20 Privileged Things Filthy-Rich People Thought Were Normal While Growing Up
We learn new things about the different ways of life we all individually live almost on a daily basis. There are so many variables in everyday situations that could affect a person’s situation that we don’t always think about until we face them in our own lives.
So it stands to reason that anyone from extreme wealth wouldn’t really understand or relate to life on a budget, or living in desperate poverty on a day-to-day basis. One Reddit thread really highlighted this disparity when folks started responding about the incredulous theories that some rich folks had about life in general and how a life of privilege can make one so abnormally out of touch with most people’s reality.
More info: Reddit
I went to an extremely expensive private school. I thought that I was poor because we didn’t have brand new luxury cars, a massive house, and I didn’t get a brand new toy just because I asked for it.
It wasn’t until I was older that I realized my parents had just as much money as those other kids, but they saved it all and lived very frugally. My father grew up extremely poor (like, you’re brother gets to eat dinner tonight and you’ll eat breakfast tomorrow poor), and he didn’t believe in buying extravagant things or outrageous cars.
I thought that because we drove Toyota Corollas (which were bought new every 6-8 years) and we lived in a “small” house (4 bed/ 4 bath split level for three people) and we didn’t have a maid that we were poor.
And I’m glad that we lived that way, because I was raised to work for the things I wanted and that just because you CAN buy something, doesn’t mean you should.
When I found out my mom never had new shoes growing up. Every article of clothing, every sock, shirt, etc, was a hand-me-down from her 3 older sisters. Her first new shoes were when she left home and got a job.
Now she won’t stop buying c**p for my kids. She’s come a long way from abject poverty to middle class comfort.
I grew up upper middle class so we didn’t go nuts but could afford everything we needed. I saw a commercial about low income dental care and it started with someone talking about how they just can’t afford it. I laughed, thinking it was a joke, like who can’t afford *the dentist?* Turns out a crapton of people. Humbled.
I also thought everyone’s grandma gave them $100 for their birthday. Guess that only happens when Granny has 2 grandkids and a lot of income from her orchard.
Embarrassingly, it took me a couple years of college to figure out that A. Not everyone’s parents paid for their school and apartment and car and bills. B. That some people had had bad high school experiences and that public schools were really a thing. I had no frame of reference. C. that I had gotten extremely special treatment on my handful of run ins with the law.
I honest to god thought cops were just cool guys who wouldn’t bust you for [illegal substances] or dui unless you [ended] someone. I no longer have my head in my a*s but it quite the awakening.
My then bf, now spouse, made an offhand comment about how cheesy it is to frame one’s college diploma, because it’s not like they’re a huge deal. I’m the first person in my family to go to college. Damn right I framed it.
I dated a guy whose family owned horses and had more cars than they could count. Neither him or his family were snobby.
I was raised on a budget, my brother and I had a single mother. I went to a Goodwill to look for some stuff and found something I thought my BF would like. I texted him and he responded:
“What is a goodwill?”
The concept of sharing a bathroom was foreign to me. I mean, my parents did, but they had 2 sinks, a shower with 2 heads, and they slept in the same bed so naturally they shared a bathroom, but both my sisters and I had separate bathrooms. What a blessing that was
My best friend once went to the store with a $20 bill to get a 2L bottle of pop and was worried she wouldn’t have enough. I had to show her how to use my toaster (its a regular toaster where you push down), and she had never had mac and cheese before in her life. Once, I had corndogs in my freezer and she wanted one, so I told her could make one. She ended up having to get me to put it in the microwave for her because she had no idea what to do.
Any hobby I wanted to start as a child my family would procure the materials within a week. Painting, archery, flying lessons, water skiing (the skis, not a boat) and so on.
Anything I wanted to try my parents would make sure I got the opportunity. It took me a while to realize what an incredible gift that was.
My parents divorced and remarried when I was young, so I essentially grew up in two households with two sets of parents.
My dad owned a private jet that he’d use for our family trips and visits and my step dad was a pilot in his free time, and he also owned a plane. So I naturally assumed everyone else’s parents also owned a plane and could take off whenever they’d please.
I also assumed every kid had their own pony or horses cause my dad would buy me one every year. Naw, turns out I was a sheltered brat.
I thought everyone bought a lot of groceries for Thanksgiving until I accompanied a pantry delivery in fourth grade. The woman running it let me help carry the bags to every house until one. For that one, she told me to wait in the car, but from my seat I could still see the person who answered the front door. It was my friend’s mom.
When the pantry runner returned she asked if I understood why she told me to wait in the car. I told her I did, and it was probably why that friend always avoided inviting anyone over. She explained that it shouldn’t change how I treat my friend, but it should inform how I treat people.
That experience really made me aware of how lucky I was to be wealthy.
…Later on in college, when people put me in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner because they never cooked before, and laughed when I put the groceries in the snow, I realized there were a lot more levels to being wealthy lol
I thought almost every mom was a stay at home housewife
I also thought people dont eat “clean” only because they lack discipline. Only when i got older did i realize that not everyone has the time and physical energy to cook almost every meal, nor the money to buy healthy stuff fresh and make them taste good (inb4 lentils, lentils are disgusting). Plus, after too many s****y days, comfort food can be the only reprieve.
