The Signs That Someone in Montana Is Really Wealthy
Last week I got my first piece of "hate mail" for a story I wrote.
I thought for sure if I was going to get a complaint, it would have been for something much more controversial, but this complaint was about a game of bingo I created. 'Are You a Missoulian' Bingo, to be exact.
Among other things, the complaint said that my parameters for this style of bingo were "upper class and snooty." I have to say, I was a little surprised. Eating pancakes at Paul's Pancakes is a rite of passage and hardly considered fine dining, or snooty, for that matter. And personally, I don't think you have to be upper class to get drunk at Stockman's bar, but, to each their own I guess.
The comment did get me thinking about what does pass for being wealthy in Montana these days. With the influx of people who can afford to buy Montana properties for millions of dollars, it's probably getting a lot easier to spot a rich person, but that wasn't always the case. In my experience, the richest people I've met in Montana rarely, if ever, flaunted their wealth. But there may be a few signs a person is wealthy.
They wear the same thing all the time.
Montanas don't dress up for nearly anything, and when it comes to the wealthy, they tend to find what they like and stick to it. It's the old man who wears jeans and the same basic button-down, whether he's in a meeting or watching the game. It's the woman with a long grey or black dress who accessorizes with earrings and a scarf.
They don't have a nice car. If they do, it's a pickup.
It's not practical to drive a sports car in Montana so you don't see very many of them unless the person is a "car person." Montanans value hard work and patience. If you want to know who's wealthy in Montana, find the person with the slightly less-than-new Ford F150 that's paid off.
They disappear on the weekends (and during the winter).
They probably won't talk about it, but there's a cabin in the woods or at the lake that they escape to on the weekends. You might also find them flying down to Arizona during the winter.
They don't go out to eat at nice restaurants unless they "have to."
The wealthiest Montanans I've known never worried about trying new or fancy restaurants. Though, they might find themselves there because they were hosting out-of-town guests.
They'll never tell you how much land they own.
And don't ask. It's a huge faux pas.