As a Minnesotan I was performing my civic duty and watching the Vikings
get their asses handed to them play tonight when this Tom Brady thing (? hype video? Commercial? I don’t know, my eyes were rolling too hard to watch) came on. In it, there was all this talk about how hard he works and all he sacrifices.
My instant reaction was mockery. Oh, this poor sad multi-millionaire. The smugest man in Smugville has to work so hard, or so says his supermodel wife, sitting in the sun room of one of their mansions.
Later, I was watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians (shut up, I know it’s all fake) and there were the scenes about how one sister just doesn’t work as hard as the others. Kim work, work, works, don’t ya know? Such work. Much effort. All day.
And my reaction again could be best described as a full body eye roll.
While I think rolling my eyes at the Kardashians is a totally appropriate reaction in almost every circumstance, I did have a moment of pause. Why did this bug me so much?
I’ve written before in this space before about the fact that I grew up in a family that generally struggled financially. The older I get and the farther I get away from those days, the more I realize that there are parts of how I respond to the world that are directly linked to growing up the way I did. One of those parts, apparently, is that I have almost no tolerance for hearing rich people complain about working hard. Hmm.
Now, I don’t doubt that Tom Brady physically works hard and works out a lot. Obviously he does. And the Kardashians are probably quite busy doing their version of “work” (which seems to consist largely of eating salad and having fake hair attached to their heads)(I know, I should stop watching if they annoy me so much. But it’s complicated. I have Reasons for watching). But I think on some level I’ve decided that if you are rich, you don’t get to complain about hard work. It’s unseemly. I think the deeper level is that I suspect that many (most? all?) rich people think they actually deserve to be rich, because, gosh they work so hard. And, no ma’am, I can’t abide that.
It reminds me of an episode of KUWTK where one of them was talking about how “everything works out in the end” and that “God has a plan” and I wanted to scream that of course it works out in the end when you can throw money at the oh so complicated problem of finding the right mansion to live in. And believing God has a plan for you must be super easy when you get everything you want, all the damn time.
Now I’m all riled up. I should know better than to combine pro sports and reality TV on the same night. My tolerance for bullshit, cliches, and non-self aware white people is just too diminished.