Luxury Vibe

Lacey’s former best friend had great taste. At least she did when Lacey knew her…

“The thing is, she wasn’t rich.” says Michael.

But Lacey didn’t think she was either.

In truth, during college Lacey once maxed out credit cards from Banana Republic, The GAP and Victoria’s Secret…and annually spent hundreds of Dollars on skincare and perfume. And when her mother kindly assisted her in paying it all off she felt thankful but not entirely surprised… But at the same time, reality was also constructed by her parents in a way to give Lacey the impression of real scarcity and impending doom. Lacey felt pressure to make a lot of money in a job to pay off her student loan debt quickly and etc. and yet she didn’t at the same time. It was very complex.

There was a sense of extreme anxiety in the lack of a consistent six figure income earned by Lacey. And a subtle implication that if you weren’t a stable multimillionaire net you were toast by the age of 25 or 30. You were poor. Below average. Far below average. …And yet…that was all subtextual and subversively implied since money was a dirty, shallow and vain concept to begin with. Be genuinely rich or you’ve failed but also be genuinely heroic (and Christian) or you’ve not just failed but profoundly failed. You’ve failed God.

*laugh*

And since people don’t talk about these things…the silliness of certain things was lost on Lacey consciously.

And so…according to Michael…and Louis…Lacey’s former best friend grew bitter. Should she not have been queer…or even if she was…she may have been bitter.

Why?

Because this woman, we’ll call her Kate, was a very hard worker. She worked long hours daily with lots of stress. And then she intensely studied as well. She constantly pushed herself for years. Kate was smart and healthy…but she was extremely busy.

And when Kate got out of school with her masters (having likely graduated yet again with honors) she was probably only taking home $40,000 a year or less after taxes. And Lacey, who literally slept (in her own bed) way too much in college…and barely ever studied and spent 5+ years coming up a year or less short of graduating…was inheriting more than that after traveling the world for two years with her (troubling) then boyfriend.

At first glance that looks obviously obnoxious. But, believe it or not, Lacey didn’t see that comparison until last night when Michael pointed it out to her in conversation.

I mean…she didn’t truly flaunt her experiences and etc. over the years out of some subconscious awareness of there being a possible point of irritation…but she also wasn’t aware of what was really potentially happening in the minds of her “friends” at all. Her first foray into the world of “comparisons” (since early childhood if ever) was an Instagram based experience driven by painful passive aggression thrown at her daily over years. Otherwise it’s never been in her conscious mind and she always assumed a “bizarre” social inferiority or nothing at all by learned default, unless someone seemed in genuine need and then she tried to be helpful.

According to Michael in Lacey’s mind the narrative was, “Oh! Sure! Yeah, it’s totally to be expected that my family could have millions to give me. Whatever. It’s real money but we’re poor farm people and it’s just…weird. *shrug* And no, I’m not constrained by the limits of society in regard to timing. But that’s also just part of being on the farm. I don’t really need a degree so much as want one. …But…that’s because we’re crazy Norwegian farm people. *shrug* And…I don’t necessarily like it…but that’s just the way it is, I guess. *shrug* We’re farm people. Farm people are poor. And you, Kate, being more elite will have to care about such things.”

“Yes. Midwesterners are humble and poor and simple. And farm people are poor too. That’s a very American perspective.” says someone. “And on a certain level those people all see themselves that way as well, whether they’re really like that or not.”

“I can’t get it out of my mind that that’s reality.” says Lacey.

So…if Kate chose to be passive aggressive and lie about it to even herself out of pride and resentment and exhaustion…and it looks like she was…to Lacey it didn’t seem sad and pitiable but violent and shocking. As if Kate was suddenly abandoning Lacey out of the blue for absolutely no reason at all.

Kate had never openly acted jealous. Just like she’d never openly acted queer if she was. But whatever happened something was hidden and according to Michael it looks like class resentment. But, of course, given the way she was raised Lacey can’t know this for sure. *shrug*

*eye-roll*

“Oh! My dad just bought us a car!” said Lacey matter-of-factly to Kate in 2013. Lacey then told her the type of car it was.

“That’s the same car my parents bought me. Aww. I love my little car!” said Kate.

“That’s right! It is the same car.”

“Mine is a year older.” said Kate.

“That’s true! But it’s the same car. You’re right.” said Lacey.

Silence. Change of conversation.

“Well, I might have to leave him. But I’m scared to with a new infant, especially not having finished college.” (Lacey and her ex-husband had been fighting.)

“You should go on WIC!” said Kate with a smiley face attached.

“But Kate, I just inherited $50,000. Remember? I mean, given part of that was to buy the car. But I don’t think I really need to go on WIC right now.” And then assuming the best and feeling pressure to be accurate because of that Lacey quickly calculated in her head her finances and felt the need to further explain that she truly had more than the bare minimum in case her friend was still really worried. “And I think I’ll probably be inheriting a lot more. I don’t really need WIC I don’t think. But thank you!”

