Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why was I the last to know?

Friday night was interesting. I was determined not to write about it because my mother considered me horrible and judgemental but, hey, I've always been a 70-year-old in a teenager's body in terms of grumpiness and whatnot; why end such a marvellous tradition?

A family friend who is exactly one day older than me is leaving the country to go work in the ski fields of Canada so he was having a goodbye celebration at his house. Our mothers have been close friends since they were in their twenties so we've always sort of had that "go play together... seriously, I don't care if there is nothing to say- make it work!" thing going on. Sam is a lovely guy so that makes things easier.

What makes things a wee bit awkward in the relationship between our families is the difference in wealth. See, his parents each make a stackload of money while mine have stuck to their lower-middle class roots. It means that outings and stuff are always awkward because they want to pay for us to experience luxury and my family are just not okay with mooching off others. And it means that while I was always sent to public schools by a staunchly left-wing mother, Sam and his little brother, Oscar, went to one of the most expensive private schools in the city.

This leads me to Friday night. At his farewell party, Sam was hanging with all of his school friends. I try as hard as I can not to judge people based on their background or where they went to school. And, who knows, these kids might have been exactly the same no matter where they'd been sent to school. But I doubt it. All they could talk about was alcohol, kissing girls (and boys, interestingly enough), schoolies, alcohol, marijuana, schoolies, alcohol... the list goes on, in a similar fashion. Sam's mother, Therese, informed us that we should consider ourselves lucky that at 6 in the evening, the boys were only drinking copious amounts of beer and not also getting stoned as was their normal habit. Therese was determined that I go "talk with the young people" but, unfortunately, I have very limited experience where schoolies, alcohol and marijuana are involved. Kissing girls on the other hand... I kid, I kid.

I sat there for an hour but try as I might, I could not either find anything I could contribute to the conversation or a way to look interested. I found myself staring at the "intellectual" of the group who one girl complained "used too many big words" (I think he put "sarcastic" in a sentence at some point) and being amused at his Julius Caesar haircut and tortoise shell glasses. Who says money can't buy class?

That last sentence pretty much sums up everything I thought about the entire group until I was able to leave, around three hours later, after having one semi-decent conversation with a newcomer (thus a sober participant in the party, at least at first) about his geographical origins; he was from Europe so I picked his brain about it... because I could/had to in order to keep myself awake.

I know this all comes off as incredibly conceited and judgemental but I can't help but wonder about two things;

a) what happened to me to make me despise people with money, especially teenagers, so much that I couldn't bring myself to try and communicate with them rather than ridicule them in my blog

b) why these kids are destined to have great lives with lots of success and a feeling that they somehow earnt it despite the fact they'll essentially be buying their way into a distinguished University course and thus to the top of the socio-economic order. At least I can already guess what substances these eventual doctors and solicitors will be spending their "hard earned" cash on at the end of the day.

I'ma go hate myself some more now. Thanks for reading.

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