I've been in Oregon the last ten days or so, visiting my dad and his side of the family, and it's been quite an... interesting experience.
My family is the one poor family in two generations of hard workers and extremely wealthy, successful people on my dad's side. (This has a lot to do with the state of my dad's work ethic, but that's not the point here.) So I've grown up with the mindset that money is something to be put towards bills and food.
So I come to Oregon, and suddenly I'm thrust into this "culture" where people commonly spend upwards of $30 on a meal for two people.
My grandpa's a retired doctor. I have no clue what my aunts and uncles do, but they're all just as well off as my grandpa is, at least compared to my own family's financial state. Also, they're all very close. My cousins are real buddy-buddy with each other. (Not with me--my family has never been close to my extended family on my dad's side, mostly because of horror stories he's apparently told about my mother, none of which are true.)
I have never felt so uncomfortable.
These people have no problem spending money. Save three cents a gallon on gas if you've got a Safeway card? Oh, no, that's fine, it's just three cents. Leave a $20 tip? No problem. Spend over $100 on books in one day (something I have always wanted to do)? Pocket change.
This whole mindset of "price doesn't matter" is so completely alien to me. When I go to restaurants, particularly if someone else is paying, I get the cheapest thing possible. Here, the restaurants we've gone to, the cheapest thing is $14. This actually causes me physical discomfort. (Really, it does. I swear.)
And this has made me realize why I hate politics. Politics is the rich man's pasttime, in my world. People who don't make enough money to pay mortgage on a regular basis quite frankly don't have the time to listen to all the mudslinging people do in Washington that passes as political talk. Politics make people unpleasant and argumentative. There are a grand total of three people in my dad's side of the family who don't give a crap about politics, and they are me, my mom, and my sister. (Used to be my brother, too, but he's been corrupted recently.)
Right. I realize this is somewhat ranty, but I can connect this to writing! Really!
I will probably never be able to write well in the point of view of someone who doesn't care that they're paying $14 for chicken and dumplings. The whole idea of that rich-guy mindset is just so alien to me that I'd feel like a complete poser if I tried to capture that worldview through writing.
Anyone else feel that way about certain mindsets? Or am I just a freak? (Both options are equally possible, I assure you...)