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In regards to money, work, housework, leisure, time, parenting, and emotions, people with working-class roots wanted to go with the flow and see what happened, while their spouses with middle-class backgrounds wanted to manage their resources by planning, monitoring, and organizing. Should money be spent according to gut feeling or only as the carefully-created budget allowed?
It shaped nearly every aspect of their adult lives.Vicki budgeted their money, making sure to save for their children’s college expenses and retirement.John thought their kids could figure out how to pay for college when they were older, just as he and Vicki would figure out how to retire in the years to come.But despite having “a job you don’t leave”—he had an itch. Missoula, Boise, Truckee—“anywhere within 30 minutes of a ski area.” In 2014, he relocated to Crested Butte, a 1,500-person-strong former coal-mining town nestled in Colorado’s Upper Gunnison River Valley.It’s often referred to as the last great American ski town, a distinction that locals, despite acknowledging it with a hint of self-deprecating smirk, do not really go out of their way to dispute.
Few people I spoke to reported having parents who plotted against their children’s relationships, or felt they were subject to social stigma for their cross-class relationship.