Yesterday at my part time job a man came in and wanted his necklace polished. His necklace was a large 18k gold chain, with a giant diamond and gold pendant hanging off of it. The pendant read, “The 1%”.

The extremely wealthy are an interesting sort. Now, I’m not one for wealth bashing. I think it’s fabulous if you’ve got your financial life together. Whether you work hard or you’re a trust fund baby, good for you! Make it rain! But the complete lack of self awareness (like my chain wearing buddy above) gets me seriously down.

The immense wealth of people coming in and out of the store can be somewhat jarring. With my twenty dollar sweater and sweet fifty dollar jeans (Urban Outfitters Brand BDG, get them, your bum will say yum!) I definitely do not fit in. An outside default, I said to myself something I imagine all modern day anthropologists say at one time or another: “let anthropologically study this shit!” I am an urban Dian Fossey. The rich customers are my gorillas, and let’s say the Windex I’m constantly spraying on and wiping off display cases is my mist.

Here is a list to date of the events seen and heard in my upscale, downtown workplace:

– “Well after PETA bombed my store for animal cruelty, I thought, I’m getting myself into a new business, ‘Kosher Dog Food’”.

– “I’m looking for a gift for my thirteen year old daughter, just a little surprise. I’m not fancy, let’s try and keep it under $5000.00”. “Oh you can only buy it (watch) for $3000.00? Mind as well keep it in the back of my closet.”

– “I’m traveling to India, I need a watch I’m not afraid to lose, or bang up. Show me anything under $4000.00.”

From what I can see, the rich are in trouble. I mean, does the world need Kosher dog food? More importantly what is Kosher dog food? And if that trend takes off, may I interest y’all in some Halal bird feed?? For the bird where religion is a need–Halal Bird Feed!”

But really, what I mostly see are a group of people that are very much living in a bubble. A bubble so large that it is a necessary extravagance to wear a $15,000 watch so your friends know you have so much money, you can wear a chunk of it on your wrist. To me, the opulently wealthy seem like they’re living in perpetual high school. Proving oneself is a constant. But instead of the need to own Roots sweatpants to fit in, everyone needs a Rolex. (Roots sweatpants were, like, a big deal in my high school. Huge. I guess our social currency was casual comfort.)

Sometimes I’m tempted to turn in my anthropologist’s field notes and quit, but I still work at this store, where the customers get me down because hey, having money in this world is a reality. And like the 1994 Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder movie states, “Reality Bites.” I’ll keep you updated as the rest of the holiday season progresses. Things are going to get wild.