“I don’t like talking about money; it’s a bit vulgar isn’t it?”
I detest discussions about money – or, more specifically, ones concerning ways I cannot spend it. This disinclination may be the most obnoxious marker of my privilege.
Related to my post earlier today about class issues at Duke University, a reader sent me a link to the November issue of The Yale Daily News Magazine, which examines this issue on campus in detail.
KellyNoel Waldorf, a student at Duke, has an editorial in The Duke Chronicle about “coming out as poor” in a college atmosphere where she says talking about class has been difficult for her. And it’s not the kind of “poor student on a ramen diet” that’s prototypical of the “broke college student,” but things like having to lie about reasons why she couldn’t socialize because she felt ashamed about not having money, and having her mother calling her crying, telling her that she doesn’t have enough gas money to pick her up for Thanksgiving.
When we talk about money, we’re often not talking about money. We’re talking about our hopes and our fears, the plans we’re making and the ones we’d rather not make.