I don’t know if you’re anything like me (you’re not, if you’re lucky) but I’m quite tired of the suffix “-ista” being applied to everything. Fashionista, recessionista, barista. Stop the insanity. Why can’t we just say I’m a well-dressed, yet thrifty, person who makes coffee? However, I really hate the term “recessionista” because it sounds too…nice. I wasn’t exactly a bundle of sunshine before the low-tide of the economy forced starfish and real estate moguls alike to flounder on the sand, and being poor has done absolutely nothing to improve my attitude on life. Therefore, I’m not a recessionista. I am just a poor person. So, here’s a guide to rolling around in the mountains of poor with me.
You must learn to cleverly accessorize, as a lot of the clothes you buy from Goodwill and “borrow” from people’s clothes lines are going to have holes in them. Used clothing is often given away for reasons other than it’s out of style. It might be too small, it might remind someone of an old flame, and it might have a very small hole right over your nipple. A blazer will sometimes fix the latter problem, as will that used “Miss Pig Fair Teen Princess 1987” banner you just found in the $1 bin at the Salvation Army. The possibilities are endless as long as you’re creative! Being creative lets you announce your personal style to the world without letting them know that you don’t actually have the money to buy a shirt without holes!
Speaking of creativity, you’re going to get really good at inventing reasons not to go out with people. My favorite excuse is, “We can’t go because we’re freakin’ broke.” Sometimes this works. Other times it invites the response of, “But come OOOONNN. My ferret only has one birthday a year and you simply CANNOT miss Miss Glitter McGlitterton’s 3rd birthday!” If you sense the inviter inhabits a money-filled bubble of reality-repellant plastic, you must bring out the (stolen) big guns (that’s right. I just implied that we don’t have the money to buy hypothetical guns.) Sometimes it’s the mundane “my aunt died again” excuse. Other times the excuse involves a large hippopotamus and several circus midgets with blow torches. Again, let your imagination run wild (which is totally free!) while you come up with something to get that bubble-dwelling friend off of your monkey-laden back.
You are going to curse yourself, endlessly, for buying a house at the very apex of the housing bubble. You may attempt to sell your house to take advantage of lowered interest rates (or, you know, take advantage of the fact that you’re no longer single and would like to move out of your single pad now that you’re married.) This is an absolutely moronic idea because no matter how well your house is staged, no matter the rock star you’ve enlisted to aid in the sale, it’s still real estate and “selling your house with ease” is not very en vogue at the moment (at least not in my neighborhood. I’m sure the Bellevue elite have fewer problems, but their idea of a problem is which seersucker suit to wear to Steeplechase.) What IS en vogue is deflated property values and shattered dreams of actually moving out of the cramped shoebox of a townhouse that’s slowly driving you, and your husband with a lot of knick-knacks, several guitars, and a full drum kit, to the brink of perfectly-staged insanity. The upside of this is that you don’t have to join a gym (costly!) because all the self-inflicted butt-kicking is going to give you an ass to rival Beyonce.
People who have much more of everything are going to abound. Everywhere. Nicer cars, nicer homes, nicer iPods, people with ANY iPod, etc. Seeing the ease with which these people breeze through life is not only saddening, it’s disheartening and induces an innate hatred for everyone. Just learn to let the hatred burn a pit into your stomach. Then, focus this hatred into something positive. Like a blog detailing your hatred for those with more money than you. You will make no money at this, but you also might not shoot the next 17-year-old you see driving a Land Rover (legal fees are astroNOMical.) Let the words of anger flow while you stare longingly at the Groupon for a manicure you still can’t afford. Your financial situation will not improve, but you’ll save yourself some medical bills by not getting an ulcer!
We’ve now come to the end of this article and I’ve offered no advice on repurposing old furniture, growing your own vegetables, or using cloth diapers. I realize I’ve done nothing but bitch about what a bitch it is to be poor. Hmmm. Well, I have a solution. If you don’t like it, pay me to write something else. Problem solved!