• The oozing medical condition you brought home from the orgy
• The truth about your waist size/breast size/penis size/big fake implants
• Your actual age/hair color
• Your kids’ truancy officer’s actual age/hair color
• The real reason your mom didn’t run for Tulip Council president
• The role astrology plays in your decorating decisions
• The role astrology plays in your dating decisions
• The role addiction plays in your dating decisions
• The fact that everyone called you “Skid Marks” from third grade through high school
• Your cousin who’s doing time for killing a hooker in the basement
• Your salary
Exactly. Even though you framed your cousin in that basement incident, you still talk freely about how trashy he is and how only a moron would do time for killing a common house hooker—all the while vowing that you will never ever reveal the incriminating details of (Gasp!) what you earn.
And while there are perfectly logical reasons for keeping your salary held close to your big, fake breasts—you don’t want to make your colleagues jealous, you don’t want to find out that Cap’n Moronpants in the next cube can buy and sell you—there are also perfectly logical reasons you feel compelled to ignore when it comes time to discuss your oozing medical conditions, Mr. Skid Marks.
Where was I? Oh, yes: salary. I brought up this salary thing randomly to a friend a couple months ago. He’s a friend who clearly makes a lot more than I do and who clearly enjoys the standard of living he’s achieved for himself. (The man is intelligent, driven, accomplished and hard-working—and he’s very generous with the money he has—so I don’t begrudge him for a second the money he makes.
Where was I? Oh, yes: salary. I wasn’t fishing when I brought up the whole salary thing to my friend—I have no (legitimate) complaints about my standard of living, I enjoy the process of budgeting for bigger purchases, I like the satisfaction of feeling that I’ve earned the things I have, and I really have no hang-ups about other people’s money. Unless they substitute money for personality. Or they use money to build social barriers. Or they buy $4 bottles of shampoo when Suave does just as good a job for under $1. But that’s a rant for a different post.
Where was I? Oh, yes: salary. So I was really surprised when in response to my salary observation, my friend simply blurted out what he makes.
And that it is almost four times what I make.
Which explains how he can afford to buy brand-name frozen juice concentrate while I’m forced to choke down the store-brand stuff.
Surprise revelations notwithstanding, though, I was also relieved to discover that I still didn’t care about the vast (and now clearly defined) gulf between his salary and mine. I didn’t feel unworthy, I didn’t feel that I hadn’t worked hard enough in my career—and I most certainly didn’t feel guilty about asking for a second glass of juice the next time I was at his house.
But I did feel like
Where was I? Oh, yes: gourmet porn-star orgies. But that’s a story for a different post.