I despise my contemporaries. By and large, yes I do. People roughly my age and roughly my station in life — middle- to upper-middle class, professional, educated — my gawd, what a stuck-up bunch of catty, petty, whiny complainers.
It used to be that my level of interaction with my contemporaries was limited. I worked with people younger than me, earned a lot less than people my own age, had the expense of a big family and I simply couldn’t hang at the level of other people in my profession who were my age. And it bothered me a little, but not a lot, because most exchanges I’d have with people who were supposedly like me, left me with a sour taste in my mouth.
But then I went to business school and got my first real immersion in the culture of people who were supposed to be my contemporaries. I followed that with my job that thrusts me into my contemporaries’ native habitat on a weekly basis. I love my job, make no mistake, but the weekly travel forcibly rubs my elbows with other AAdvantage-flying, Hilton-diamond-staying, per-diem-restaurant-eating, upwardly-mobile assholes.
And they complain. Oh, the complaining. The hotel’s being renovated, “someday it’ll be a nice hotel.” Or, the hotel hasn’t been renovated recently enough. They ordered their chicken risotto with no tomatoes, and no onions, but extra parsley, and the chicken needed to be broiled, not sauteed, and oh my gawd, can you believe they messed up my order again? Or whatever. Tonight I purposely waited for another elevator so I wouldn’t have to ride in a crowded one with people who were going to complain about something, while looking down their nose at me. And when my elevator finally came, there were more people waiting again. And they complained. Blecch.
And I fully understand that the more I travel, the higher my status climbs in the various rental car, airline and hotel elite programs, and the more I’ll be spending time with these people. People who don’t take off their tie and sport coat once they’re out of work, and wear them to dinner. People who might be paying to listen to my advice during the day, but who sneer at me and make me step aside on the sidewalk in the evening because I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Assholes, in other words.
I don’t see me changing how I live my life anytime soon — I would wear jeans and a t-shirt if I had millions of dollars in the bank, and would still prefer a fast-food burger to a snooty restaurant. And I would still despise my contemporaries.