"I thought everyone's refrigerators had wood-paneled cabinet doors. The first time I saw a metal fridge I thought it was weird, and I thought it was even weirder that the fridge and freezer were combined. But then I got jealous because you could put magnets on it. I also thought everyone had a 'central vacuum' system where you can sweep dirt into a little hole under the cabinets by the floor and it sucks it up. We had these little holes all over, in every room."
"I thought kidnapping just happened to everyone. Whenever we traveled, there were guards. I was trained in what to do if it happened, and we had insurance policies against it. When I dated a middle-class suburbanite and talked about it, she thought I was paranoid, but that was a thing."
"Probably a weird example, but growing up all of our dishes were made of fine china. And I just thought that's what plates and stuff were made of because we didn't have anything else. Then one time I went to a friend's house for dinner and we ate on colored plastic plates and non-matching plastic cups, I just thought that was the weirdest thing ever and asked why we were eating with 'camping dishes.'"
"I always heard college was expensive and some people could afford it, or that their parents had to save up or the kid had to get a job. I thought it was $1 million per year. I based that on thinking that the lower class made $1 million per year so spending a years wage on one year of college would be unreasonable. Then I found out the average salary was less than my brother would spend partying in a weekend in college."
"I thought everyone got to eat dinner quite often with the president. I always thought the president has dinner at random houses until I learned otherwise when I finally joined regular school (I was homeschooled until I was 9), and no kid believed my 'dinner story.' My dad was Ambassador of Kenya to Saudi Arabia."
"My boyfriend grew up very rich. His mom told me a story about how, after the first few days of kindergarten, the teachers called her.
They expressed concern that he might have an 'eating problem' because he would not eat his packed lunch. His mom came to school the next day to investigate, and after watching him for a little while she noticed he was visibly avoiding eating his lunch and talking up a storm to other kids. Then it hit her. He didn't know how to feed himself. Yes, that's right. HE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO FEED HIMSELF because apparently, up until that point, he had been PHYSICALLY FED BY HIS HOUSE-KEEPER."
"I remember my parents having a sit-down talk with me after a parent-teacher meeting and letting me know that there was 'one' student in our class that was feeling insecure because his family was the only one that didn't have a lake cottage or mountain home."
"I feel bad having said this while joining a friend on a road trip up into the mountains to go to his brother's house. The internet at the house was slow, and the connection dropped frequently. I didn't have my car with me, and this was also before personal WiFi was a thing.
Me: 'If there's any way I could borrow a car to hop into town for Internet tomorrow that would be awesome.'
Friend: 'Well, my brother uses his car every day and I'm using mine to go to that event we talked about.'
Me: 'That's fine. Is it okay if I just use his extra car?'
Awkward silence, until...
Friend: 'He just has that one car.'"
"I thought until the start of high school that a $100 bottle of red was cheap. Expensive ones are several thousands, after all. At the end of the year, we decided to offer our retiring teacher a bottle of red, and he said, 'Don't buy a $100 bottle.' I made a joke about how picky he was and made a fool of myself."
"My roommate in college would order a catered meal for dinner every night. Like he'd have a restaurant bring so much take out that they'd bring it in those aluminum trays and heaters underneath and a server would stick around to dish out the food and clean up afterward. He thought this was totally normal behavior and was confused why we made such a big deal about it. Until I just pointedly asked the server who else he did this for in the entire city we were living in. 'Um... Just him.' My roommate just looked shocked."
"I was 23 the first time I had to figure out how to use a washing machine. To this day I can remember how helpless I felt, staring at it like a dead fish. I had to call the family maid.
Also, I did not know what an onion actually looked like until my mid-20s.
Last but not least, I was clueless to the fact that you could have a meal with less than nine pieces of cutlery."
"My mother always tells me about the time when I was about five-years-old and went over to a friend's house. I came home extremely confused and upset about how 'small' my friend's house was (It was a three-bedroom/two-bath).
It never occurred to me that people lived in houses that tiny, and it blew my five-year-old mind. My friend shared a bedroom with one of her sisters too, and I had never met siblings who had to share a room."
"I think the moment it really sunk in that I grew up rich was around middle school. I took a trip to some festival, which meant a ferry ride and then a drive to a Canadian city for a big, fancy meal.
The girl I picked to go with me had been my friend for years; I had no idea her life was so different. She had never seen Canada before. My parents, realizing immediately that this was a big deal for this girl, bought her souvenirs, which she later gave to her mom since her mom has NEVER LEFT THE AREA.
My mom would not let her order the cheapest thing on the menu, which I never realized is something poor children are trained to do. I thought you could just pick whatever you wanted to eat."
"I realized I grew up differently than most whenever I heard people complaining about airport security.
My family never got around to owning a plane, but most of our family friends who we would vacation with us would share theirs with us.
When we flew that way, we would basically show up at the local airport and hop right on the plane. If we ever took a commercial jet, we had TSA Pre Check that let us zip through our own security line.
I never understood why people would say they planned on heading to the airport two hours before their flight."
"I thought every family had a personal staff.
Growing up, I had a chef, gardener, chauffeur, two nannies, handyman/errand guy, and two maids. These were full-time employees, and several of them even lived with us. We had a host of part-time staff as well. When I went to college, I was shocked by how everyone took care of themselves so well, when I barely knew how to tie my own shoelaces.
Everywhere I would go, either with my family or friends or their families, we were treated with what I understand now is a ridiculous amount of respect. It's hard to explain this one, but I think others in the same situation understand."
"We would take overseas trips constantly when I was a kid. I remember being so surprised in elementary school that my friends had never been to Europe.
My earliest memory takes place in a villa in Monaco. Also, apparently six-year-olds aren't supposed to like tartare or oysters on the half shell."
"I was trying to show a friend of mine that she was rich because her family has a TEAM of maids and drivers. Seriously, they had a driver for every member of the family.
She claimed that she was not rich because 'everyone has maids and drivers.'
I asked her, 'Do you think your maids and drivers have maids and drivers?'
I think then it clicked that she might be rich."