Chet is a 30-something professional actor from British Columbia.
Most of the narratives I see about money and weddings are either deeply consumerist or, in reaction to the consumerism, focused on the virtue in frugality. Neither has a whole lot to do with my experience.
The other night I was having a conversation with a friend about money, and we started talking about inflation. When my friend asked me where I’d learned about the concept, I think he expected me to say, “college.” Instead I said, DuckTales.
In 2004, I was a junior in college, majoring in English and creative writing. I had only two hobbies: aping the poetic stylings of John Ashbery in order to secure a well-paying career in the arts; and, about once a week, taking the bus to Amherst, Mass. to eat ice cream at Bart’s and loudly read the weirdest parts of the personals section to my friends (and, this being Western Mass, there was plenty to choose from). It was during one of these sessions that I branched out to the classifieds section and saw a want ad targeting college students promising money in return for short essays. I have always been productive when it comes to writing (if not particularly good), but more importantly, I liked money, so I answered the ad and was rewarded with a real human being who promised to send me instructions.
Where have you lived, Summer Anne Burton?
The week before Thanksgiving, a friend posted on Twitter that the Kate Spade store in the Pentagon City mall in Arlington, Virginia needed extra hands on Black Friday. The mall opened at midnight on Thanksgiving and didn’t close until 10 p.m. on Friday night. Thinking this would be a fun adventure that would lead to a (possibly awesome) store discount, I went in for an interview. There was one interview question: what do you bring to this position? Brand knowledge and energy. I was hired immediately.
Why buy a bookstore in small town Ontario?
The film is ostensibly about finding the true spirit of the season amid a hellish, slapstick descent into suburban holiday dysfunction, but the film’s “fun, old-fashioned Christmas” is remarkably steeped in wealth’s economic markers, which I’ll discuss in 2013 dollars.
Lunch started off well, but fifteen minutes in he got very serious and said something like “you’re starting to make some money, have you thought about securing your financial future?”
Nicholas Burgess is a 24-year-old artist and activist living in Queens, NY.
You answer the ad on Craigslist, they get your phone number and email address, they can see who you are by looking you up on Facebook, and they talk to you on the phone to get a sense of who you are. The main attribute you both are looking for is this: Is this person gonna be cool about the ride?
Mortgage + car payment + bar loan + credit cards + daycare costs for two children = American Dream.
Adam, 30, earns $170,000 (not including bonuses) working in an actuary-type role. “Have you seen Along Came Polly? I basically have Ben Stiller’s job.”
My mother worked the third shift because my father had a high school diploma and she didn’t, and he could land a job that conceded the importance of sunlight while she was stuck with whatever her employers deemed fitting.
I used to be an unreasonably frugal. What were once rational, economically efficient decisions—limiting “impulse purchases” to the change at the bottom of my bag—became, on the aggregate, absurd.