An Old Money Gal shares some of the memories and rules of behavior she grew up with.
- You do not praise yourself. Ever. If you are good, “everyone” knows. (It’s a small world.) If you are not, it’s embarrassing. Do not draw attention to yourself. You are there as a resource, and if people need you, they will ask.
- You do serve the community. At least in my family, there was a deep concept of leadership. You establish your leadership role in the community usually by being a professional (doctor, attorney, academic, and POSSIBLY businessperson, though that was gauche) or if not working, by establishing non-profits and serving in the community directly. In my family, it was thought leadership. My father did groundbreaking work in the rights of children as a psychoanalyst, and my mother was a feminist artist. By the time I was 8 I was experiencing solidarity with the downtrodden (the teacher hated boys). Really, being protective was so deeply ingrained as to feel instinctive.
- There are high expectations of success. As my mother used to say when I whined, “Oh, you’re so deprived!” My father used to say “Who told you life would be fair?” I really don’t recall anyone so much as asking if I had homework. The expectation was that I would do what needed to be done, get A’s, and attention only went to the exceptional.
- Social expectations of privacy. You do not take more than your own space; you do not intrude on others. This covers all areas of aesthetics.
- Money is never a factor in parenting decisions; character development is. You study what you study because it’s important, or you enjoy it. You do not study it because you’re going to make a living at it. You study music and art because you are developing a sense of aesthetic, not because it makes you smarter or perform better on tests.
- Also since money is never a factor in decisions, you manage risk tightly: you have all the insurance you could possibly want or need, even if it’s stupidly priced. You choose the best schools.