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Old 02-20-2007, 01:47 AM
244 posts, read 1,092,778 times
Reputation: 201


Has anyone else noticed the materialistic nature of Dallas? I moved to Plano with my family in '02 and started as a junior at Plano West. I came from 'burbs of Chicago but was really shocked at the cars kids drove. The student parking lot looked better than the teachers parking lot.

Soon, my Jeep wasn't enough and I made my parents buy me an Audi. Slowly, I noticed myself becoming more and more of a Dallas snob. Brand conscious, a bit of arrogance, dropping names.

Now I've grown out of that a bit (being in San Antonio), but still whenever I go back it comes back. But doesn't it seem like a lot of people in Dallas are like this?

So what's up with this? In Chicago there was definitely materialism but no where near the magnitude it is in Dallas and Collin county. How did Dallas become this way?

Old 02-20-2007, 08:38 AM
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 7,147,385 times
Reputation: 513
There are a lot of transplants in Dallas and Collin Counties. Possibly a part of that materialistic nature comes from the lack of a common background that might bind kids together in other ways. Then there could be the issue of parents who are more willing to provide 'things', than to provide all of the necessary values. And I'm trying to knock you, UTSASTUD, I too grew up in a household were I was able to manipulate my parents to get the things I wanted. Looking back, I wish they had been more firm, and less giving. I took me until I was in my mid-twenties to realize that "stuff" didn't make me happy. (Entertained or distracted maybe, but not happy.) That happiness wasn't a destination, but a part of the journey, and often more of how you view the journey. Sometimes it's not the parents fault, they may have grown up poor, and want to give their children the things they had so desired as a child, without realizing that wanting is in part the natural state for children.
Old 02-20-2007, 09:01 AM
3,035 posts, read 14,433,414 times
Reputation: 915
Great post GoPadge. However, I'm not sure that the transplant element is what caused the materialism. I lived in Socal and materialism there did not seem nearly as bad as here. Perhaps because home equity helped provide more of a balance among the tier 2 haves. Tier 1 haves in CA are the oogle rich types and they are so much beyond most of us, that few even think to compare themselves to this level of haves.

I almost think that the closely integrated, yet divided socioeconomic structures here in DFW make materialism more of an issue because there are about 25levels between the haves and the have nots (i.e. it's not that hard to move up to the next level, or least be perceived at that level). Perhaps in areas where economics were more balanced, there would be less of this ? Not sure. Also, to want more than you have is not just a child's mindset - I honestly think that that many people carry this over into adulthood. Humans in general always tend to use one another as 'measuring sticks' to judge one's own success. It's the ability to evolve beyond this form of character analysis and find comfort in who you are that really sets people apart. It's sort of like you need to teach yourself how to 'want what you have'. I honestly think that there are a few people that have this figured out. However, many people that live spartan lives justify themselves by hating others that choose to have more material possesions. This is also wrong.
Old 02-20-2007, 09:53 AM
1,067 posts, read 5,655,534 times
Reputation: 558
You are very right on this orginal poster. When we moved back to the area there was an article in the Dallas Morning News on how Collin County is the richest county in the state of Texas and that West Plano has the richest zip code in all the area. I was very surprised to know that West Plano beat out Highland Park because I see more Lexus and Mercedes Benz's makes than any other when I go down to Highland Park and the Park Cities.

When we lived in Orlando, most people drove mini vans and crossovers such as the Pacifica as well as Toyota makes.Orlando is a small town compared to here too and most people who wanted to seen in luxary vehicles were down in Miami on the scene.

I see more people overall driving more luxary vehicles here. I guess I am not exception too. We just got 2 new vehicles both luxary class. We had looked at getting a Saturn Outlook as well as a GMC Arcadia and they wanted more in a payment that the Cadillac SRX I got . I was so shocked too that a Cadillac could cost less than the other GMC cars that aren't considered luxary at all. What is funny to me, I never thought I drive a Caddy because we have always been into japanese cars here and I have always felt that Cadillac is a granny brand imo. When I see someone behind the wheel, it seems to be someone with salt and pepper hair. My other car is an Acura TL which has nothing on the inside like the Cadillac. The payment was very reasonable and that is what we were looking for.

After car shopping, I wonder too if there is more of a supply of luxary end vehicles here due to the reputation of Dallas being a white collar, yuppish mecca? Therefore it being able to get a better deal on a car? Might explain why we have so many.

Last edited by stargazer; 02-20-2007 at 10:32 AM..
Old 02-20-2007, 09:59 AM
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 7,147,385 times
Reputation: 513

Certainly there is a great divide between the haves and the have nots. And part of the problem is that in our culture, materialism is very ingrained. We judge people by what job they hold, what neighborhood they live in, what cars they drive, zip codes, how big their TV's are, where they vacation (if they vacation), and on and on.... Our TV shows, movies, music and magazines all celebrate the culture of having. It's very rare to find a show especially that supports being content with being where you are.

You are right there are a vast number of people who carry "wanting" into their adulthood. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting things. The problem occurs (IMHO) when people place wanting "stuff" above all else, and are willing to sacrafice their and their children's futures to have "stuff" now.

I've heard one persons definition of maturity as "being willing to delay gratification". A immature person buys a new TV on credit in late January / early February and pays for it for the next three or four years. A mature person waits a year or two, setting aside money and buys that TV free and clear.

At least UTSASTUD recognizes the situation. He's well ahead of most of his peers.


