Social class dating
They did not know when a debt collector would call.Thinking about money could not change the fact that it came in unpredictably and that sometimes there wasn’t enough.Less privileged partners told stories of mistaking a “night sail” for a “night sale,” puzzling over how to use a dishwasher, and taking note that their in-laws prefer the theater to the rodeo.Most couples maintained that their class differences were behind them after marriage, as they now shared a bank account, a home, and a life.They could decide whether to spend money to go on a vacation or to invest in private school. This difference—taking a hands-off approach or a hands-on one—followed individuals from their pasts and into their marriages.It shaped nearly every aspect of their adult lives.Vicki also had her children’s lives planned before they were born – they would be good students and involved in many extra-curricular activities.
(All the survey participants have been given pseudonyms.) Her family did not know how much money each year’s crops or tips would bring in. From fairy tales to adult films, we are exposed to a repeated idea: that love, or at least lust, crosses class lines. Not surprisingly, their relationships had little in common with the romances we see in the movies.In fiction, cross-class relationships either end in marriage and happily-ever-after, or else in dissolution and even death. Most of the time, couples’ recognition of their different pasts was acknowledged in little more than a comment about their father’s job or a lavish family vacation.Few people I spoke to reported having parents who plotted against their children’s relationships, or felt they were subject to social stigma for their cross-class relationship.In fact, it’s usually not until meeting their in-laws that the couples themselves tend to become aware of their differences: more privileged partners spoke of the shock of walking into a house with hundreds of crystal figurines or trying to eat spam with a smile.