I’m really bad at pretending to be rich.
If you put me in a situation where I have to be über classy and know the social cues and roles… fuck, I’m actually nartarded I think. For example: I get the worst anxiety when it comes to setting the table. No matter how many times my parents try to teach me, I don’t know which side the napkin actually goes on, which fork is my salad fork, my dinner fork, my dessert fork… in reality I just want to fork whoever made up these stupid rules.
So naturally, I’m the most embarrassing person be around when I get upgraded to first class.
It was the summer of 2006 or 2007, I can’t remember. But what I do remember is having my one and only expensive Abercrombie & Fitch lime green polo with the hot pink moose on it ready to be worn to show off my new found pseudo-rich kid status. Like a cool teenager, I refused to wear a backpack because rich kids have nice luggage and not backpacks from L.L. Bean that have my name monogrammed on it. So, I made my grandma buy me a Vera Bradley bag (apparently I saw a few rich kids at the summer camp I went to have bags like these, so I just HAD to have one). When I heard I was being upgraded to first class, I had to hide my excitement and think it was just natural for me to be upgraded at 14 years old. God, I was just the coolest human in the world.
So, when the flight attendant asks if he could get me anything I just shrug and say, “YEAH, CAN I HAVE A SPRITE IN A CAN?” Obviously you have to ask for the can because if you don’t get the can, they are only going to give you about half a can because they are going to fill up that plastic cup with too much ice. So I always ask for a can! Poor people are always thinking economically. However, right after the words left my mouth, I knew I had already ruined my status. They should have demoted me to Y class right then and there because shit only got worse.
After we take off, I plug in my music full blast and zonk out. I was woken up with a tap on my shoulder by my seat buddy, signaling to me that the flight attendant wanted to ask me a question. “Yes, sorry to wake you, Mam. Would you like the parmesan chicken or the gorgonzola steak?” I look at him super confused and my anxious butterflies started flying. My Grandmother only gave me $10 because it was a one-way flight from Boston to Seattle. Word vomits out of my mouth, “IS IT FREE?!” Oh god, everyone’s energy around me shifts like the tectonic plates. I hear the couple snicker behind me and suddenly I’m blushing bright red. The flight attendant ever-so-politely says, “Oh, why yes, mam, of course, it’s first class.” Like he has to remind me I’m in first class or something. My vote went to the parmesan chicken and I couldn’t wait to eat my emotions away.
The chicken was served on a plastic tray but around the chicken there was one of those rich-person metal things over it to keep the food warm and to have shit look nice. I ate everything on my plate, ordered dessert, and sat there and realized that this is what it was probably like being rich and fat with no worries in the world. I could get used to this…
But no. No no no.
After dessert was served and I was politely enjoying myself at the window seat, the flight attendant walks on by again and hands me a warm washcloth. I just look at him with the most disturbing face in the world. What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?! Wash my body? Clean the tray? Keep it?! He obviously understands my low-class confusion because he takes one of the warm washcloths from the pile and pats both sides of his mouth, gives me a snicker, and throws it in the laundry bin.
What the fuck? Rich people are weird. Why would I ever want to use a washcloth to clean my already clean face from the normal-person napkin I used during lunch? God! Why does being rich have to come with so many rules and regulations?
I was so glad to get off that plane because not only was I super embarrassed about not knowing how the whole first class thing works, I also realized I never wanted to be rich like that. Even if I have the money one day to fly first class, I won’t. Because you know, the energy that surrounds first class is totally stuck-up and I would so rather kick it with the rednecks in the back and buy everyone a round of drinks.