I was out to dinner with 5 people recently. Two of us live in San Francisco, two live in the Palo Alto area, and two live mid-Peninsula (in between).
Think of it like this:
Many of you don’t know, but I almost became a cartographer. However, I chose blogging due to the copious amounts of female groupies.
Anyway, after eating, when the bill came, something interesting happened.
The two of us from SF went, “Wow, that was cheap.”
The two from mid-Peninsula just shrugged.
And the two from Palo Alto/Mountain View said, “Jeez, that was more than we thought.”
It was a picture-perfect commentary on the food prices for each of the areas in which we live.
Whenever people say “I can’t believe he spent THAT MUCH on (dinner, clothes, going out…), I just laugh. Geographic location is just one of the invisible variables that affect how much other people spend.
This is why my parents can’t believe how much dinner costs in San Francisco, while I now think it’s cheap compared to my dinners in New York.
This is why people cluelessly say, “That’s RIDICULOUS!” without understanding the context of spending, income, living expenses, and priorities.
And it’s why when you’re judging other people’s spending, you should really shut the hell up.