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Disclaimer: This post probably makes me sound like a bad person.
How would you like to:
*Run a profitable, successful, totally set up business for free?
*Free college and job placement with all the right connections?
*Marry an heir, have some kids, and be set for life?
How about all 3? Just because you were born for being you.
A spoiled adult is…an unpleasant sight. They can be difficult to deal with. My friend, Soaps, has a tendency to lie and does as she pleases especially when it comes to hiding things from her parents. Regardless of consequences, I remember facepalming myself on several occasions when she tells me her latest scheme to hide new debts from her mother.
Her parents aren’t monsters. Her parents are normal upper-class folks. Their goal now is to guide her to become an independent adult who will be in an OK position in life without their intervention. That’s not a huge goal or even an odd goal. Every single parent out there wants to have independent adult children.
But it’s hard. You can’t undo a childhood of enabling acts and having parents giving her everything.
Jealous of a Friend
I’m not going to lie, there are some moments I’m very jealous of Soapy for her life and her parents. My childhood sucked big time compared to hers.
Now I’m just being completely honest here. I believe you can be an objective friend and support them even if there’s jealousy creeping behind some of it.
It’s kind of cathartic to know it’s human nature.
(Unless I’m the only person that has ever felt this way then I may have just self-confessed as a b*tch 😳)
I resent my friend Soaps sometimes because of all the global poverty in the world and very few blessings…she was born with such a blessing.
There’s nothing wrong being born privileged to me at all. UNLESS it goes to those who waste it.
To me, that would be the ultimate sin and that’s my philosophy.
I don’t want to be born capable of contributing to mankind but choosing to not advance or connect with mankind in any shape or form. Even worst, causing more problems and leading a life of nothing.
For those of you who are new here, here is a synopsis of my friend, Soap. She is one of the many colorful characters I’ve noted from my life.
I added this portion so no one is missing a piece of the puzzle:
Soap is one of my best friends. She is also the daughter of a very affluent, multi-millionaire family. She grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. Her childhood was what one would call pure opulence and she had many privileges most people can only dream of.
Her sister is married to the wayward son of a Chinese billionaire and Soap herself…well, she is in her 30s with a drinking problem. She has terrible health and cannot hold down a stable job. At age 30, she started with $80,000 in refinanced consumer and medical debt and some unpaid taxes as well.
Although her parents can easily wipe the debt away, they think it would be better for Soaps to learn how to manage her own finances by learning to live frugally and focusing on her career and education. Both of Soap’s parents fall under what you call, the sensible rich.
Soapy’s parents immigrated to the United States from China in the 1970s. They’re open minded and highly educated (in contrast to my own immigrant parents). They educated themselves, worked very hard, and became successful engineers and then entrepreneurs within two decades. Now they want to pass on their successful international trading business but to no heir.
Soap was the only heir of choice but she repeatedly declined to learn her family’s business. Now her parents have stopped asking. To Soaps, her parental life work has no appeal what-so-ever. It is not how she wants to live her life, even at the guranteed of wealth.
Read the previous posts in Soapy’s Odessey:
Resentment for Her Wasting Life
Because it’s my personal belief that every human is born with a capacity to contribute, it sets off a lot of contradictory feelings when one of your greatest confidants in life is set on wasting hers. Some days I feel a slight shameful resentment towards Soap. She could have it “all” in my eyes.
I care a lot about her as a friend but that doesn’t mean I have to like her crappy life choices.
The thing that knocks me the most is…she had every opportunity in the book. Why can’t she have done something with that? It’s like getting a game and playing it on Tutorial mode…and then not listening to the tutorial.
(I am super chill with my over-reaching terminology of “contributing to mankind.” If you went out and did 3 minutes of work, then you made a difference somewhere. I am not strict with that at all.)
But Soap is largely what I define as wasteful. She doesn’t work-work currently, right now, she gets paid to drink with her rich friends. The last thing she told me via messenger was:
“I just spent 17…legit…17 hours playing Candy Crush yesterday. I had to lean in the corner next to the charger port to play. I was so sleepy I just crashed. What the f*ck be my life…”
When she told me that a few nights ago, I just hit my limit.
It is just the perfect summary of everything that has happened. It is integral to why she is where she is in life. And even with her support system (including one very annoying blogger yours truly) she still manages to dig deeper without wanting to flail for survival.
That was about all of the Soap updates I could take because I was about 99.9% full of the “What Are You Doing With Your Life?” resentment meter.
I think I was mad and exhausted so I just put the phone down and decided to not speak with her until the morning.
Soaps have had a lot of chances in life to start over. She gets these chances to this day:
*Full training to inherit their trading business.
*Her family is in full financial support if she returns to college and graduate.
*Be set up with someone from their high society’s circle, marry an heir, then be a mom.
How awesome is that? Any sane person reading this would holler, “Hey those are awesome deals! Wish that was me!” And only a small portion of people who work hard every day gets to have privileges like these for their kids.
My parents worked manual jobs to make sure we make it through the month. At the end of that 17 years in the United States, they have nothing to show for it. I would have killed for 1/16 of the opportunities the universe presented to Soap from birth.
More and more, it seems I’m just coming from an area of jealousy. Every time I talk to her, I just want to scream:
“If I had your life and set up, I would have done this and this and this. I wouldn’t continue to squander it playing phone games, watching Netflix, and daydreaming about free vacations for years on end.”
I’m sure it’s not pleasant for her to hear that because I did tell her that several times before. It drives me nuts. There’s so much potential and no drive despite her given smartness and her privilege. To me, it’s an utter waste.
When she got a job or right before she left to geoarbitrage in China, I was very proud of her. I would feel no resentment on her life if she allowed herself to get ahead. Because she could if she wanted to. In fact, I’m third in line behind her parents and grandparents to help her.
She was there for me when I needed her as with all good friends. I believe she’s a fantastic friend and overall a good person. But is she conventionally an independent functioning citizen? Not really…
It’s not easy to help someone who is more or less content with the bare minimum. And I think I just have to accept that. My visions in life, her parents’ vision in life for Soaps = isn’t for Soaps.
It’s not her goal. It was never her goals. She doesn’t want to own a boring business and do business things. She doesn’t want to go back to school. And she doesn’t want some set up by her parents’ and married off.
She doesn’t want any of those things on the list enough to give up her freedom in life. If her freedom includes being able to play 17 hours of Candy Crush, freelancing for just enough to feed herself and pay rent and maybe some economic stimulus from her family occasionally. So be it.
When she gets older, her parents will lay out plans for her after they pass so she’s taken care of. Although spoiled, she is still their child and loved. I remember about 6 months ago she told me something in passing:
“I’m pretty comfortable with my life. I work when I want to and make my $2,000 a month. I have enough to feed myself and pay rent. My life isn’t great but it’s very comfortable for the work I put in. I have friends who can take me out to lunch and my life comes with a lot of freedom. Pssh, I don’t think about debts. I pay it like I pay the rent when it comes, it’s the same thing basically.”
That’s an interesting way to think about life compared to……….every single grain of personal finance.
And that’s all she wants from life for the amount of work, that’s her ideal. Some people are OK with less as long as they can have their fun. She doesn’t mind debt. It’s just like rent to her. I don’t agree with that (nor does her mother) but you can pull a horse to water, doesn’t mean you can make the horse drink.
That’s just…how Soap is as a person. You can’t change a person so it’s better to move past those feelings of resentment and disappointment.
Whatever resentment and jealousy I feel against a friend or someone like Soaps…well, that’s my issue. Not hers.
What would you do if you had a child like Soaps? Would you throw your hands up at this point? What would you implement or nothing at all?
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