Did you see this piece in the New York Times Style section about trying live on $500,000 a year? I know, boo hoo!
So in Best Intentions, Lisa knows she has a pretty darn good life: husband, two kids, a job in PR (though she’s terrified she might lose it any second.) But her kids go to a very chi-chi Upper East Side school in Manhattan where almost everyone seems to have a gilded life. She feels like she’s “in their world on a visa.” It’s not that Lisa is so jealous of the things, second houses, designer clothes, but she does fantasize about their freedom from worry. Sometimes she feels envy, sometimes (okay, often) distaste. Which is pretty much how I feel. It’s complicated.
Listen, I’m a downtown single mom writer with a kid in a very UES private school. (The school friend’s six story townhouse with the dumb waiter in Best Intentions? Let’s just say that part isn’t fiction.) Sometimes I feel like I’m visiting a foreign country with its own rituals and language. I can’t believe what gets taken for granted. (And I don’t mean this as self-pity – I’m incredibly blessed.) I’m happy with the choices I’ve made, I don’t want any other life, only sometimes I have to admit I do get a little envious of the freedom.
So, ‘fess up, do you ever get a case of money envy? If so, how do you cope?