Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Uncomfortable

Have you ever had a conversation with friends that took a turn to made things uncomfortable from that point on?

I was talking with two friends yesterday and the subject of taxes came up. Throughout the conversation we were talking about scenarios, etc. and things that are irritating. At some point, there was some information that kind of "gave away" that of these three people, one of them is in an income category that is heinously different than the others.

Once it sank in, there was a definate feeling of uncomfortable-ness in the conversation. The thing is that all three of us lead basically the same outward lives.....as in vehicles, homes (sort of) and the activities that our kids participate in. We all send our kids to public schools, the same summer camps. We vacation alike. There is nothing of our lifestyles that suggest that we are world's apart in tax brackets.

Yet, now, it seems as though there is something in the way. The conversation went silent, and then I could just see the discomfort, the thoughts whirling. I won't divulge the specifics, because then it might make YOU uncomfortable. But I'm peeved that this has created a feeling of 'difference', when it is not something that matters at all. We are all so much alike in most everything we do. Even if we weren't alike in our daily lives, this should not be an issue. I have friends in (what I can only assume) a lot of different financial situations. I don't feel differently about any of them based on their jobs or supposed income. Why should it matter if you have more, or less, money than me. I'm still me. Are you jealous? Do you pity me? I guess it's that I just don't care about your money, and I assume that you shouldn't care about mine. Maybe I'm reading too much into how I felt the conversation went. Perhaps there will be nothing different the next time we all meet up. I hope this is the case, but there was a definate 'cloud' for the rest of the evening. The conversation wasn't 'easy' anymore.

Would it make you uncomfortable if you assumed that a good friend was 'in the same boat' with you, only to find that their boat was actually a yacht...or a dingy?