AM »
Some people live where they do not have an outdoors to hang things (apartments).
Or their climate is such (humid, lack of wind) that things do not dry well outside.

I moved from the midwest to the south, and you would think from the higher temperature you that you could air dry things better down here. But the combination of humid air, lack of breeze and wooded yards (pollen, insects, debris, bird poop) makes air drying difficult. I can dry small things on my screened back porch though.

I assure you that people living in humid places such as Thailand and HK dry their clothes by hanging. I lived in a tiny studio apartment and dried my clothes. Only in the US do people magically seem to have these pollen and space issues despite living in the biggest houses in the world.

Malcat

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #229 on: April 21, 2019, 06:09:21 AM »
Wow, I'm realizing how upper middle-class we were by thinking about this.
Going to private school
Owning a horse, not just taking riding lessons
Owning a pool, not just going to the private swim club
Going to Europe every year, not just 4 times in your childhood
Owning a summer house and going for the whole summer, not just (!) staying at your grandparents' summer home for 3 weeks
Do I sound like a spoiled brat yet?
Having cable tv and snack food and video games (this was just a value choice on my parents' part but it felt like riches at my friend's house)

I think you might have been higher than upper middle class.
I know people well into the top 5% of incomes in my major city who couldn't afford that lifestyle.

Rosy

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #230 on: April 21, 2019, 03:32:29 PM »
A regular annual vacation out of the country. I grew up in Europe (born in 1949), by the time I was sixteen quite a few of my classmates went on vacation with their family to Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Denmark - you name it.
I've always had the travel bug so that was the only thing I wished we could afford.

Being gifted - your own, nice car by the time you graduated at 18. Even the well to do rarely gave their kids brand new cars, that didn't happen until the late 60s - early 70s.

A house with all amenities, huge bathrooms and a state of the art, built-in kitchen. We owned a really nice three apartment house, but it was built in 1901, so no nice big bathrooms or cool kitchens at the time. I renovated when I inherited, years later.

Beyond that, I never really cared what other kids had, their own swimming pool or membership to the tennis club or the first color TV or whatever. Shrug.
I still think of Coca-Cola as a treat not to be over-indulged in.

I did get to travel with school (our high school teacher liked to travel with us at least twice a year - bless him:) and also when I won trips by being the best on the political debate team. My favorite was a trip to Strasbourg, France, and the surrounding countryside - best food, candy and wine ever:).


I'm a red panda

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #231 on: April 21, 2019, 05:40:49 PM »
Wow, I'm realizing how upper middle-class we were by thinking about this.
Going to private school
Owning a horse, not just taking riding lessons
Owning a pool, not just going to the private swim club
Going to Europe every year, not just 4 times in your childhood
Owning a summer house and going for the whole summer, not just (!) staying at your grandparents' summer home for 3 weeks
Do I sound like a spoiled brat yet?
Having cable tv and snack food and video games (this was just a value choice on my parents' part but it felt like riches at my friend's house)

I think you might have been higher than upper middle class.
I know people well into the top 5% of incomes in my major city who couldn't afford that lifestyle.

Agree. Upper middle class doesn't own horses unless you live super rural...and then you don't got to private school and vacation in Europe

profnot

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #232 on: April 21, 2019, 10:11:15 PM »
Where I grew up, it was 120F four months of the year.  So being rich meant being not-miserably-hot.

If you were rich, you had
*A house with a pool (not a summer subscription to the neighborhood pool 20 minutes' bike ride away)
*A NEW car with AC, electric windows, and fins

We had one AC in the living room window.  I don't think my child mind ever even conceived of AC in every room.  A fan in every room would have seemed Rich People Stuff to me then.  Having AC everywhere would have meant not having to keep chapstick (and later teenage lipstick) in the refrigerator.  People do that?


powskier

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #233 on: April 22, 2019, 08:29:28 PM »
Sliced white bread. All the other kids had that, I thought we were so poor my Mom had to bake her own brown bread. It was sad.

