@Emma Peel Hee! Yes. Very true. I suppose I'm feeling more empathetic toward the author because she's making choices that seem reasonable to expect, like paying a mortgage or bending to family obligations, rather than the above hookers-and-blow. But you're right! It's all choices, and the fact that you don't like the consequences of your choices isn't an inherent problem with society. And with that, I may have come full circle on my opinion of this article. Logical arguments may actually change minds. I need . . . I need to sit down.
@MuffyStJohn This. Yes. And I think we've probably all done that thing where we wake up one morning and think, "I made choices to get me to this point, but I couldn't have made other choices, could I? Maybe I could? Fuck it, life is just really hard and it has nothing to do with my choices and man, I need a beer."
@Not social, media.@twitter Sigh. I wasn't trying to imply that everyone who disagreed with this article was in a certain economic bracket, and I apologize if it came off that way. I'm only objecting to the notion that it's inherently wrong/disingenous/rude/whatever to not constantly apologize for one's privileged status in an article about one's experience of one's own life, and that any observations one might have on that life are therefore invalid.
@Emma Peel See, this I would completely agree with. I'm not trying to defend the author's equating poverty with fun/youthful times, I was just surprised at all the vitriol surrounding the notion that you might actually still have money problems even when you have money. I think you're right regarding the tone, too. My interpretation is more that she sees how rose-colored those memories are, but you're right, the way she wrote it can definitely come off as flip and insensitive, and that might be the reason there's such a negative reaction about it.
@lalaland Exactly. This may be what I find most sad - that she's essentially saying that she dreamed everything would be easy when she finally did have money, and now that she does, she's realizing that fantasy was a fantasy. And everyone who is still in that not-making-much-money stage is seeming to say, "Shut up, I don't want to hear it, of course life is better when you have money, that's my fantasy and stop saying it's not true."
@Quinn A@twitter I do see your point, I was just surprised by the level of upset in the reaction overall. I agree that it is a choice to acquiesce to those obligations, but her point here seems to be more that there’s pressure on you to spend money when everyone knows you HAVE money. We all know that people can be assholes about guilting you even when you absolutely can’t afford it, and they can be even worse assholes when they think you can afford it (whether or not you actually can). I understand your objection to her claim that she’s still living frugally when she can spend on travel and the like, but again, I thought it was pretty clear in the context of the article that she’s talking about the everyday. Like, they’re spending the same amount on food and clothes, that kind of thing. So she’s saying that while her everyday expenses are the same, she’s surprised that their income seems to get sucked up by all these other obligations. To your "Hawaii is fun, hush up about any inconvenience you may have experienced" note - I mean, it's a bit like telling your friend that she should be grateful to have marital problems because at least she's married. (Or, you know, insert Thing You Actually Desire here.) Just because she's more fortunate in one area doesn't mean there are no unhappy moments, or that those unhappy moments aren't valid.
@Not social, media.@twitter @EvelynGarcia I think where I'm seeing a disconnect here is simply that I don't find her saying oh-how-horrible life is now that she has money. She's saying she expected to have more income to play with, and for her standard of living to be higher on a day to day basis, and that wasn't what happened, because of these other things she didn't factor in. Disregarding the Christmas demands and the wedding expenses and so on isn't fair, is my point. A good friend of mine recently had four weddings to attend in a month, the kind of weddings you don't turn down - her father, two close friends, and her godmother. She wound up spending over $10,000 in plane tickets, travel expenses, and any obligatory clothes (she was a bridesmaid in some of them). I think we can all agree that $10,000 is nothing to scoff at even if your income is in the nice comfortable zone. Christmas is a similar problem. It's all very well to scoff at that when you're only expected to do a token gift or a card, but when you reach a certain income level, suddenly your aunts and uncles start wondering why they don't give a present, and since these are adults, you need to get adult-level presents, and those are going to run you $100 or so apiece (at the least). This is not an insignificant expense, and pooh-poohing it because it's not something that's expected of you currently seems unkind. I'm also not certain where you're getting this whole "you'll grow out of poverty" thing. She did; she's not saying you will. This is what happened to her. Seeing is as "since it happened to me, it'll happen to everyone" is reading things into this article that simply aren't there. I'm not meaning to get this up in arms about it, it just seemed like a lot of vitriol for a woman who doesn't seem like she's gloating about her wealth or even taking it for granted - just surprised that her expectations of marriage/money and the reality didn't match up.
@Quinn A@twitter But that's assuming that traveling for weddings and the like is automatically fun, or at the very least more fun than bumming around with no money and no responsibilities. Which, speaking as someone who swings between extremes fairly frequently, isn't necessarily the case. I've had a miserable time while traveling and spending lots of money, and I've had a gorgeous time while not knowing how to pay the rent but staying up late and having good conversations with other friends in the same boat. And vice versa. It doesn't seem like she's trying to say life hasn't improved, is my point. She's saying that she expected it to be all fun and games, and it turns out it isn't, it's the same highs and lows as not having money, just for different reasons. And this was surprising to her, because she had thought getting married would somehow be easier, moneywise.
Jeez, you guys. Not every article on this website needs to talk in-depth about economic issues on a global scale. It’s about how people experience their money, and just because their experience is not your experience doesn’t mean you should flip out because they’re not in your shoes. She’s describing what changed, and saying that sometimes she does feel nostalgic for the times she had no money but also few obligations, and what on earth is wrong with that? Don’t be mad at someone for being in a different place than you are and trying to describe it to you. If you want your perspective told, then tell it - don’t get mad at her for not telling it for you. I’m sure the Billfold takes submissions.
@Quinn A@twitter She was pretty clearly talking about her day-to-day expenses when she spoke of living frugally. In fact, her entire point was that while her day-to-day expenses have remained low, her obligatory expenses have become higher. I'm not sure how this makes her disingenuous. This whole website is about the way people experience their money; her experience is that when she and her husband had more money, they didn't raise their lifestyle to match their income - they simply had more places where they were expected to spend money. Your complaint here seems a lot like, "Well, you shouldn't feel that way, because of the starving people in the world. Your experience is now invalid."