it’s not cool to be poor anymore

please note: this post is all lowercase because i can’t afford uppercase. priorities, y’all.

this year, i’m turning 30.

i won’t miss much about my 20s. it’s been a minute since i last “partied,” and i can’t say i’m choked up about my inability to process more than one glass of wine. the college-aged crowd is welcome to take my place at the beer pong table while I head to bed at 9:30. peace. out.

i’m pretty sure i’ve actually been 30 for about 15 years, and i’ve spent all this time waiting for my body to catch up. my idea of a fabulous friday night has always been somewhere along the lines of binge-watching grey’s anatomy while eating copious amounts of pretzels dipped in peanut butter.

i hate bars. dating. roommates. house parties. “finding” yourself. basically all things that make your 20s, well, your 20s. but, i am pretty devastated about one tiny detail:

it’s not cool to be poor anymore.

remember when, if you were rich, you were kind of a jerk? like, if you couldn’t complain about your crushing student debt on the daily, you weren’t part of the “it” crowd?

remember when talking about vacations in xyz fancy-ass country was kind of a dick move? like, when going to florida for spring break was a big deal? now people take legit vacations and stay in hotels for chrissakes. (when did we start staying in hotels?!)

people in their 30s own real watches (and they didn’t buy them from target)! people in their 30s order wine at dinner—and not just the cheap house wine either. these folks have fancy gadgets that come in apple’s sleek packaging, loft apartments in parts of new york i’ve never even visited, and their furniture is not exclusively ikea/craigslist. what is my world coming to?!

and, if you’re rolling your eyes, i get it. i wouldn’t use “destitute” to describe my financial situation—even by a 30-year-old’s standards. the word “poor” comes to mind, but that’s not true either. perhaps, “monetarily unstable” is the more suitable term. as a freelance journalist, i make enough (look, y’all, i splurged for italics!), but not nearly as much as i’d like. everyone told us millennials to find our “passion” and, unfortunately, nobody mentioned i should consider take-home salary when i went searching. i blame overly supportive parents. *hi, mom! thanks sooo much for believing in me!

when being poor was cool, i truly rocked it. i remember:

  • doing my makeup solely with makeup samples
  • ordering the cheapest beer on tap
  • living with three roommates and their cats, dogs, ferrets (once)
  • smuggling in twizzlers, diet coke and tiny bottles of vodka into movie theaters
  • couch surfing
  • when my body could handle breakfastlunchdinner ramen without shooting my blood pressure through the roof from excessive sodium
  • wearing the same dress to three weddings
  • wearing the same shoes until they fell apart
  • bottomless brunches at the red derby, and just sitting there for five hours like a jerk
  • not tipping nearly enough (i know, i know, i was a booface in my 20s!)
  • walking around with a broken android screen because a new one was too expensive and my contract wasn’t up
  • living in a walk-in closet
  • buying dented cans to get the discount
  • sleeping on an air mattress on the floor until the day i moved in with my (older) significant other

with the big 3-0 fast approaching, i’ve decided to woman-up. it’s time to start paying for netflix* instead of mooching off my parents. it’s high time i order that headboard. time to get off the “family” plan on my cell phone. i’m ready to buy a wallet that doesn’t have hello kitty on it. and the second-cheapest beer on tap. and healthy groceries. and a watch.



*(Just kidding, Mom, I’m totally gonna mooch off your Netflix forever. Love you.)

Photo Credit: Fabian Blank

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