I ran into a girl that I knew from high school. She's one of the smartest people I've ever known, intellectually speaking. So it was fun to see her and her three kids while we were on an outing today.
As we were catching up on what we've both been doing over the last 8-10 years, she eventually asked where my husband worked.
"He's a finance manager at the Honda store in Orem," I told her proudly.
And she looked at me with such incredible pity. Her eyes said, I'm so sorry your husband is stuck in a low-paying, dead-end job.
I couldn't have been more shocked. It suddenly brought me back to my high school reunion. I remember meeting doctors and lawyers and lots of people in grad school to become doctors and lawyers. Their reaction, when I told them my husband was selling cars, was one of such withering pity. I remember talking later, to a friend who I visit taught, and telling her about this experience. She nodded as I talked with tremendous understanding.
I wondered how she could understand me? Her husband was an entrepreneur. They have a large beautiful home, eight kids who are never wanting, nice vehicles, and he has lots of workers, trucks and machinery all associated with his business. How could someone, so obviously successful ever understand me?
"You think that's bad," she said when I finished my sob story, " just imagine telling those people that your husband fixes cracks in the road."
I'd never thought of her husband's job like that. He probably makes as much money as some doctors and lawyers, yet Angie and Shaun might, too, be at the receiving end of pitiful looks from doctors and lawyers, because he works and employs people in a blue collar field.
I go back to my friend and her pity. I wish I had gushed about how much Wendell loves his job. And I wish that I could educate this woman, in some way, that just 'cause her husband works in a high-tech field and mine in retail doesn't make her superior. And maybe, now that I think about it, she's not as smart as I thought she was.