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mardi 4 novembre 2008

The other side

We are not rich people. I work like a slave and earn an OK amount of money, but really, nothing to write home about (I suspect my father would be very disappointed to see the state of my bank accounts). But we're OK. Our flat will (one day, I hope) be nice and tidy and presentable, we have a car, our daughters go to a private school (though here in France that's not really very expensive) and we've had several trips this year (London in February, Arles in April, Italy in August, D to England for work and me to Lisbon for work in October). We have a good life, and I'm pretty much satisfied with it (though healthier bank accounts would be nice, and not having to spend 6,000 Euros in January to get the roof fixed would help, too).
But today, we were invited to go and spend the afternoon with a schoolfriend of C's, 15 minutes out of Montpellier.
We are talking serious money.
Serious, serious money.
The house, people, you should have seen the house! And garden! And swimming pool! And furnishings! And the two big cars! And the amount of toys in A's room! And the souvenirs from all the wildly exotic places they've visited.
Really, another world.
No, I'm not jealous (well, maybe just a little bit), because the style of the house and stuff really isn't my choice (quibbling, quibbling. Utterly pathetic.). But I am jealous of their security - I always feel like D and I are living on the edge - almost always overdrawn, no savings to speak of, living pretty much (comfortable) hand to (comfortable) mouth. It must be nice to have real money in the bank, to have a house worth 1.5 million Euros (7.5 times the value of ours!), to know you can do things without having to calculate whether or not you can afford it.
And I know we'll never have that security.
And I would so love to be able to give my lovely daughters the security they deserve.
It's on afternoons like this that I really do feel like some kind of serious failure.
Everyone always told me I had such potential (at school, at university), and I feel pretty sure that I haven't lived up to it at all.
Where did it all go wrong?
Or am I over-exaggerating?
Perhaps - because my little girls are bright, beautiful, kind, generous, fun-loving, intelligent and healthy. They have great potential, and I will do all I can to help them fulfill it.

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