Is My Kid One Of Those Rich Kids I Once Hated?

Isn’t this what parents work so hard for? Musings from the Target parking lot on money, values and upward mobility

Maj-le Bridges
5 min readSep 15, 2021

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Photo by Daniel ODonnell on Unsplash

As my teenage daughter and I walked gleefully towards the mood-altering drug that is our neighborhood Target store, I spied a red and white banner covering the building almost as large as the Target bullseye.

“We’re hiring. $15 per hour. Ask inside for details.”

“Wow. Fifteen dollars. You love shopping at Target. Maybe you might want a job there.” The response was as immediate and bored sounding as it was unexpected.

“No thanks. I’m good.”

What? When I was her age, I was crawling under the fryers of a fast food burger chain cleaning out roaches (fried?). I did this noble work for $3.35 per hour. I hated the job, but it put gas in my eleven-year-old Subaru, kept me outfitted in the latest clearance rack Guess jeans and gave me a sense of pride and independence.

None of this history of ancestral striving swayed my daughter.

Growing up, I never wanted for anything, but there weren’t many extras either. My parents approached life with the middle-class sensibility that their parents gave them and that they imparted to me.

My daughter doesn’t want for anything either, but given our professional degrees, upward mobility and well-paying jobs, the occasional driving vacation to San Francisco that I enjoyed with my grandparents has been replaced by my daughter’s business-class sojourn to Milan. I am grateful to be in the financial position that I am, but I worry that something is lost in the middle-class values to pseudo-rich kid translation.

Photo by Travis Gergen on Unsplash

I’m grateful that my daughter hasn’t experienced the true adversity that many others face, and that our family doesn’t struggle to provide for her needs. But for teenagers, deprivation is relative. My teenage self was barricaded in my room most of the time listening to Wham! and cataloging my parents’ unconscionable treatment, like sending me on school field…

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Maj-le Bridges

Gen X-er, recovering lawyer, frustrated writer, Lego enthusiast and serial creative. Medium Top Writer | Published in Start It Up & Age of Awareness.