Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Real World

I was just reading a Q&A in the Parade newspaper supplement that talked about Ryan Seacrest telling Simon Cowell that he doesn't live in the real world because he's so rich.

We hear that all the time. College students don't live in the "real world." Even though they are often exposed to more cultures and more temptations and opportunities than they may have at any other time of their lives. Rich people don't live in the "real world," even though their money doesn't insulate them from illness and death and business obstacles and emotional pain. Clergy, politicians, doctors, celebrities...all are accused of living somewhere that others, apparently, don't have access to. Some kind of bubble, I guess, or an alternate dimension.

It's not that the world is not "real." It's just different. Sometimes the accusation comes from jealousy, but mostly it seems to come from a perception that certain realms are immune from "the bad." That somehow, the single mother trying to support three kids on minimum wage is living a more "real" life than I am, with my creature comforts and financial security. But that's not a valid assertion to make, to anyone.

Totally unrelated comment:

I'm getting really tired of the "surrender" jokes made at France. It's been decades. Get over it!!!!!


Erica Orloff said...

Good point, Natalie. I think what wealth (or college life) affords you is escape from ADLs (activities of daily living). When most of us go on vacation, it's leaving the towels on the floor for housekeeping, fresh sheets on the hotel bed without having to do it, meals prepared without having to cook or clean up . . . and escape, usually, from the phone and the dog and the ADLs that exhaust the average mom, dad or employee. I think that's what is often meant, but you are of course correct it's no insulation from pain and death and heartache.


Natalie Damschroder said...

I hadn't thought about it that way, Erica. I was obviously looking in bigger terms. You're absolutely right that certain so-called rarified atmospheres can insulate us from the mundanities of real life, and that may be just how Seacrest meant it in that case. I don't think it's always meant like that, but I definitely have to change my thoughts on that one.


(OMG, Erica Orloff posted on my blog!!!!!!!!! Squeeeeeeeeeee!)