Friday, May 18, 2012

A big deal

You know when you find out that someone you went to high school with is now kind of a big deal? And you feel that special mix of excitement at having known them when (assuming this wasn't someone you remember disliking) and the horrible realization that it's been X years and your... deal isn't so immense? Up there today for that Facebook thing where everyone got billions of dollars or whatever was... yup. Front and center next to the most famous names, on the usual news sites, plus, because we are of course Facebook friends, the entirety of today's feed. I mean, "billionaire" is effectively incomprehensible to a humanities grad student. That's a whole lot of... asparagus? dry pasta? There are other uses for money? The incomprehensibility of sums like that, except in the context of, I don't know, GDP, aside, it's kind of cool to realize I was, I vaguely remember, kind of acquaintance-friends with this person. Less cool when I think of what the market value is of knowing a lot about nineteenth-century France, but cool all the same.

4 comments:

Jacob T. Levy said...

Those of us who went to grad school in the mid-late 90s when our high school and college friends were dotcom-ing it up can sympathize.

J.L. Wall said...

My roommate and I had a similar Facebook-goes-public inspired bit of confusion at the prospect of "a billion dollars." (It needs the scare quotes, no?) We were both puzzled, and then his face lit up and he said, "I could afford Amazon Prime!"

Phoebe said...

JTL,

Sympathies appreciated. I had that photo in one window, the Napoleon chapter in the other. Eep.

JLW,

I guess it's good for those of us who aren't on the cusp of billionairedom that we would hardly know where to begin? (After a basic car to use to get groceries, 100,000 driving lessons, small apartments in expensive areas of Paris and NY, a trip to see Tokyo, and a couple made-to-order galaxy-print dresses, and the whole not-having-to-worry-about-vet-bills level of comfort this would bring, I've run out of ideas. This could go into the millions, but billions?)

PG said...

Apparently yachts are a good way to use up a lot of money.