One post at DC Urban Moms and Dads provides a list of possible reactions when your friend buys a $2 million McMansion:
1.) I am very happy for the person.
2.) I hope they invite me back again because I LOVED the swimming pool or the sauna or the gym or the movie theatre or the gourmet kitchen etc. etc. And now I can enjoy it for free!
3.) How in the world did they afford this place? Are they smuggling drugs? Are they internet hackers? Something is fishy!
4.) This person is going through a midlife crisis. Even if I could afford this, I would never buy this ridiculous McMansion…
5.) This person is out of my league. I don’t want to come back.
6.) I can’t invite this person to my house because my house looks stupid by comparison.
7.) Act as if nothing has changed. As if they had the same $700,000 house they had before.
If you get invited for dinner, do you bring nothing (the person is too rich anyways), do you bring the usual stuff (average bottle of wine), do you bring the luxury goods because this is going to be an amazing dinner in an amazing place. Do you say: No Thanks, because you no longer wish to associate with this person.
Perhaps this is a hypothetical question for a certain demographic. Yet, there are some intriguing underlying issues here. How much do people judge their friends and others for the house that they purchase? Like people tend to do for other purchases and lifestyle choices(clothing, music choices, etc.), I suspect there is a lot of judging here. Notice that only 2 out of the 7 listed above are positive and 1 is neutral.
I wonder how often such an event might happen. Put another way, how often are Americans close friends with people in significantly different socioeconomic situations? McMansion owners probably tend to live near other McMansion owners but how much mixing do they do with different income/social class levels? Even if they do have friends across class levels, they might still see their neighbors or close co-workers as their primary reference group.