I’m making appearance on Tablet again this week. Not being a shirker, I’ve revealed yet another embarrassing detail of my personal life: I am a reverse snob. (This is along with watching Afterschool Specials, being somewhat vain, making choices I can never really take back, and believing in ghosts...I know, I’m a bit of a head case.)
At the time a friend first accused me of being a reverse snob, I had no idea that such a label existed. It turns out that not only does it exist (there are definitions for it both on Dictionary.com and in the Urban Dictionary) but I indeed was one. At first I was proud of being a reverse snob…until I did some soul-searching.
The good news is that I’m now in recovery.
2 thoughts on “Ready for me to reveal more embarrassing truths?”
I got this great comment in my inbox today froma reader named Zev.:
Great piece in Tablet.
Thanks for sharing about your experience with money, the stigmas of having and not having. Very, very honest of you.
Having lived as a ‘not have’ for many, many years (though working on changing that) I related to a lot of it. Though I feel less envy and more a sadness and sense of wasted potential when I see people with lots of money indulging in all kinds of excess while I know of so many worthy causes that scrounge for every extra dollar. (I work with musicians on underfunded projects – mostly frum).
You wrote as a woman. Truth is, being a woman, the stigma of not having is blunted as compared to what guys feel in terms of failing as a provider. Its a wound that lodges deep in the male psyche and can last a long time. Anyway, I thank you for writing it and putting it out and showing the honest struggle but also the nobility and choice in living with different values.
Here’s my reply:
I totally agree about financial insecurity being taken much more to heart by men in many ways. For my husband, it’s a bigger blow not living in a house…because he grew up in one, and he feels responsibility for providing for me and the kids, he used to take our situation as a sign of failure. This was even though he was working two jobs, and so on. I think one of the things that has comforted him (besides that I don’t give him a guilt trip about the situation) was a dvar Torah shared with him pointing out that our efforts and success are completely unrelated in the material world. So long as we make a “normal” amount of effort, G-d will give us what what need. If he’s not able to buy us a house, it’s not his fault but some decision of G-d’s. That takes at least some of the sting off the hurt.
I also love this part of your comment, by the way: “I feel less envy and more a sadness and sense of wasted potential…” I think that’s the most healthy way to approach the stituation.
Inspiring reminder. Sounds like the choices you guys have made are bearing fruit in quality of life and quality of love and relationships. Its something that helps to be reiterated at regular intervals to men as our context biologically and sociologically is pretty perpendicular to that view..