On The Best Books About Class

@Heather Funk@facebook : Re: Rules of Civility -- do you mean Katey's characterization? I could see that. She was a little to self-assured and unburdened, if that makes sense, given her circumstances. But maybe that's not what you mean, in which case I'd probably still say "fair enough" to whatever you bring up. I still loved it! Clearly I have a problem, though -- I love reading about rich people drinking and/or sleeping their way through New York. I'm about to dive back into Editch Wharton to get my latest fix.

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 3:42 pm 0

On The Best Books About Class

I just finished reading The Group, by Mary McCarthy. I wouldn't say it's amazing but it nicely captures the relationship between gender and class (and race, even though it pretends not to) in 1930s and 1940s NYC. I also like The Privileges, purely for it's soapyness. I think it wants to be taken more seriously than it should be, but it's an entertaining Getting Rich in the Modern Era kind of story. I really loved The Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles. It's kind of got some Gatsby elements in terms of there being a pretender of sorts. But it's a good way of scratching your itch for Rich People in NYC stories. See also: Rich Boy by Sharon Pomerantz, and The Emperor's Children of course.

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm 1

On The Class Politics of Donating Your Eggs

@DebtOrAlive I kind of just wanted a potential donor to use her profile say, "I'm doing this because I'll probs be in your position in 15-20 years and would hope that it's not demoralizing or humiliating for me in any way. Just trying to pre-pay it forward."

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm 0

On Places I've Lived: A Black Tub, Missed Sunsets, And The Original Airbnb

@Meaghano: But it's not outrageous to ask that when contributing to a column where people almost always include their rent (unless it's included in their salary or something), they be willing to do just that. No one is forced to contribute to this column, and likewise no one reading it said "and also what about your W-2." I think you're projecting beyond what I and AitchBee said. Fair enough, since it probably taps into things that have come up/comments on this site related to your own financial situation. But the responses were very clearly framed within the context of this long-running column that on this site has come to constitute a particualr genre of writing with attendant conventions (i.e. disclosure about rent; that's really it).

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm 3

On Places I've Lived: A Black Tub, Missed Sunsets, And The Original Airbnb

It seems like a cheat that you don't mention how much you pay for your current place. If this were Thought Catalog or something I'd understand, but it's a personal finance site. Plenty of people have shared details about things that cost "more than I want to admit," but admit it they do. That seems like the cost of entry for writing on a money site (within reason, of course). I feel like this column generally works because it contains a balance of personal flourishes and hard numbers, both of which function to create a picture of where a person has been and currently is in life, and how the person feels about it. The coy ending doesn't really work for me, especially when 1) you're talking about a city where practically everyone but people who work in tech have been priced out, and 2) on a more philosophical note, lots of people ask themselves "how much am I willing to pay to be happy where I live?"

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:24 am 5

On Yakkin' About Baby Showers

One one hand, I just spent the past three days organizing a joint gift purchase for a dear friend's baby shower. I was happy to do it. But on the other hand (and because I can hold two thoughts at once), I really abhor the idea of grown adults with incomes registering for anything other than marriage licenses, voting, or the like. I know people like to give people they love gifts. I went through that when getting married and not registering and putting as delicately as possible ("your presence is our present" or whatever) that we didn't want people to subsidize our life choices when they were already doing so by planning to be there for us. Not everyone was down with that, but we're all still related/friends. I have probably written this verbatim before. But I do think it's interesting that we have somehow settled on "I'm uncomfortable with it but I still did it" as a solution. And I do mean "we"; I've done that exact thing.

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 7:55 pm 0

On Anderson Cooper Has His Own Millions, Thank You

Who is he offending by being "smug," though? Johnsons? Hiltons? Other children of multi-millionaires/billionaires? He seems only to be comparing himself to other people just like himself, who grew up un rarefied spaces surrounded by money and opportunity. Some of those people took the family money and ran (to the club, it seems), while he is saying that he didn't even want the promise of money since it would have taken away any initiative on his part. And the evidence of all the CNN money that will ensure that he is just fine without an inheritance seems to prove just that. (Obviously he was well positioned to succeed, but so was Paris Hilton and look what happened there.) My point/vote is that it's 100% OK to be "smug" from where Cooper sits. I don't get how a Billfold reader or writer could possibly think he was speaking beyond his very specific demographic.

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm 1

On The Bait-and-switch Apartment Listing

I feel like apartment hunting in NYC means being prepared at all times to be scammed, even when things appear on the surface to be legit. Which is why I would never, ever, recommend the cesspool that is craigslist. Like that's insane. The one time I tried it, it was like burning my hand on a stove before realizing not to play near it. After scrolling through more obvious scams, we saw a brokered listing that sounded really nice. Good price, pretty pictures, great location. But there was something about it that seemed really familiar. Turns out the "broker" (who would only give his last name, as in Mr. Scumbag) was scouring a no-fee site for listings he could post on craigslist and try to collect a fee on. He was being shady about it, too, not giving the address but instead just the general coordinates (while the no-fee site listed the exact address), and using a different set of photos. We finally figured it out right before we were supposed to see it with him, and basically left a voicemail calling him a scammy scammer.

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 10:37 am 1

On Here Is Your Open Thread

@Aunt Scar: Me too. I am starting to worry that the post about no longer doing "1 Thing" was a sad, sad hint. Don't leave us, Logan!

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 5:33 pm 0

On Employee Stock Options As Explained by An English Major, Pt. 3

@WayDownSouth I can't decide whether to respond to your condescension ("well done Meaghan" -- for what? Writing the last part in a series while on vacation?), or your conviction that anyone above a certain age who has money and children is/should be conservative. So I'll just settle on: I know you mean well, for the most part, but you are such a pill sometimes.

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm 6