My fiancé was telling me a story about the “exchange students” that lived with them and how they were so nice and would help take care of the house. I asked him why his exchange students stayed with them for so long, when all my high school exchange student friends had only stayed for a semester.
It was at that moment he realized that he grew up with Swiss nannies.
Someone I knew in high school was extremely wealthy. The first time we went over to his house, he was really nervous. He kept saying stuff like “My family used to be rich. We used to live in a really big house before my dad lost his job and we moved here.” He kept going on and on about this and was very insecure.
Then we get to his house and it’s a freaking mansion with a six car garage. He was 18 and drove a black convertible that was about $100,000 minimum, not including the custom work they had done to it.
He had a gorgeous backyard with a canopied patio and outdoor kitchen and an in-ground hot tub and he thought he was poor because he didn’t have a pool.
His bedroom was double the size of my parents’ master bedroom and had skylights and a gorgeous hotel suite like bathroom and walk-in closet.
He also had a wine cellar and maids.
As we were walking around his house, I noticed how empty it was and our other friend asked where his family was. His 16 year old sister was casually doing an internship for photography and staying by herself in a rented mansion in LA. His older brother was on an extended ski trip with his friends in the mountains.
And his parents were on a month long vacation in the Caribbean. The only reason he was still in town and living alone was because he was supposed to be getting stuff together for college. What did that entail? His parents giving him a credit card and telling him to buy whatever he wanted.
It was actually quite sad. The house was so huge and he had been staying there all by himself while his family was off in random places. After I left I kept picturing this guy walking around in his professionally decorated mansion all alone and cooking another frozen Whole Foods pizza to eat by himself. But then I remembered he could eat it in his home movie theatre while sitting in one of 14 massage chairs.
We actually spent a lot of time at his house that summer. Even though his parents were never home we never threw parties or trashed the place or anything. He mostly just wanted people to talk to and listen to music with or play video games in his room. (He had a giant flat screen and surround sound and floor to ceiling shelving with every game and console imaginable.)
I actually ran into him about a year ago around December. He seemed decently happy and had graduated from an extremely nice college two years early, had his own small apartment with a roommate (he could afford one of his own but didn’t like being lonely), and had adopted a cat! He also had three cars. He ended up taking a year to travel the United States in a s****y beat up van with his high school friends and took up photography as a hobby. He showed me a bunch of pictures from his trip out west. Then casually mixed in were some pictures of him and Orlando Bloom.
Remember that mansion his parents were renting for his 16 year old sister? They ended up buying it to use as a summer home and it just so happened that their closest neighbor was none other than Orlando Bloom.
But remember guys, he used to be way richer!
What I didn’t realize until I was older was that most people don’t have the safety net of “being well-connected” that wealthy people have.
Just by virtue of where I grew up, there are probably 25+ people I could call who would either outright give me a good job or get me in for an interview that I’d have to f**k up to not get the job. And that doesn’t even change in a recession.
I’m not the rich person in this story, but when I was a kid, I had a friend from a rich family. One day, he related a story about the time his computer “just kept breaking” – he had to constantly back up his savegames and reinstall his video games because his parents would have to buy him a new gaming machine every other week or so. The punchline was that it turned out the cleaning lady just unplugged it and didn’t properly plug it back in, and aren’t cleaning ladies just the worst?
That our maids didn’t have maids at their home. Till I was like 7 or 8, I firmly believed every single house had 3 maids (like we did). Basically an endless loop of sorts…
I always knew there were really poor people because my parents have always done a lot of charity, but it took me a while to realize that the middle class exists. It sounds stupid when I put it that way, but it simply didn’t click that just because someone has a relatively nice house and doesn’t need charity to survive, that doesn’t mean they can take two months to do an unpaid internship in a foreign city (a fact which was rightfully but still bitterly thrown in my face by a friend).
That not everyone went on holidays to five star hotels every couple of months. I also thought until I was 10 that virtually everyone owned an overseas holiday home. I remember asking my friend where he went on holidays and he was like “well I only go away every couple of years”, to which I said “but what do you do with your abroad house if you’re only visiting it every few years”. That day really stunned me I must say
I read through a fair bit of these and tried to list things not already listed.
1. Parents that are always home because they don’t need to work.
2. Trips across the country every weekend so your parents could go SCCA racing (I’d been to 48 states by 7, I think).
3. Multiple garages (my parents have 8-cars worth of garage space).
4. Getting a job is difficult. I made a point to get a job on my own, but I’m entirely sure I could have gotten one with a single phone call and wearing a suit. Probably making more money than I do now, too…
5. Having a room for each activity in the house. Pool/ping pong room, drum/guitar room, etc.
6. Having lots of land to do whatever you wanted in. Primarily for dirt-biking.
7. WHAT DO YOU MEAN SOME PEOPLE DON’T HAVE DIRT-BIKES AND 4-WHEELERS AND GO-KARTS?!
8. I thought having to share a run-way with 5 other houses was pretty normal. Learned later it is definitely not, and is still a private runway.
EDIT: Changed some things after asking my dad. Also, he reminded me to put in that we had a dirt bike track in the backyard… Which was the source of lots of broken bones for me. >.>
I learned how weird some of that was when I moved out. It was an experience.