Do you try to "Keep up with the Jones"?

@fpd1955 (2075)
United States
March 18, 2007 6:41pm CST
I have a brother that goes out and buys new things to be better than his neighbors. One of my brothers married a nice woman from a somewhat wealthy family. Mom had to go out and buy a fur coat for the occasion, because SHE thought they were snooty, rich and she wanted to show them that she too, could flaunt her wealth. The only problem was that she isn't wealthy!! Do you try to out do your neighbor? Decorate for Christmas a little better than they? Buy a better car than they? Buy an inground pool if they bought an aboveground? Does it really matter to you to have better things than your neighbor? These are just material things. Do they really define who you are?
2 people like this
19 responses
• United States
19 Mar 07
i don't bother. i do have neighbors who moved in recently that feel they must outdo everyone else.it's a disgusting show of extravagance to me. they have more lights than the airport at christmas time.
2 people like this
@fpd1955 (2075)
• United States
19 Mar 07
Geez, I sure do hope the planes don't try to land there!
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 07
I know many people who try to "keep up with the jones" but no matter how hard one trys there is always going to be someone that has more. Not only that I think people that are so materialistic have other issues that they are trying to cover up.
2 people like this
@fpd1955 (2075)
• United States
19 Mar 07
I think so to. I think my brother and his wife try to over compensate for the fact they could only have one child, while the rest of my siblings have 2 or 3. But, there I go psycho analyzing again!
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
19 Mar 07
My guys...2 wonderful pups - These are my 2 labs
I have a 9 year old minvan, no power windows or cruise control, I have no pool and my biggest TV is 30 inches diagonal. It is not LCD or Plasma - it has a tube. I do have a great kid, 2 wonderful dogs and a super partner. No one can keep up with me.
@fpd1955 (2075)
• United States
19 Mar 07
And I am sure material things won't give you the pleasures that your kid, animals and partner can give you.
1 person likes this
@jan135 (537)
• Australia
19 Mar 07
No NEVER. I had friends and neighbours in the UK who were always trying to keep up with the 'jones' it really did make me want to vomit. We should be happy for people if they can better their lives be it with material objects or not. Who cares if Mr and Mrs such a body has this or that, carn't they all just get on with their lives instead of being jealous and envious of what other people have got.
@fpd1955 (2075)
• United States
19 Mar 07
Exactly! Wanting what others have usually causes nothing but trouble.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 07
I did that, a bit, when I was younger. I finally figured out that it was not who I wanted to be, and that it was not worth the effort.
2 people like this
@lauzpauz (115)
19 Mar 07
I dont try and keep up with anybody, as I dont want to live my life in other peoples shadows - why bother with all the materialitic stuff anyway, as thats all it is, it cant bring anyone true happiness, and these days everythings updated super quick, so you would always be behind...I just dont see the point, the only people who define me are my family and friends.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Mar 07
Nah.. they dont define who you are, and in the end keeping up with the neighbors only makes you look superficial and stupid. I dont try to out do my neighbors. I live at my means and I'm not in debt..too many people live above their means and suffer in the long run.
2 people like this
• Singapore
19 Mar 07
sorry but no offence its just stupid to do so, but it is in human nature to do that kind of things. Material wealth do not offers you- your truth. Its just somethings that is make this material plane.it certainly does not define who you are. Just live life to the fullest and bottom line is that Life is not abt pleasing and wanted to be like others.how much happiness can u gain out of that? I dont really care abt social class because we are all equal in a sense,and she as well as your brother need to realize that, true happiness does not lies in trying to outdo one another but it lies in the unity of the family....
1 person likes this
@fpd1955 (2075)
• United States
19 Mar 07
No offense taken. It is not me that tries to keep up with the neighbors. I am happy with having what I need, not expensive material things.
@weemam (13389)
20 Mar 07
I have what makes myself and my family happy , I have lovely neighbours but what they have doesn't interest me , i love my family and they love me and that is worth more than all the possessions in the world xx
@kurtbiewald (2629)
• United States
19 Mar 07
that saying about the Jone's is from Vanity Fair (Thakery) I chanced upon it once, very interesting to read the actual reference. Its really funny to me (not when its my wife doing it though) mostly. "The Human Zoo" Desmond Morris has good info on that status flaunting behavior I fugure money is to used for the things that ACTUALLY make life better, what you ACTUALLY like and use, its not seeming healthy , happy, having enough, etc. The challenge is to ACTUALLY have what you like to have. The things that make YOU happy. What the neighbors think is not relevant to how I think about it.
@kakuemmom (862)
• Canada
19 Mar 07
Not ever I really don't care what anyone else has i only care about what I have or should i say need. As the years have gone on i have been able to get nicer and nicer stuff and not because i want to outdo someone i just think my family and I deserve it. We had the Christmas's with no money the hand me down clothes we had a rough time of it at times. But we are doing better now and can now get things new instead of used.
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
19 Mar 07
LOL OMG NO!! and ppl like that drive me absolutely BATTY!! I'm actually one of those ppl who does things OPPOSITE to the rest of the neighbourhood but I walk to the beat of my own drum in all parts of life so....
1 person likes this
@kate32 (2)
19 Mar 07
I don't feel the need to 'keep up with the jones' I couldn't afford to even if i wanted to!! I think you should always be yourself and enjoy as much or as little as you can, Life's too short to be jealous or too competitive.
1 person likes this
@jean_rose (416)
• Philippines
19 Mar 07
We observe this scenario everywhere. Here in the Philippines, some people even resort to loans so they can prove that than are more well-off than their neighbors. Personally, I look at it as something funny. Why should I care if everyone in the neighborhood has the newest gadget and I don't? I don't even feel envious. In fact, I feel happy for them for having been blessed with those things. Material things can never define the true worth of a person, my friend. For me, the heart is more important. Material things impresses the neighbor but it is the heart that impresses the creator.
• United States
19 Mar 07
While I do not like to think I do this I know at times I want things b/c they are in front of me. I look at my floors and would love to have them refinished. Do they define me? Well not really but I love the look and I know that is partly b/c I have seen it in other houses or in magazines. It is hard to keep balanced in a world where we are continually inundated with symbols of wealth and materialism. Sometimes I have to work extra hard to remind myself what is important. Other times I would just like to be able to buy oil before the next cold spell.
@coolmailraj (2461)
• India
19 Mar 07
Yes I do. Not only in this concept(wealth) but all the other things that might matter to everyone or to none like being physically fit(not strong) but fit, being ahead in knowing about surroundings etc. Its nice. Try it.
1 person likes this
• India
19 Mar 07
it is a bad character that we showwealthy than others
• United States
19 Mar 07
I usually do what makes me happy, as long as it does not infringe on anyone else's happiness. Thus, I usually buy what makes me happy. And, being a follower or emulating someone else does not appeal to me nor would it make me happy. I am happy with what I have. When I do decide to buy something, I think in terms of necessity or the long-term effects economically, especially if it is a big ticket item. I am a rational thinker and don't buy: on impulse, because someone else has it or because it's the newest trend and so forth. Needless to say, I have a numbers mind and I am always thinking of things in terms of economics and the logical side of buying. And there is nothing economical nor logical in trying to keep up with someone else's purse. If I were to get into debt, I doubt the neighbors would be there to pull me out of it......
• United States
19 Mar 07
I am a person who is not interested in what the neighbors have. I buy because I want something or like something. That is pure silliness to buy for that reason. I stay within what I can afford and who doesn't like what I wear or what I drive that is there problem not mine. Those are all material things and they don't make the person. What is in the heart is what makes the person. The other things are just outward show. It doesn't mean anything.