Of course it turns out all the other kids were eating s#itty processed food and we were eating homemade fresh bread. Strange how our perspectives can be so warped.

20957

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #234 on: April 23, 2019, 12:34:28 PM »
Wow, I'm realizing how upper middle-class we were by thinking about this.
Going to private school
Owning a horse, not just taking riding lessons
Owning a pool, not just going to the private swim club
Going to Europe every year, not just 4 times in your childhood
Owning a summer house and going for the whole summer, not just (!) staying at your grandparents' summer home for 3 weeks
Do I sound like a spoiled brat yet?
Having cable tv and snack food and video games (this was just a value choice on my parents' part but it felt like riches at my friend's house)

I think you might have been higher than upper middle class.
I know people well into the top 5% of incomes in my major city who couldn't afford that lifestyle.

Agree. Upper middle class doesn't own horses unless you live super rural...and then you don't got to private school and vacation in Europe

Right! Those were the markers of being really rich in my head. I went to public school, day horse camp, and swim club, and worked at the barn for riding lessons during the school year. I'm not saying we were not pretty well off, mind you, but there was a girl at the stable with me whose father bought her a matched set of ponies but she didn't like them so he got her a better show pony! All three sat in their stalls and she came once or twice a month. This was 25 years ago and I remember what those ponies looked like, so I guess it made an impression ;) That was rich, to me.

partgypsy

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #235 on: April 23, 2019, 01:46:51 PM »
Wow, I'm realizing how upper middle-class we were by thinking about this.
Going to private school
Owning a horse, not just taking riding lessons
Owning a pool, not just going to the private swim club
Going to Europe every year, not just 4 times in your childhood
Owning a summer house and going for the whole summer, not just (!) staying at your grandparents' summer home for 3 weeks
Do I sound like a spoiled brat yet?
Having cable tv and snack food and video games (this was just a value choice on my parents' part but it felt like riches at my friend's house)

I think you might have been higher than upper middle class.
I know people well into the top 5% of incomes in my major city who couldn't afford that lifestyle.

Agree. Upper middle class doesn't own horses unless you live super rural...and then you don't got to private school and vacation in Europe

Right! Those were the markers of being really rich in my head. I went to public school, day horse camp, and swim club, and worked at the barn for riding lessons during the school year. I'm not saying we were not pretty well off, mind you, but there was a girl at the stable with me whose father bought her a matched set of ponies but she didn't like them so he got her a better show pony! All three sat in their stalls and she came once or twice a month. This was 25 years ago and I remember what those ponies looked like, so I guess it made an impression ;) That was rich, to me.
that's definitely rich. My now ex SIL, I think had a comfortable childhood. Her mother is "horse crazy." Has a stable with multiple horses. Her parents rent a cottage every summer at Hilton Head, and SIL, BIL and kids visit for a week (but SIL and co have to stay somewhere else because it is "too small". The entire time she is there she fusses and worries about her horses; seems to care more about their welfare than her own grandkids : (  I was a tad jealous when I heard that her mother for example bought SIL a car as a reward for quitting smoking. After I heard about the horse obsession over the grandkids I am no longer jealous.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 01:49:01 PM by partgypsy »

Just Joe

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #236 on: April 23, 2019, 02:21:12 PM »
We lived on a hill. The '56 Chevy is parked in my friend's steep driveway. My friend decided to show it off to me. He got in the driver's seat and I entered the passenger seat. He proceeded to release the hand-brake and off we went. We rolled backward down the driveway, into the street, and the two of us managed to turn the wheel far enough to rotate 180 degrees and roll backward up the curb back into my friend's yard. It was quite the scene. Both of us were grounded.

I once crawled into a manual transmission car as a child. Pressed the clutch and the car started to roll. Then pushed all the pedals because one of them had to be the brake. Car stopped. Sat there for a long time thinking about what to do without getting in trouble. Let off the clutch - it was the first one I pressed afterall, then the brake. Car didn't roll. Slipped out of the car and put bricks around one of the rear tires. Dad knew what happened I'm sure. Never said a thing.

kelvin

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #237 on: April 23, 2019, 06:58:35 PM »
Some of the things on here never even occurred to me as possible, when I was a kid!  I think that Roller Blades were definitely a rich person thing when they came out.
Roller blades were totally a rich person thing for us. Not only did they cost money, but you had to live on a road that was paved and had sidewalks. Only rich city kids could use them.

