Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.



Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

I'll admit it, I would pass judgment. That woman would've annoyed and angered me. I try to be a really accepting person...but people who act like that really get my feathers ruffled!

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Well, I won't pretend she didn't tick me off, and weigh on me for days after the event. But I guess it seemed so clear to me that she wasn't even THINKING about how her actions looked or how problematic and disgusting they were. I think she was oblivious--sad, and scary.

JohnROSS's picture JohnROSS

I have seen this mind set many - MANY times.

Having grown up in a working class family, it always just irritates me a lot.

I've had occasion to work for "haves" while obviously being a "have not" for a fair sized chunk of my adult life. It's some thing about a sense(misplaced) of entitlement.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you wrote of it having something to do with why there are so many extreme have nots and extreme haves in this "the best of all possible worlds".

As always, a fine post, full of astute observations.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Thanks, John--it seemed painfully clear to me that day as well.

Lilianpw's picture Lilianpw

I feel very sad and even ashamed to write this, but it's the truth -- in Brazil (and in other "emergent" countries) there are tons of people who behave like that, and not only really rich people either. Labor in Brazil is so cheap that most people with a bit of money (lower middle class even) can afford to have a "maid" or at least some kind of household help (cleaning lady once a week). This makes behaving like the lady in white an almost "natural" thing for a lot of people. It's really, really sad. And, as you very rightly observed, a driving force in keeping the status quo regarding the "haves" and the "have nots." :-(

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I know what you mean, Lilian--a lot of this goes on in Greece, too. It's amazing to me how the American South is so much like this--so many neighbors and friends have their own cleaning lady, even though I know many of those women don't work out of the home. There's a sense of "entitlement"--that having a cleaning lady is part of the "hidden language" of denoting their class and social standing.