Do you refer to your car as a 'foreign make' (and not a BMW)? If so, you are clearly in the throes of wealth shame. Symptoms include acute discomfort when discussing salaries (or professions even), vagueness about lifestyle, property or partner's occupation (in case there isn't one). Wealth shame is what happens when you get a bonus and you don't even tell your spouse. It's the acute sense of discomfort upon listening to others' financial woes when you just got 10% richer. Wealth shame is most felt by bankers who know that you know that they know it's absurd they get paid so much after trashing the economy. It manifests itself in ridiculous displays of false modesty: tattered suits, rusty cars and peeling paint at home. Mock them and they get hurt, attack them and they get defensive, press them for details (where exactly were you this half-term?) and they plain lie. You can of course offer them a miracle cure: sharing.
- Helen Kirwan-Taylor - firstname.lastname@example.org