Friday, July 12, 2013

A question I ask myself all the time

During my first semester of college, I shared a class with a girl who was from an upper-crust part of New Orleans. She had an air about her and dressed way better than everyone else, but otherwise she was friendly enough.

One day the topic of conversation turned to college food. Most of us talked about which fast food joint or cafeteria was our favorite, as freshmen tend to do. She piped up saying she tolerated her options at best. "I'm used to ... gourmet food," she said with only a slight sense of self-awareness.

That was the first time I recall hearing anyone say something like that. It wasn't the last. 

When I read "Where is my Army wife pay?" I thought of that past classmate, magnified her by 1,000 and subtracted all her positive qualities. Wow. Just, wow.

It takes a lot of social disconnect to gripe about formerly having the finest of things. I'm sure a lot of people aren't enjoying the best standard of living they've ever had (myself included). But most of us acknowledge that sometimes sacrifices have to be made — and sometimes giving up a material existence can even be refreshing for the human spirit. Not that those people would know most of the time, because with such disconnect usually comes an equally staggering ignorance of how life (and money) works.

I cannot read the phrase "in the manner to which I'm accustomed" (or any of its equivalents) without hearing it in the voice of Nancy Reagan as played by Judy Davis in The Reagans. It's such an entitled, aristocratic string of words, never spoken by those to whom a certain standard of living is necessitated (such as struggling parents). Just like with file-sharing, it's the rich people who complain.

Which is why the columnist's answer speaks for itself.

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