Fear of Rising

Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book called Fear of Falling, in which she describes the American middle class and its psychological peculiarities, which she argues stem from anxiety about dropping down into the lower class.

I was born into a family transitioning out of the working class, then I was educated beyond my caste. Now 40, I'm fairly sure that I'll never quite feel at ease here in the upper middle class. Case in point, we're having our master bathroom remodeled, and it freaks me out.

First, I lived in rented apartments until I was 28, so remodeling was never a thing I experienced. You got what you got when you picked the apartment, and that was it. If something broke, you called the landlord. End of story. And because it was never an option, I never gave thought to tile choices, cabinet doors, metal fixture finishes, accent trim, any of that. The most I ever imagined changing was paint color. It's not that I am indifferent to these elements. I hate the bathroom as it stands, but now I have to choose all that shit from scratch while knowing almost nothing about it, beyond what I don't like. Eek!

Second, there are...people in my house...working for me. WTF is that all about? People don't work for me, I work for people, right? In the deepest part of my mind, I'm still convinced I'm going to end my days as a Genius Waitress at a truck stop. Being the White Lady in charge doesn't sit well with me.

Thankfully, they are people we know through people, so nobody has called me Mrs. Cordova or ma'am. That would send me running straight for the booze and/or Klonopin. And yes, please, feel comfortable enough to tell me about your teen-years cannabis-enduced meditations on 1800s construction techniques. This, I get. It makes me feel at home.

And when they're done, I'll have a bathroom I like...that doesn't have water damage from the current leaky shower, emerald green counter tops, peeling linoleum, a mildew-prone jacuzzi tub, or cardboard cabinets.

So yay!

Now in the mean time where's that box of wine?

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