Here’s the thing: If you want to go away without anyone knowing about it, you’re best off hiring a private jet to take you to Timbuktu. Maybe you won’t meet anyone there. Then again, it’s likely someone will see you at the airport. Or the concierge at the hotel and spa has a sister who knows your sister-in-law’s sister-in-law’s sister. Or whatever.
When my husband and I decided to get away for a luxury weekend, we didn’t want any fanfare. There was no reason anyone had to know where we were going. I didn’t see any reason for anyone to know where we were going.
My husband has done very well for himself, something I don’t ever take for granted. But it’s not easy being the only one in the family without parnasah problems, the only sibling who can not only actually pay the bills, including full tuition, but afford to live a more than comfortable lifestyle.
Shia and I both come from modest families. His siblings, who moved overseas, are living hand to mouth. My only sister lives down the block and is struggling.
We make a conscious effort to tone down our simchahs, to avoid extravagant upgrades to our home and to keep our vacations to a minimum. Actually, I’m the one who’s always busy worrying what everyone else will say. Shia can’t understand my determination to hide our wealth from my sister After all, he argues, we help her, and help her generously. So what if we decide to replace our living room set and order matching drapes? We aren’t stealing, don’t have to borrow, and aren’t breaking any laws.
“You don’t understand, Shia,” I said. “It’s hard for her. While I’m shopping for the new spring season, she tries to match last year’s outgrown skirts with the cheapest shirts she can find for the girls. I’m itching to splurge on Mindy’s clothes, but how can I when Faigy is worried sick about not being able to pay her utility bills?”
“Your spring shopping has no connection with her utility bills,” Shia said. “Your preoccupation with hiding our wealth from your sister isn’t healthy. It’s not as if she doesn’t know.”