Kate worked for WIC.

And truly, at first Lacey wasn’t insulted by Kate’s suggestion and just assumed the best. She thought Kate was trying to be helpful, but after Kate basically ignored her response explaining her finances and lack of need for such assistance it became weird… Also, Kate never made almost any other effort to be caring about the situation with Lacey’s ex. She’d listen but never offer real advice (other than her suggestion to go on WIC) or admonishments or…almost anything but vague, “Aww! I’m sorry!”

Silence.

Awkward messages.

“Oh I’m going shopping for clothes right now for work. I need your advice on what to buy! Help!” said Kate by text.

“Hmm. Go for simple, classic pieces that are as high quality as you can manage. And buy the basics first.” said Lacey.

“Oh I never know what to buy!”

“Just try things on or if that’s too stressful, like I said, just buy the basics in your size and then just get out of there as fast as you can!”

“Okay!!”

“Oh that’s so exiting! Have fun! Keep me updated!”

Silence.

…Silence.

Then after too long of a silence from Kate and no response to her last two texts there was one last, sad goodbye message on Facebook from Lacey questioning why Kate was so distant all of a sudden. And then nothing. Lacey gave up trying to be her friend as she was literally exhausted being a new mom (getting up often for feedings) with a dying marriage.

Kate claimed she “didn’t see” the last message from Lacey until this week, eight years later. *laugh* And that she realized only in the last week that she “hadn’t responded.”

Kate was a seemingly dramatically different person in college in Lacey’s estimation…

Eight years later: “I’ve been thinking about you the past few days (I think it’s because I watched ‘Midnight In Paris’ and it made me think of you). “

*Lacey rubs her eyes in exasperation*

“It is far more irritating than most people will see. And you’ll be made the bad-guy, of course. I’m sorry.” says Harold.

Lem is busy taking care of something important.

“Why doesn’t she see your perspective at all?” wonders Louis.

“It’s heartbreaking. In my response I feel like I either just brutally rejected her and burst her delusions if she’s secretly queer…and it’s not even remotely possible for me to accept her in that way because I’m straight…but it’s still really disturbing to have to hurt a former friend in that way. Or…*shrug* she just…*shrug* hates me? Hated me? And apparently her possible rage about her finances was greater than any feelings of concern she had for me as a person in our friendship?” says Lacey. “I truly thought we were real best friends.”

“I hope you and your family are doing very well!!” Kate wrote last night.

*eye-roll*

“You’re not supposed to ghost me for eight years and then suddenly pop out of nowhere in some gaslighting way, still actually implying that I needed WIC by the way, and then suggest that you genuinely care about my family. That feels really toxic.” says Lacey.

*someone dead laughs* They laugh about the fact that she decided to clarify that she should have been more “tactful” and less “pushy” in suggesting WIC eight…years…later… *they laugh* Eight…years…later. “I suggest WIC to everyone!” they mockingly repeat her words then roll their eyes. “I love that this woman can’t apologize for being offensive even. She had to double-down on her insult! Eight years later!!!”

“But you’re writing about her on your blog!!” says Michael. “Isn’t that toxic too!?!?”

“Well…she acted in her magical message last night like she doesn’t stalk me. She implied that she had essentially forgotten about me for eight years…for no good or logical reason…other than her lack of interest in my existence apparently…until she watched “Midnight In Paris.” If she expects me to genuinely believe that contradictory, seemingly narcissistic narrative…then I’m going to play dumb. Because she’s insulting my intelligence and maybe always did think she was superior intellectually anyway. It could even be why she felt so bitter. As if by being smarter and not just working harder she deserved better than me in her mind. Soo… I’ll let her enjoy that delusion. Because who knows? If she’s queer she might prefer to imagine bullshit about me as if I’m already dead and she’s channeling my ghost instead of really acknowledging that I’m alive anyway. *shrug*” says Lacey.

“So now you’re angry?!” asks Lem.

“Yes.”

*He nods his head.*

“I feel like she must have just vandalized my every word and movement every second I knew her. And decided that my mother’s decision to leave my father and live in a deranged religious shelter that demanded we go on assistance while we lived there was my fault. She wanted me to seem eternally trashy in her head to feel better about herself? Or what in the world did I ever do to indicate some secret love between us?! …I mean eight years and one very random message later and I’m still confused!” Lacey protests.

“You feel rejected deeply as a friend.” says Harold.

“Yes.”

“Like she didn’t love you in any real way at all.” suggests Lem.

“Yes.”

“That’s disgusting.” says Michael.

“Hi! We’re the Fitzgerald’s! Isn’t she beautiful?!” uttScott.