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Old 04-08-2008, 08:01 AM   #41
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Nope, never felt humiliated. Annoyed once in a while, maybe.

Part of this depends on who is around you, I guess. I live in a neighborhood with a really wide range of people in it. My immediate neighbors include a construction worker who is a firehouse captain at a local volunteer company, a couple who are a janitor at a nearby school and a foreman at the water plant, and an elderly retired couple. Of course, elsewhere in the hood are our wealthy semi-retired friends, a couple of actuaries, and an investment banker (who is really a blue collar guy at heart, but still). But if we lived a couple of towns over, my battered station wagon with a cracked windshield and a missing hubcap would undoubtedly attract the attention of la policia and the neighbors.

Part of it is also what is in your head. Dad is a blue collar guy with a GED who made good as an entrepreneur. But since he always drove big, older Detroit metal and came home dressed in overalls, etc., I grew up not thinking about or worrying about status. I suppose for that reason I do not fell entirely comfy in expensive areas, high end hotels, etc. (restaurants an exception): its not my bag and I don't belong in these places.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:44 AM   #42
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Are you kidding? It happens to me all the time! Sometimes I even help them! But I don't find that particularly embarrassing...
That happens to me too.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:47 AM   #43
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I enjoyed it actually, especially with the '85 Chevy pickup truck that is now a family legend. Bought it new and kept it for 18 years, only selling it because parts were getting hard to find. The paint was peeled, surface rust on the cab, roof, and sides, it looked like something from a Jeff Foxworthy picture joke. But everything worked.

But it sure made it easier to get large packages home, including a living room couch on sale one time. I had a good photo but can't find it now.

One BIL still has his '72 Ford F-150.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:59 AM   #44
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Intellectually I know it shouldn't bother me. But I am human, and being made fun of or looked down on by people is never a pleasant experience. Maybe it's my ego getting in the way of my intellect (and I'll be the first to recognize that I have an ego), I don't know.
Good ol' ego....yep...

I know it's probably appears that Oprah's bookclub books get over hyped, but, A New Earth Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle hits this ego thing right on it's head. Very eye opening book that, I think, would fit right in with this crowd's LBYM lifestyle.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:59 AM   #45
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One of the best things about my college is that this country boy learned there are lots of people smarter than me. Also lots with more money. Lots who are more skilled in any endeavor. But Damn i'm pretty! (nods to C. clay).
Nah, i've felt outclassed and underdressed, car-ed, and homed. Mostly when i was. And so what - never met anyone whose opinion i valued who would have given any sign of feeling superior or who would have thought of denigrating me. So i'm the one with the problem, and must review whether my style or lack of style needs an upgrade. Nobility impresses me and is found in many economic strata.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:03 AM   #46
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I enjoyed it actually, especially with the '85 Chevy pickup truck that is now a family legend. Bought it new and kept it for 18 years, only selling it because parts were getting hard to find. The paint was peeled, surface rust on the cab, roof, and sides, it looked like something from a Jeff Foxworthy picture joke. But everything worked.

But it sure made it easier to get large packages home, including a living room couch on sale one time. I had a good photo but can't find it now.

One BIL still has his '72 Ford F-150.
I had a 1964 Chevy p/u with a primered door.

Oh, wait a minute, I actually was poor then...
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:13 AM   #47
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I enjoyed it actually, especially with the '85 Chevy pickup truck that is now a family legend. Bought it new and kept it for 18 years, only selling it because parts were getting hard to find. The paint was peeled, surface rust on the cab, roof, and sides, it looked like something from a Jeff Foxworthy picture joke. But everything worked.

But it sure made it easier to get large packages home, including a living room couch on sale one time. I had a good photo but can't find it now.

One BIL still has his '72 Ford F-150.
I understand completely. I'm retired (fortunately) and have two cars (fortunately!). My last car was an '89 Olds Ciera which I bought new, and ran for 18+ years with 120K+ (not bad for "American made" ).

Today (in retirement) I have an '02 Mustang GT vert (my picture, which I bought new) along with a Cadillac SRX.

Not that I'm trying to impress anybody (what you think of me is none of my business ). However, I'm at the age that I feel not that I "earned" anything, but I've given up a lot along the way to become financially independent. Now it's time to have some "fun" (yes, I am! )...

- Ron
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:19 AM   #48
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I edited my post to remove the part about the plasma TV, because on second thought I think I had it delivered. I was confusing that with the lawn furniture, or with something else, I suppose.
Was there sniper fire?
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:25 AM   #49
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Was there sniper fire?
Memories ...
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:37 AM   #50
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DW was telling a friend how we often drive at 55 MPH to get better gas mileage. Friend replied "Are you hard up for cash?" DW says she wasn't embarrassed, just annoyed that the friend didn't "get it" (that is, didn't understand LBYM).
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:44 AM   #51
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I enjoyed it actually, especially with the '85 Chevy pickup truck that is now a family legend. Bought it new and kept it for 18 years, only selling it because parts were getting hard to find. The paint was peeled, surface rust on the cab, roof, and sides, it looked like something from a Jeff Foxworthy picture joke. But everything worked.

But it sure made it easier to get large packages home, including a living room couch on sale one time. I had a good photo but can't find it now.

One BIL still has his '72 Ford F-150.
I bought a new econobox (hatchback) in Feb '89; I replaced it in Jun '07. Like you, I couldn't get parts (the stick shift was getting extremely sloppy and the folks at the garage couldn't find replacement parts).

Folks at work made jokes about my car; didn't bother me a bit. They're still working.

Concerning feeling humiliated: I'd say, looking back, that one of the best financial decisions I ever made was buying a house in a blue-collar neighborhood. No Jones' to keep up with.

