But I got to thinking about it, and about how there are ALWAYS signifiers of status where-ever you go. Even among those who claim to be frugal, there's the whole, "How long I waited before giving in and turning on the air conditioning" or "how old my car is and it's still running"
But my main experience was in my growing-up years. I grew up in a fairly wealthy town, but my parents (a) had less money and (b) were more frugal than many people's parents were. So a lot of the things that other kids had, I didn't (nor did my brother). It doesn't matter now, of course, and I think the lesson I learned about caring less about the silly status-symbol things was important, but at the time it was really not fun - especially with clothes; I got teased for having "cheap" clothes, which really kind of stunk to have to go through.
As I've also said before, I don't think if I had had more disposable income, or parents more willing to spend frivolously, that I would have had popularity; I was just one of those kids who wouldn't be, no matter what. So really listening to the lyrics of Royals - well, it's kind of a comparable situation, though with different stuff and a lower price.
So, off and on, I was trying to rewrite the song in my head, listing off the various "status items" that were big when I was a kid. This isn't a perfect rewrite (it doesn't scan very well in places) but it does kind of capture the feel...
I rode around in an old Ford my dad had painted
And my house was ordinary
In a bland development, no historic district
Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers
Parties on the weekends
I cared too much about my grades
That kind of life just ain't for me, I’m too much of a nerd.
Let me be just myself (myself)
And baby I'll read, I'll math, I'll do science, I'll learn
Let me live my own life.