(Tax Brackets, that is)
Here are few random stories that happened to yours truly at different points of her life and in different places, but prove one interesting, slightly sad, and very much irrefutable point: even in a wonderfully egalitarian society like ours, people from different income levels do not necessary speak the same language.
Back at my wonderfully educational job at OU, there was a girl in our department who was only working because she did not feel like starting grad school right away, but also did want to become completely bored. Anyway, one fine day I forgot my watch (that was before cells phones were widely spread) and politely asked her if I can borrow hers for lunch break. She looked at me with something of incredulity and asked me if I really wanted to be responsible for her watch? As she did not usually exhibit the rich princess snobbery, I was truly surprised and taken aback by this episode; needless to say, I politely declined her watch and did without. Only a few years later did it dawn on me that her watch was a Movado – thank you, Vogue!
Few years after she was gone we had another trust fund baby who was also keeping herself from staring at the ceiling all day long while trying to figure out what to do with her life. One day I half-jokingly complained that after filing my tax return I ended up sending New York State an additional sum of four USD like they did not already rob me enough. She snippily looked down at me (which was an achievement as she was even shorter than I) and very seriously told me that she had absolutely no pity for my situation as she just had to pay so much more, and everybody has to pay their taxes and contribute their share. Come to think of, now I wonder if she voted for Obama?
When I was in the process of looking for my latest apartment, my architects/designers co-workers automatically assumed that I was buying one. On the side note - who in their right mind, unless they are from Odessa, would by an apartment in South Brooklyn?
Few months ago I went to a party hosted in Riverdale. By the time the festivities broke up, it was a pretty advanced evening time, and the buses do not run well even during the day. I have gotten a ride with another acquaintance I knew a this party and shared it with two other people whom I did not know. Benign and pleasant conversation was flitting from topic to topic till somehow we ended up discussing doormen and their averted strike. I, being my usual self, had the humongous foresight to make fun of the fact that doormen can actually threaten with strike – what is the big deal, after all? To which statement I was petulantly informed by a young lady I just met at the party that it is actually a big deal, as those individuals in question provide security and additional convenience of taking your packages and picking up your dry cleaning. As it was pretty late at night, I just politely nodded and confessed that I did not think of it in this light, mentally adding that security in my building consists of G-d’s protection and half-functioning lock on the front door; that if I miss my package, my Dad, bless him, goes to the post office for me, and if I need my dry cleaning picked up, I make sure to be at the store before the closing time and pick it up.
Different languages indeed they are.