Imma

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #238 on: April 23, 2019, 11:52:05 PM »
Sliced white bread. All the other kids had that, I thought we were so poor my Mom had to bake her own brown bread. It was sad.

Of course it turns out all the other kids were eating s#itty processed food and we were eating homemade fresh bread. Strange how our perspectives can be so warped.
I remember wanting cool store bought food too, instead of all that homemade stuff. My mum baked our bread and had a big garden. When we had friends over I just wanted them to be served food they recognized. I was already the weird kid living on the smallholding with the strange dad, I didn't also want to be the kid who had weird food too.

Random Poster

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #239 on: April 24, 2019, 12:16:05 PM »
A (working) refrigerator in the garage, especially if it was stuffed with cokes and water.

Imma

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #240 on: April 24, 2019, 12:51:19 PM »
One really stupid thing that I wanted that all the rich girls had: those white socks with lace trim.

jinga nation

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #241 on: April 24, 2019, 02:29:39 PM »
1. Your own basketball hoop.
2. Soccer/Futbol boots and more than one ball
3. Swimming pool (even a community pool counts as rich)
4. Fridge with a water/ice dispenser was unheard of
5. Microwave
6. Drinking soda (coke/fanta/sprite) everyday
7. Having pocket money (even a quarter equivalent would suffice)
8. Having my own room, instead of sharing with brother
9. International vacations outside of East Africa, annually
10. More than one TV in the house, multiple video game systems, your own PC.
11. Access to good dentists. Regular dental cleanings were unheard of.
12. White bread was double the price of cheap brown bread. We bought it for special occasions, like a birthday breakfast.
13. Having more than 1 toilet and 1 bath. Family of 6. Get your shit done fast. Zippy doo dah. The best bowel timing training.

We had #5 (my parents got one as part of a group buy with their cousins) - shared the usage with neighbors. Living in flats/apartments, open door policy during the day.
By the time I graudated high school, I had #8 for one year. Realized how much I hated it. My parents new flat had a master bedroom for me, I hated it. Still do hate having a bath connected to a bedroom.

When I moved to the US, all except #9 were common at my uncle's massive house. And TVs in bedrooms. 21 years later I still claim that every middle class family in the US lives in pure luxury. Which is why I prefer backpacker vacations or something off the tourist trail.

I didn't grow up in poverty, but lower-middle class. My parents put us through private school, had after school karate classes (I got my 1st dan Goju Ryu before emigrating). We were healthy, well-fed, and took vacations to the coast, Lake Victoria, the national parks and game reserves. However, most of my school holidays were working for free in my dad's or uncle's factories. Which is why I don't sit around doing nothing productive (except contributing my nonsense to this wonderful forum). Watching TV counts as doing fuck all.

How I grew up is normal for many in my generation in that city, including my wife.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 02:35:26 PM by jinga nation »

TomSelleckJR

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #242 on: April 24, 2019, 03:44:01 PM »
For young SelleckJR...  the absolute PINNACLE of affluence and wealth was represented by:


Having a pilotís license
Microwave oven
Laserdisc player
Going to Disneyland
Air Jordanís
Central Air
Swimming pool (even if it was an above ground)
Satellite dish (back then they were giant, and were motorized to catch different satellite signals).
A pool table at home
Owning a hot tub
Having a car with power windows


Definitely some 1%-er stuff right there!!!!



GuitarStv

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Re: What Represented the Pinnacle of Wealth From Your Childhood
« Reply #243 on: April 25, 2019, 09:33:22 AM »
I remember desperately wanting some sneakers that had flashing LEDs built into them when I was about 12.  Now every 6 year old has four or five pairs of shoes that light up.  It's a crazy world we live in.