If you don’t live in Southern California and you watch “The Housewives of Orange County,” you might wonder if women in Southern California actually act as self-centered, spoiled, obnoxious and uncanny as those housewives do. Sadly, there are many parts of Orange County where you will find hot spots of them.
It’s sad to be part of a society where so much drama and fake personalities exist because it’s more important to keep up with the joneses. The truth is, you don’t have to live in Orange County to experience it. It’s all about fitting in and being included in a more superior way of life.
It was only about 15 years ago when I working in a corporate job (in Orange County). I remembered being in awe at the fact that most of the conversations by women around me involved labels, new pairs of shoes, and just all the expensive things they could compare with each other. What was even more shocking was that most of those women weren’t rich and made a lot less money than I did. Yet, I couldn’t afford the weekly pairs of shoes or Seven jeans that were often bragged about. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how they were able to do this and not go completely broke.
Later, I found out that 5 out of 7 of the women in my division who were part of the “high fashion group” actually had credit card debts that were higher than anything I’d ever seen. The best part is, we worked in the mortgage industry where we got to see the consequences of bad debt on a daily basis!
Years later and well into motherhood, I noticed that women still do the label bragging and the judging. In some areas, it’s actually worse, but it does depend on the location. Just because you’re a mom, it doesn’t mean you’re not privy to judgments. The mom club can be just as harsh when it comes to the follies of societal expectations.
The mom with expensive yoga pants who appears to have it all together may not be the perfect mother or wife, yet she’s very good at judging the messy haired, pajama wearing mom with 5 kids. Everyone has a different way of parenting for so many reasons. Yet, even as adults, some of us aren’t intelligent enough to understand this.
I was in a specific community in Orange County where I always felt as if I was being measured from head to toe. I’d been to this community many times and learned quite a lot about it. People are judged and labeled based on the specific areas they live in, the type of cars they drive, and how big their homes are … and whether or not your shoes are from Target or Nordstrom.
It was all quite amazing (and sometimes amusing) to listen to the ignorance and sad tone in many of the women I later found were actually in less financially secure positions, but desperately trying to sound important. So why do this? What’s the point of this horrible folly? What is there to gain?
Life is a mystery. Some of us are born privileged and/or beautiful, while some are born with a lot less. Whatever our circumstances, our ultimate goal is to do what we can in life to be as happy as we can be.
For some people, happiness is about having expensive, material things to show off to friends regardless of their true financial situation. For others, happiness is about the little things they could do to make a difference. Perhaps spending more quality time with the people they love, traveling, or finding ways to make others happy.
Being around the “joneses” can be toxic for you AND your family. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid it, but your actions and the roles you play in these situations can make a significant difference in your own life and peace of mind. Ultimately, you and the people you truly love are what matters.