Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Love of Money

So I've been wondering, what is it about money that makes me so distrustful? In my life I have been at both extremes of the money tree: we've had more than we knew what to do with, and we've wondered if we would eat tomorrow. This week, I have had occasion to interact with a number of "monied" people as several school events seem to be converging on me, the introvert. I hate these times, because I don't believe I can trust the actions of these people. Why is that? I know in my head that money does not automatically make a person dishonest or false. Some of our dear friends have much more money than we have had and I have never, in 20-odd-years, felt distrustful of their motives. In fact, I, along with the rest of America, would love to have more money and have convinced myself that money alone would solve a multitude of my problems. (And indeed, it may.)

But money makes me nervous. I worry that I could start to value things and my lifestyle over people. I worry that others around me have already begun to do so and in turn I erect my own walls of protection. I worry that the people around me who have money (particularly those I don't know well) are insincere and don't really want to know me either. It reminds me of mega-church in an ironic way. I somehow have convinced myself that these people will be nice to me here and in this place, because there are social dictates to do so. They would never risk showing their true feelings because someone else might find out and then there would be that whole awkwardness about having socially misfired (I think the church likes to call that sin).

So in a strange twist of fate, I have wound up the mother of a student in a private school (which I am convinced meets my child's academic needs 100%) where money seems to abound; birthday parties are a chance to show off your home; designer clothes are the norm and my aging minivan stands out in the crowd in a way that would embarrass most. I tend to wear it as a badge of courage, right beside that chip on my shoulder where the distrust of my heart sits and whispers in my ear. Would more money cure this problem? I seriously doubt it. God help me; we have 9 more years to go.

1 comment:

Ket said...

I feel like I should read this again. I have my own money issues (don't we all), but I've never thought about it from this direction. Frankly, it might do me some good. I always focus on how money is going to save me, but that's not always the case, is it?