When I was nine, I had a friend who was several rungs up the socioeconomic scale.  She was “old money”, so wasn’t a total snob (unlike the “new money” snobby girls that made up the Esprit club at my public school – only girls wearing the Esprit label need apply.)  We had a grand time together, totally oblivious to the fact that her parents (a high-end litigator who was heir to a lumberyard fortune, and a European heiress who’d gone to school in Switzerland) could have bought and sold my parents’ net worth twice before breakfast.

We spent hours playing with her American Girl doll in their huge house in the fancy suburb of Big City, and played for hours out in the gigantic yard.  At one end of the yard, they had a giant evergreen tree that sloped against a fence, forming a perfect hide-out for two nine-year-olds.  We’d play under there, usually making up stories about being Indian maidens, and playing with Molly the American Girl doll, while snacking on cookies and drinking sparkling juice.  We had no idea, of course, what privilege she’d been born into, and that most mothers didn’t give their kids whole bags of Pepperidge Farm and bottles of Chappelle for afternoon outdoor tea parties, and we had a wonderful time.

Last I heard, Clara was at one of the Ivies, majoring in Chinese, and was headed for a career at the State Department.  Who knows…maybe she’s on Facebook.

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