I was always amazed in Sydney, at the breadth of financial resource represented in my group of friends. Once I pulled up to a new friend's house to discover that she was quite wealthy. I hadn't known before arriving at her magnificent home. Another school friend, also there for the same event, said "that's the thing about Australia, rich and poor alike can all have a place at the same table."
I had friends receiving government assistance, and there was no shame in it, unlike America. I had friends who owned successful businesses, and though wealthy, lived simply. I had friends whose wealth showed a little more, but was still understated by American standards. And truly, we all gathered together, on equal ground, each valued and contributing*.
This weekend we are entertaining three different groups of people in our home. People whose homes I have never seen, and whose net worth I have no grasp of. In Australia it wouldn't matter. Whether in a humble cottage or a grand estate, it is the people you are there to see. It is the people that matter.
The Captain and I watched a funny movie the other night. I can't remember the title now, but two friends meet after long years apart. The man says "I am doing really well. I'm driving this Escalade, and you should see my condo, it's amazing." The woman says, "so tell me about your life now?" "I just did." he replies.
In much of America, things matter more. What you drive, where you live, whose clothes you wear. Kids know the different between the Polo pony and a regular old horse on your tshirt.
Having new people over to my house feels so vulnerable. My taste is not mainstream, and I am in all the details. It is like they can see all of me at a glance, and like it or not like it. They can like or not like me. It's like the blog, really. I just write it all here, from my heart, and everyone once in awhile I feel anxious at the thought of some unknown person finding it all rubbish.
I'm excited, and nervous. Hoping this action of opening up our home and ourselves will result in new friendships. I'm trying to live open, even though it takes effort and intent. Here's to a sunny weekend, and seeds of friendship.
*That is not to say that there are not areas of Sydney where class, and new money vs old money, family names, and your suburb and alma mater don't matter, there certainly are, but generally speaking, in the circles I was in, those things didn't define the potential for friendship.