Our Neighbor Kept Snooping around about Our Income, So We Gave Her a Wake-up Call

Life has this funny way of tossing you into situations that you’d never expect to find yourself in, and if someone had told me back in college that I’d be navigating the choppy waters of what it means to keep your private life to yourself as the wife of a wealthy businessman, I’d have probably laughed it off. But here I am, at 33, living a life that I had never dreamed I’d have.

My husband and I have been together since our college days. We both came from the same background — lower middle class who had to work for everything we had. Since then it’s been an incredible journey watching him climb his way up the corporate ladder. He’s a quantitive portfolio manager now, and let’s just say, he’s doing really well for himself. He probably makes 10x what I make, and I’m not exactly pinching pennies.

With the increase in our financial status came something else — nosiness. Friends, family, random acquaintances from high school who suddenly remember your name, you get the picture. They all want to know the juicy details about our finances. And it’s not like I wouldn’t want to help people out, it’s just that I often feel used for my husband’s success.

Initially, I played the polite card, answering their prying questions with a smile and often helping people in need. But something shifted when I hit 30. Maybe it was the realization that life’s too short to entertain every curious cat out there, or perhaps I just ran out of patience. I also realized I’m no one’s last-ditch ATM.

So, I decided that my new policy was “take no nonsense.” So, when people kept asking me how much my husband makes, I learned to shut it down. No more numbers, no more specifics. Experience taught me that oversharing comes with its own set of problems.

Now, over the years, we’ve always been on the hunt for our dream house. And we only recently found it. We moved into this beautiful property, and let me tell you, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted. But with every dream house comes the not-so-dreamy aspects, like our neighbor, Carol.

Imagine the most stereotypical, flashy, gossipy character from any soap opera, and you’ve got her. She’s always draped in designer brands, flashing around like a human disco ball, and her favorite hobby seems to be scoping out the marital status of every man in the neighborhood. She even approached my kids numerous times, asking them what we do for a living and trying to get a beat on how much we make.

I ignored it until I was at a local restaurant’s happy hour last Friday, trying to enjoy some downtime. She came up to me, all smiles and compliments. She started off innocently enough, asking about our recent trip to Europe. I gave her the rundown, keeping things brief and sweet. But then, the conversation took that inevitable turn.

“So what does your husband do?” she probed, eyes practically sparkling with anticipation.

“He works in finance,” I replied, trying to keep it vague.

“Oh wow, he must make a ton, then, to be taking your family on all these lavish vacations! I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how much does he make in a year??” she kept pushing, not missing a beat.

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