I was talking to Jenna yesterday about going to her son's football season that just started and what she thinks of the other parents. She said they are all nice and most of them dedicate their lives to their child and this sport (football or cheerleading). It took a few minutes to work out the exact feelings she had about this topic, but it basically came down to this: "I feel like I'm not doing the "right" thing by not buying team shirts and being at every single practice and game." Jenna does go to almost every practice and I'm pretty sure she goes to every game. This takes up about four nights a week for her. THEN, the other parents basically force her into feeling guilty that she does not want to spend an extra night with them making banners for the games. Jenna said that most of these people are wealthy and the moms don't have to work, so they have plenty of free time to be doing these sorts of things.
I hate that Jenna feels guilty about not wanting to spend every waking moment dedicating her life to her son's football team. That is just not reasonable. And then, to have to talk to these wealthy women on a regular basis that she doesn't really have anything in common with, aside from the fact that their son's are all on the same team. I started to think about how I would feel in this situation and I think I would be uncomfortable around the "wealthy women". That is silly! They are not better than me and I am not better than them. For some reason I always end up feeling inadequate around people who have significantly more money than me. Why do I feel this way? I don't feel jealous. I have absolutely no desire to own Prada and Gucci. It's just not my thing. Even if I had all that money, I still wouldn't be buying beaded, embroidered shirts with my child's name and sport number on the back, in each color of the rainbow. There are more ways than that to support your kid.
I noticed on my way into work this morning that I have this issue with more than just people with money. I work at a teaching hospital, which means I am constantly surrounded by doctors or people becoming doctors (PhD and MD). Maybe this goes back to the fact that they probably have more money than me, or will have more money than me in the future. I do need to mention that I don't feel this way about anyone in the lab I work (despite the fact that I am the ONLY one without a PhD or in the process of getting one). Maybe because researchers tend to actually not have very much money? But then again, this is not something that I consciously consider.
Here's what happened to me this morning: I was walking into work and there was this young woman getting out of her SUV. She looked up and saw me and asked if I thought another car would have enough room to fit in front of her. I decided yes. Then we both took off in the same direction. Once we had crossed the street, she asked if I was a first year or second year, referring to my year in school. I explained that I was not a student and that I "just" work here. She asked me a couple more questions about where stuff is on campus. This is common this time of year because there are students starting their first semester and don't know their way around yet. She was very polite to me and never said anything negative, but for some reason I all of a sudden felt inadequate in the fact that I "just work here".
I honestly have no desire to go back to school right now. Partially because I don't know what I would go to school for exactly, and partially because I don't feel like dealing with the costs and the time it would consume. Why do I feel this way?