Way too often lately people are speaking about “the show” and I am sick over how much others invest in “the show”! I define “the show” as a persons attempt to portray a lifestyle, relationship, family, household, life that is better, richer, bigger than reality. This is also in the category of “keeping up with the Joneses (KUWJ)” and although I am not a big participant in “the show” I have been know in some areas to “keep up with the Joneses (KUWJ) “.

Growing up my family was big on “the show” and a perfect example of this: my parents would fight and verbally abuse everyone constantly BUT on Sundays we would get a 75 minute reprieve. This would happen once we pulled into the church parking lot. All of a sudden the screaming would stop and they would both smile. My parents would then enforce “the show” and our mandatory participation. We would all walk the line, best manners, never discuss what really went on at home, and our parents would big smile and laugh gleefully while everyone was watching. Once church conversation ended and things were moving towards the car we all grew fearful because the minute we made the right out of the church parking lot the verbal abuse would restart as if it had never ended!


I participate in a different way because I am more about being at the forefront of technology ownership and although I believe in the reasoning behind my technology needs it is still a way that I play in the KUWJ arena. I also tend to buy my vehicles based on the neighborhood I live in and how other people might feel about the look of my car. If I am in a higher class area I tend to insist upon a vehicle that looks mint and shows I also have status. Does my vehicle really matter? Not at all… But what does matter is that if I drop my kids off at school I want my vehicle to fit in with all of the other parents dropping kids off. I don’t want to be embarrassed or embarrass my kids with a hunk of vehicular junk!

1 Comment

  1. “The Show” is a sad part of our culture and leaves so many people in debt because they spend money they don’t have to impress people they don’t like. I’m glad you can see how damaging it is…It’s hard because of course you want to meet certain social expectations and fit into a neighborhood, etc., but you also want to be yourself and true to your values (and your budget!). Very sad that your family was putting on a show to hide all the verbal abuse. Makes me wonder about the sweet families I see around me…

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