And to the OP: you have to take that ego and stomp it flat. It will trick you and sabotage your plans.

Something I like from Buddhism: the idea of detachment. I don't believe in reincarnation and I don't seek to attain enlightenment. But I have attained retirement.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:48 AM   #52
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Part of it is also what is in your head. Dad is a blue collar guy with a GED who made good as an entrepreneur. But since he always drove big, older Detroit metal and came home dressed in overalls, etc., I grew up not thinking about or worrying about status. I suppose for that reason I do not fell entirely comfy in expensive areas, high end hotels, etc. (restaurants an exception): its not my bag and I don't belong in these places.
Maybe you are right. I grew up in a wealthy city where people are very aware of social status but I also used to spend my summers at my grand-parents' farm where people don't care about it. I like both worlds equally. The main thing was that the two worlds were very distinct from each other and never intersected. So I can effortlessly blend in with the rich or the poor as long as I "look" the part. I feel as comfortable talking to a rich person about their latest donation to the art museum as I am talking to a farmer about crop rotation.

But I do feel very awkward when the two worlds meet. I feel uncomfortable being either underdressed when surrounded by rich people or being overdressed when surrounded by poor people. My house is a bit the same way. It's quite plain on the outside to blend in with the rest of neighborhood, but inside the decor is a lot more upscale in certain parts of the house. If I invite people who I know would feel uncomfortable in an upscale decor, I tone it down (we either eat in the kitchen or on the patio, I use everyday china with stainless silverware, I make a 1-2 course meal). If on the other hand I invite people who I know are more upscale, then I crank it up a notch (we eat in the dining room, use white linen table cloth, antique sterling silverware, crystal, good china, 5-8 course meal, etc...). I am comfortable with both and they are both parts of who I am.

But again, when the 2 worlds meet, that's when it is a bit uncomfortable. A few years ago we had invited my wife's boss for dinner. I knew they lived in a big house, in an executive neighborhood, drove expensive cars, so I went upscale. The guy showed up in his PJ pants...
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:00 AM   #53
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My mom has her ego all tied up in how people treat her--because she grew up just outside a small town and the "town girls" were snobby. 50 years on, she's still reliving it.

I try really hard to avoid this trap, and I think it has a lot to do with small town v/s more egalitarian surroundings. My DH also grew up in a small town and there was a keenly felt sense of "less than" the rich folk. I remember the time we went to some party back home that was held at The Country Club that was so far out of his reach as a young man. DH was startled to discover it was a ticky-tacky fake Swiss chalet prefab that wasn't "all that". Funny how perspective will grow with time.

I like being used as an example--boss had a young guy in the office the other day, trying to talk to him about debt, and he asked if I would mind being a good example. I walked in the room, and boss says "Here's Sarah, she's the one driving the really old car out there in the parking lot with the headliner hanging down, and a bumper sticker that says what, Sarah?" And I say "it says Debt free and loving it!".

For the record, last night DH put up 4 thin strips of wood (think Conestoga wagon) to hold the headliner up, seeing as how the boss mentioned it.


I think that because I grew up in a more randomly demographic area (like Brewer lives in now), that I don't have as much of a problem with this sort of thing as DH, who fights it a lot. He also wouldn't drive the 1984 pickup truck with the "Squat & Gobble Restaurant" bumper sticker on it to a job interview, either. Elitist!
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:04 AM   #54
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That happens to me too.
A few years ago I was at Ikea and people kept asking me all kinds of questions as if they thought I was working there... I looked at my wife and I was like, what the...? And then I realized that I am wearing a horrible blue and yellow shirt (a Xmas gift) and that happened to be Ikea's corporate colors...
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:11 AM   #55
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Sometimes I'd like to be an example of "LBYM and you can retire early and enjoy life." But worry that, by looking poor, people will perceive it instead as "They retired early, but now they don't have enough money."
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:28 AM   #56
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For the record, last night DH put up 4 thin strips of wood (think Conestoga wagon) to hold the headliner up, seeing as how the boss mentioned it.
I had to do the same thing for the '85 Chevy!

This was my retirement present from me to me, '03 GMC. (DW got a new car too, hers was 14 years old & also falling apart.)
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:33 AM   #57
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Several years ago, I had on my "weekend relaxed look", and was walking around in downtown Milwaukee. A nicely dressed man handed me a $20 bill and said: "go get something to eat, you look hungry". I protested, but he walked away. So a few blocks later, I saw a homeless person sitting on a park bench, and gave him the money........

True story, but it made me think I may need a little upgrade to my wardrobe........
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:35 AM   #58
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Was there sniper fire?
Probably not, but at this point it's anybody's guess!
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:44 AM   #59
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So SO and I are leaving the track with our winnings neatly hidden away. It was a long walk to the bus stop but we were almost there when a carload of teenagers started heckling us: "Look at them, they lost all their money and have to walk, yeah, they had to sell their car and take the bus."

Psst, Wellesley in the Third, to show.

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Things are not as they seem
Old 04-08-2008, 10:51 AM   #60
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Things are not as they seem

Once I went to look at a home for sale. The guy pulled up in a 25 year old car with old clothes on. I did not know if he was the renter or the owner and this was in the poor end of town. I looked at the home but I was looking for one that needed less work. When I told him that, he no problem I own 80 more. I looked at another home and made a low offer, he said you are as cheap as me. He said it was hard for two cheap guys to come to a price that they both were ok with. I knew form that time on, that it would me that was doing the learning. It turns out that he owned 80 paid for homes, his own being an average one of the 80 of them. When I talk to my suburb friends they would comment about the poor end of town. The picture of the old man always came to my mind I knew he could buy the BLOCK they lived on with cash.
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