Tuesday, December 18, 2007

how true. and how sad.

manhattan is a bizarro land where partners at big law firms are "poor" and the financiers are at the top of the socioeconomic heap. at least in some circles. i had a much more snarkalicious response targeting all parties profiled in that article as "ridiculous" and just plain "stinky", but then i remembered my experience from yesterday.

it's already starting.

i had dinner with some college classmates at a soho restaurant. these friends all went the banking / private equity route, but i still view them as the dopey people who lived in my dorm and whose hair i used to hold back when they puked. i look at the menu, and i'm like "holy shit - the appetizers are $20!" i didn't even bother looking at the entrees. i order an appetizer. and then people start ordering bottle after bottle of (really good) wine. now i'm terrified that the bill is going to end up at over $150 a person, but no one else seems to be bothered by this fact. and then, oh! there's dessert. and another bottle of wine. (i stopped drinking at a glass and a half.) at the end of dinner, fortunately, someone decided to pay the entire bill.

this is "normal" and not a "treat" to my finance buddies. they're also 30 and own condos in manhattan. they go skiing in the alps. they pay $300 to see gwen stefani.

friend: "hey em2, i'll get you a ticket for your birthday. invite your girlfriend. get her a ticket."

me: "how much are they?"

friend: "$300. they're awesome seats!"

me: *urp*

now, i have no desire to get $300 seats for gwen stefani, nor do i like skiing. but GODDAMN, it's sort of disheartening that i can't even EAT A MEAL with these friends without having to brace myself for the utterly scary bill. and it's not like they're assholes. (please refrain from calling them assholes, readers. these are people i've known for almost half my life, and they're not assholes.) they just have a different view of "normal" than i do. and they assume that i share their view of what's normal. and if i point out that i don't have the financial means to join in their activities, they're more than willing to help pitch in, but that's kind of awkward.

boy am i glad i have my leveraged-to-the-max middle class law school buddies. :)


Dizzy Dezzi said...

Your post reminded me of the movie, "Friends with money".

I can relate to your experience. Nowadays, it seems like I'm the high-falutin' friend. But, the way I see it, if I have it, I don't mind sharing it. Of course, I don't make nearly as much as a lawyer/finance type ;)

emily2 said...

haha, i make nowhere near six figures. young attorneys, if they don't work for a large firm, don't make that much. but i live pretty frugally by nyc area standards (i live in new jersey, share a non-luxury apartment, cook my own meals, etc.), so i'm pretty comfortable. i ain't complaining.

my finance friends make five to ten times as much as i do, and the more time passes, the more we live in different worlds.

emily2 said...

whoa, check this:

wall street bonuses

bonuses for junior bankers - over $200k.