I understand your comments about cars. I often wonder what my vehicles say about me. We have an emaculate Ford Excursion, and a well worn VW Jetta....
Old 02-20-2007, 10:42 AM
1,067 posts, read 5,655,534 times
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Just to make this clear. Our last cars we drove, well I kept one for over 12 years and it was wore out but well paid off for years. It had over 120,000 miles on it. Finally gave out and we had to buy a new car. After getting the new suv, the other car had just one year left to pay for it outright( no lease) and the miles were 130,000 miles on it . It was starting to give us some trouble too and had shelled out a thousand a few months ago and told we had to shell out more in the future to get a few things straight on it, we decided it was time to go down and look at some new cars. The engine was just not the best and the seatbelts were always a hassle, seeming to get stuck. I also drove the car for 4 years with a dented back bumper on the corner of the car from me backing into a tree. The bump was the size of the end of a coke can in diameter.
The dealer was nice enough to sell the car for us. After selling it, we still owed on that car but they rolled it into our payment which wasn't bad. Now my husband is driving a car to work that will get him down the road with no worries. Too were saving in gas as well so were doing ok and actually doing better budget wise. Gopadge I understand where your coming from too.
Old 02-20-2007, 11:04 AM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
1,379 posts, read 6,427,044 times
Reputation: 356
I think GoPadge was right on with his post. Although I don't think it is necessarily just that area. I have seen and lived in some parts of Northern California where that was definately the case as well. When I was in school, our parking lot was littered with Mercedes and BMWs and such and yet there was my 8 yr old Honda Prelude that I was happy as a clam to have.

It comes down to not giving a hoot what anyone else thinks of you. They either accept you for you or they lose out on knowing you. I used to really put a lot of stock in what anyone else thought of me, but then over the years it just gets to be a waste of time.
Old 02-20-2007, 11:28 AM
147 posts, read 241,195 times
Reputation: 44
Default Native Dallasites few

In Collin County, few adult residents are locals, according to census data and discussions with the adults around town. They are adults who voluntarily left their home states to live in McMansion track home specials. They voluntarily sign car and house papers, all on their own.

The East and West Coasters are spending all their spare money on the expensive real estate when they live on the East and West coasts, but here they can spend their spare money on what they want.

Lastly, socketz refers to "economics more balanced" - but many here want to keep what they earn and spend it or not and give to charity what they think is appropriate. They don't want to be part of an income redistribution scheme just to make economics more balanced.
Old 02-20-2007, 11:30 AM
Location: The Big D
14,862 posts, read 42,882,290 times
Reputation: 5787
Being a native I've seen it all. This "Dallitude" has been around for a LONG time. Growing up I lived on "the other side of the tracks" but went to school w/ the kids that lived in the country club neighborhood. And brother let me tell you, I knew it. I had a few friends from that side but not many. I really did not care and still don't care where someone lives or what they drive. When I was in jr high my parents moved us farther north but in the same school district. This newer area was back then thought of to be even better than the country club area. WOO-HOO!!! Or at least I thought . Then there was the whole new set of tracks. I soon realized that these kids had even worse materialistic views. The two schools were literally called "the snobs vs the slobs" IN THE PAPER!!!!! So I dated and married a guy from the OTHER school on the OTHER side of the tracks, lol. But really even when Plano was just a 1 school town it was starting to get that "THE ONLY" place to live attitude as more and more people moved to the area. Most natives did not and still do not see it that way. The same attitude goes on in other areas of the metroplex. I have one very good friend that lived in a neighboring burb that ain't too great when they were at this little boutique shop literally got the mailing list book pulled back away from them when they answered the saleslady when she asked where they lived. OMG And these people could have bought the entire shopping center in cash and had more left over. LOL!!! Needless to say they have never gone back. I also have a neighbor whose husbands job is, well, puts him in the very well to-do social circles of Dallas (you will see his name and face in the paper for these events). She hates going to these events and says when they find out they live "in Garland" they start looking down their noses at them. LOL!!! Yet her husbands job is one they covet. HEHEHEHEHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! She does not care what they think as she is happy where she is and that is that. Same goes w/ me. There are PLENTY of people that think that Garland is all trashy and nothing but poor people. Really? Sadly most of them are still carrying around old stereotypes that don't hold water. Sure it is more of an "industrial" city whereas Plano, Richardson, Frisco and the Park Cities are not but these businesses bring in A LOT of money to the area and jobs. I'm happy with my life where I live, I know there are people around me that are honest and hardworking. I don't care if they drive a Ferrari or a Ford or Chevy - or both.

As for is this "attitude" just in Dallas? No. I've experienced it when traveling around the country whenever someone finds out I'm from Texas or Dallas I can sense that coolness enveloping the area. I've literally had salespeople in shops when I'm paying for something drop me whenever I show my Texas license. It all goes back to those old false stereotypes and ignorance. Ignorance in not knowing that the people over on the "other side of the tracks" or across the country are just as happy if not more so than the ones that think they are better.

BTW, I have to ask this question as I've been noticing something and I think it falls into this same attitude thing. Do you drive differently around a luxury car than you would around a more mid-range car? Why do people automatically assume that someone driving a "luxury" car are snobs or stuck up or they have the thoughts that the person thinks they are better? Is this not the same attitude but in reverse?
Old 02-20-2007, 11:34 AM
39 posts, read 172,357 times
Reputation: 32
Default ???

Who cares. These people were successful if they want to buy expensive toys they earned it. I don't understand the jealousy, it is not a bad thing to be successful and earn alot of money. If you don't want to live around the successful(yuppies) then live in other areas. I will never understand why people care about what other people have. Live your life how you want and let others live theres. It sounds like your whining that your parents weren't successful and couldn't afford you a lexus so your gonna whine that its not fair that kid has one. Live your life and quit whining about what other people or kids have. It's called capitalism.
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