Everybody has their moment of realization, an epiphany where they’re clued in to how the world really works, and that it’s far crueler than they ever could have imagined. It’s a rude awakening, and a rite of passage into adulthood. Even people who never had to worry about anything in their lives — like rich kids — have this moment. Some adults who grew up with a lot of money answered the call of Ask Reddit and discussed the moments when the cold, harsh, reality of the world slapped them in the face.
1. Suddenly having no money will certainly clue you in to how the “the other half” lives.
About 2nd grade. That’s when my family went bankrupt (my dad got fucked over by his business partner) and we went from new cars, games, eating out constantly, and computers, to filling water bottles at the library, pooling baths, and having variations of pasta for weeks for dinner, in the course of months. We’re still on the climb back to full middle-upper class. I’m very fortunate to have great parents that do their best :).
2. Pretty sure this was a John Hughes movie starring Andrew McCarthy
I was a spoiled rotten child and also into my teen years. My parents bought me a brand new red convertible for my 16th birthday. I threw a fit over it because what I actually wanted was my brother’s old car (that we still had) which was dark blue in colour. I was so shallow and a horrible person back then..
So what really turned me around? That next summer I took a job as a camp counselor at a local day camp. I did not have to work but I was bored and sounded like something easy to do. God, I was so wrong. This day camp was specifically geared to the lower classes who could not afford child care during the summer. We served them breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. For a lot of the camp kids this was all they would eat that day and on Friday’s they would beg for extra food/snacks to take home for themselves and/or their siblings because they may not get to eat again until Monday. This really hit me hard but the part that got me the most..
This one kid (around 5-6) would refuse to take their shoes and socks off, even if we were going to the public pool that day. I couldn’t understand why until one day he came in limping, like his feet were causing him so much pain. I convinced him to let me help him get his shoes and socks so I could see what might be bothering him. Once I did, it took everything in me not to break down right there. His socks were covered in blood. His poor tiny little feet were covered in sores and his toes seemed to curl under a bit. He was in so much pain from the state of his feet. As it turns out, he had been wearing shoes about 3 sizes too small. His family couldn’t afford new shoes. I took my lunch break and went out to buy him new socks and a few pairs of shoes.
This broke me..which I definitely needed. It changed my way of thinking forever.
3. No mo Lambo is a low blow, bro.
When my Dad was sued and we went from having 3 Mercedes, a Lamborghini, and a Ferrari to having a Toyota Sequoia.
4. They were swept away.
I grew up in Indonesia, a 3rd world country where you’d definitely have maids if you’re posting on reddit. I grew up thinking it’s common to have multiple maids.
Moved to Singapore, a 1st world country where people still have maids, but it’s more of an upper-middle class & above thing. Got assigned to sweep the floors by the teachers, and that was my first time holding a broom.
Swept it back and forth like in cartoons, and everyone was looking at me going, “Er, what the fuck are you doing?”
Turns out I was just creating a dust cloud around me. You have to sweep in one direction and gather all the dust into the dust pan.
5. A sudden loss of wealth isn’t so bad when you lose more important things.
Grew up in a fancy home, more rooms than you could ever need on a large property in a pretty rural area. I got everything I wanted whenever I wanted; huge plasma tv, dslr camera, motorbike, pony etc. I never knew what my parents really did for a living, I remember kids always asking what my parents did as a job in the playground and I never really knew how to respond.
I soon figured out what my parents did when my dad was arrested for drug trafficking and the house, cars and everything else was repossessed by the government as profits of crime. I now live in a shitty house that barely stands in a dodgy area of town, it definitely was a shock to the system but I’m adjusting just fine I guess.
6. A dry, clean story.
When I was 16 my parents left for a week vacation and gave me money for the week. Since I didn’t know how to do laundry (never even seen it done) I took all my clothes to the dry cleaner. Even my panties. The cleaners asked 3 times if I was sure I wanted them dry cleaned. I said yes. 2 days later I got 8 pair of panties safety pinned to individual hangers. My “laundry” cost about $90 that week. I just assumed this was all normal.