Monday, June 30, 2014

Confessions of an Uptown Girl

The ipod seems to want to play this song over and over and I have Billy Joel unmercifully stuck in my head.  I have recently found myself dubbed with the title and I can't help but sit here and contemplate the idea.  It is a strange piece to me because through absolutely no fault of my own I suppose life would consider me an Uptown Girl whether I accept it or not, but let me share some reflections on the matter and perhaps let my dear reader in on a secret or two. 

The tenor of the song begins and continues with the assumption that a wealthy female would of course initially embrace the luxurious life.  Perhaps I am rather alone in this but in many respects I never have appreciated the class distinctions to which so many cling with exceeding tenacity.  My mother recounts that when we visited her poverty stricken relations in Mexico during my childhood she would primly dress me up in ribbons only to find me a few minutes later with my hair a mess and my general person covered in dirt.  I defended my position by insinuating that she wanted me to look as though I was financially above everyone else and that I wanted the people there to know that I genuinely loved them and held myself as not one wit higher or above them.  I often behave recklessly when I visit Mexico to this day and much for the same reason.  

As Uptown Girl is a reflection involving romance, I have to relate another experience I endured through high school.  I knew a fellow who had fairly humble beginnings in life but had since risen to relatively great wealth.  I met him through his childhood friends who still lived "on the other side of the tracks" and we danced and mildly flirted for over two years, but though I knew he liked me he never asked me out.  When I threw my best friend's Sweet Sixteen party he found himself dragged along by a mutual acquaintance.  He stood before my parents' four story mansion and I heard him whisper to himself, "And I thought my house was big!"  Shortly thereafter he finally decided I was worth his time and after boasting that he was wealthy too started to ask me out.  I cut him off and threw him to the side.  Human relationships cannot be measured by monetary stature and if he couldn't ask me out when he assumed I was poor he certainly was not an appropriate counterpart when he discovered me rich. 

There is another kind of Uptown Girl.  It's the kind of person who cherishes a rich heart.  It is the kind of person who loves people for who they are and hardly for the measure of their bank account.   She doesn't necessarily live in posh surroundings but she carries a wealth more powerful than all the empty sophistry and shallow designer clothes in the world.  She is a woman of faith, of love, of hope and of humility.  She lives on a higher spiritual and emotional plane.  I am not certain what the person who called me an Uptown Girl meant when they declared me one but if I had my choice I'd choose to be of the second type, strong and loving, and donning homespun rags. 

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