Living in a Bubble: When Truly Rich People Become Tone Deaf

Sometimes the Truly Rich lose their bearings about how money works for other people.

For all the care we Truly Rich Ladies put into how we conduct ourselves in public, I must admit there are times when we definitely slip up.

Consider these truly tone-deaf mutterings by the Truly Rich as a reminder of how we should all be more careful about what we say to others. 

Truly Rich Lady of Leisure to Working Mom Best Friend

“I don’t understand why you’re doing this all by yourself. You should just hire a party planner. Or, better yet, get an assistant. I’ve been telling you to do it since forever!”

Truly Rich Mommy to Boisterous Young Sons

“Boys, please finish your homework. If you don’t get good grades, you’ll become like Mang Larry. Do you want to become a driver?”

Truly Rich Ladies Chitchatting Over Lunch

“And then my Just Rich Neighbor had the gall to suggest that I switch to these ugly unbreakable plates, so I could save a few pennies. I just smiled, because I have so many plates. And pennies.”

Truly Rich Grocery Shopper to Yaya Carrying the Groceries

“Oh my God, Yaya! Did you see? They just ate all the free nibbles like there was no tomorrow. They must be very hungry like you during dinner!”

Truly Rich Expat Wife to Brown-Skinned Friend of Daughter

“Oh, wow, your English is so good!"

Truly Rich CEO to Minimum Wager Secretary

“When I was your age, I already had a million squared away somewhere.”

Truly Rich Mother-In-Law to Not-As-Rich Son-In-Law

“It always amazes me how my precious daughter and grandchildren could fit in this bungalow. When are you guys moving?”


Truly Rich Daughter to Friend With Always-Broken Car

“Why don’t you just get a new car? Or ask your parents for a new car?”

Truly Rich Brat to Friend of Her Friend

“Stop! You’ve never been on a cruise? You’re lying!”

Truly Rich Girlfriend to Clueless New Boyfriend

“I’m sorry, but I don’t like waiting in line. Ever.”

And my all-time favorite: Truly Rich Mean Girl to Other Girl

“Why did you choose this place? Are you poor?”

I can only chalk these comments up to people living in a golden bubble. Sometimes, the Truly Rich forget that not everyone has an entire household staff (instead of just one hardworking yaya), a fleet of cars (versus a sputtering jalopy), several homes (versus a humble abode), and access to an unthinkable amount of money (instead of just bills).

Sometimes the Truly Rich lose their bearings about how money works for other people. While they have that joyful privilege of viewing money through the filter of what it can do for them, other people see cash as that wad of paper that can get them through the next two weeks.

And so, there comes confusion and hurt feelings. A Truly Rich Lady, with no ill intent, may say something that to her seems plain and natural, but to others may sound outrageous.

Perhaps the Truly Rich Boss merely wanted to put fire in the belly of his Underpaid Secretary or perhaps the Brat really assumes that a cruise is a regular leisure activity for all, but I don’t think the secretary or the friend felt all that great realizing how so far behind they are (according to these Truly Rich Persons’ standards, at least) in life. Both Boss and Brat are clueless about how their realities, with all their opportunities, are so different from other peoples’ realities.

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Sometimes, I, too, have to remind my Truly Rich Mother about the real cost of things, framing it in terms she can understand. When I try to dissuade her from buying something ludicrous, I have to say that the pair of earrings she has her eye on costs the same as three of our cars, “So please, Mama, put it down.” But then she’ll say something wild like: “But we have a dozen cars!”

So I’ll say, “Some people don’t even have cars, Mama!”

And then she’ll say, “Let them take the train. It’s so lovely taking trains!”

And then I have to walk out of the store with my head down.

Being clueless is never an excuse for making these comments. They can be insensitive and inconsiderate and can also be read as plain ol’ flaunting of wealth and status. And that is truly gross.

We need to more aware about the things that come out of our mouths. If we realize that some inappropriate though is about to have a voice, we must bite our tongues. 

To make things very simple, follow rule one of the Truly Rich World: When matters relating to money are involved, keep your mouth shut. We never ever allude to money. Never.

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C.C. Coo
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