October 20, 2008

I’ve been really weepy lately.  Like, read-a-sad-ish-story-on-the-internet-, or think-about-a-chicken-nesting-on-a-puppy-and-I-choke-up weepy.  I’m not sure what’s up with that, but it ain’t normal, and I don’t like it.

I’ve also been thinking about being poor.  Over the last however long (…a month?), I’ve be noticing how much harder it is for me to spend money than it is (or, to be fair, seems to be) for them.  And not just because I have some mental block or I’m a Cheapskate Charlie–which I am–but because I just don’t have the money.  And it makes me feel stupid and awkward and lesser to not be able to contribute as much to a BYO get together, or take cabs, or shop with friends (although I pretty much hate shopping anyway), or give lovely gifts or, or, or.   Seriously, there have been at least a dozen occasions since mid-September that I’ve had to make excuses, apologize, fib, or play dumb because the assumption is that I can afford X, when I can’t.  I’m ashamed, and I fucking hate it–both my poverty, and my shame about it.  Puritan-Calvinist brain-colonization, anyone?

And really, globally-speaking, I’m so far from poor it’s absurd.  I have indoor plumbing and clean water and ample food and functional if unfashionable clothing and I make more money than the vast majority of the people on this Earth.  I can cover my expenses, but only because I make a point of not generating a lot of expenses to begin with. But here, in New York City, where I have friends and acquaintances who aren’t perpetual graduate students, their reality and mine do not meet.  And while I haven’t had anyone make snarky comments to me directly, assumptions are made about what wealth or poverty is, what level of expenditure is expected and normal, etc., and when people comment about taking a hit on their investment portfolios and how that means they’ll–gulp!–have to cut back on Starbucks, manicures, taxis and/or takeout, I kind of want to punch them in the throat. 

I’ve made my choices, and they’ve made theirs, so I should just suck it up.  Most of the time, I do.  But not lately.

Also, have seen a few pictures of myself recently, I fucking hate my hair and I’m planning on chopping a lot of it off.  Once I can scrape together the money for it, of course.


One comment

  1. well let me just say that I have always been in awe of your ability to make it in everyday city life without a job other than your grad school-granted funds (well there was that one glorious summer we spent sweating over body products). I completely lack the level of discipline necessary to swing that. and thanks to some shameful, youthful indiscretions (cough cough credit cards) and selfish choices (living alone) there’s no way I COULD make it that way. so, and I’m sure you’ve told yourself this, at least once you are out there in better-paid circumstances (soon! soon!) you’ll benefit immensely from your current thriftiness, be it self-imposed or unavoidable. I still don’t know how I survived most of my first 1-2 years here on a 20-hour-a-week paycheck, and I’m kind of disgusted that what I make now in my full-time job doesn’t seem to be cutting the mustard as much as it should. but then again, see my comment about lack of discipline. I should be punched (not in the throat!).

    money (esp not having it) sucks. no judgment here.

    also, your hair is pretty. but I totally understand what you’re sayin’.

    now when are we gonna see our movie together, lady?

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