At the risk of becoming that guy, let me be that guy for a second.
I grew up poor. Not insanely poor, not homeless. I had a lot more than a lot of my friends, and lot less than others. I always had a roof, and shoes, and food, even if that food was the type of food that the lentil and bean people wage war on.
I'm pretty vocal about this, because I feel like I have to be. When ManWombat's friends talk about their lives they do so in a way that suggest they don't know how other people live. I can't even begin break this down and analyze it yet, I just want to commiserate with y'all.
Oh, samples are good? Samples ahead!
Friend #1: 21 years old, volunteers for the Liberal party, hails from California where his dad is a pretty high up sciency science person. (I don't think Friend #1 even knows what he does.) Main traits: A need to always be right, intense faith in Colour Blindness, likes to argue with me about e'rything. We'll call him P.
P: "Now the liberals aren't all bad. They would like to do away with some pretty egregious things. Are you familiar with the concept of reverse income tax?"
Me: "You mean where you're under the poverty line so the government gives you money during income tax season?"
P: "Yes! Isn't that insane?"
Me: "My parents get a rebate every year for that reason. I am intimately familiar with reverse income tax."
P: "Oh. Well then."
P: "Who doesn't like mushrooms? How could you not like mushrooms growing up? Are your taste buds broken?"
Me: "Well, I didn't have fresh mushrooms until I was about 22. I like those."
P: "What did you have?!"
P: "They can mushrooms?!"
Friend #2: 23 works on a contract basis as an archaeologist. She hails from a small town in the US, which her family owns. They own the whole damn town. She refers to her parents as trust fund babies that squalored their fortune even though all of her anecdotes are evidence against the fact. Main traits: Dry humour, awful people skills, really hilarious now that I know her and passed her vetting process. We'll call her M.
M: "We have a ski-house that was renovated from an old barn. It's my favourite house."
Me: "You have a what? What's a ski-house?"
M: "A house you stay in while skiiing."
Me: "What is it the rest of the year?"
M: "I was so upset last night I almost impulse bought an island."
M: "Yeah, there's a couple Gulf islands for sale. There was a little one that I liked and I almost bought it. But I thought, no, you shouldn't buy an island when you're upset."
Me: "Well that is probably the best time to buy an island."
Me: "My mum made 8 dollars an hour until I was about 19. Then she finally got a new job and makes twice that now. But for years we were living off of 8 bucks an hour and my dad's money-suck failing business."
M (Making a face like I told her I've been to the moon)
P: "But your dad had a pension, right?"
Me: "Yep! 1000 bucks a month! It paid for our mortgage which is nice."
M (still making face): "My mom didn't want to retire until she made seven figures, but they pushed her out recently at 800,000 a year."
S: What does your mom do?!
M: "I dunno. Chemistry stuff?"
*Sigh* How do you deal with this? I'm not poor any more. I make a good wage- a better wage than both of my parents combined. But I'm not rich and I don't know how to talk to people who are.
ETA: A link to the listing if Impulse Island. It's not crazy expensive, actually. But crazy enough.