Friday, January 14, 2011

Heroin Chic

You know what?

I think there's a big part of me that kinda liked being poor. It feels like something to do, not really something I am.

For example, well-off people don't really have to think about money. They like something, they want it, they generally get it. It's very simple, really. Now, us poor people? It's always a battle of wits: you vs. the fridge, you vs. the gas tank, you vs. basic hygiene. You open that fridge and you see French's mustard, weeks-old macaroni and cheese in Tupperware and a shriveled lime: who will win? Will I scrounge up enough money to put more crap in there, thereby winning? Or will it be the florescent-lit empty fridge, smugly sitting there giving me the evil eye?

See? It's a game! I don't always win, but I feel like I'm getting better at it; getting smarter. I handle cash better now than I ever have and I think ahead because if that gas tank thinks it's gonna win by getting so empty I can't get to work, it has another thing coming. I will push that motherf*cking car if it comes down to it.

Am I really poor? I don't think so, not now. Poor, like Oliver Twist-type poor, is when you literally don't have anywhere to turn and there's no way to get more money. When I first moved down to Oklahoma with J, we were extremely low on funds, but we loved each other and had supportive family members give us a few bucks here and there when they knew we were sinking. After a couple months I got a job and things eased up considerably. Now, we', so-so but a heck of a lot better than where we were at. I mean, seriously.

This was our apartment at the beginning (and then the end) of our year in Oklahoma:

One of J's friends told us we lived "heroin chic". 

Look at that poor boy, snuggling with his dog for love/warmth. I mean, this picture was taken a day or two before he shipped out and we had sold EVERYTHING because I had suddenly decided to move back in with my parents, but still. I'd say this is a fair representation of what it looked like in the beginning.

I know money is a taboo subject and I'm sorry if it makes people uncomfortable; it's just that, I actually really miss that beginning. I miss dinners on the floor, talking and laughing and J telling me that everything I made was delicious. I miss laughing while he tickled me on the floor because, hey, we didn't have TV so we had to make our own fun.

And we did have fun; we laughed, played, talked, planned, giggled, raced, kissed, and loved each other completely. Money was the only thing we didn't have. But honestly? It didn't matter.

Life was a love song.


  1. I love this post. It's so true that scraping things together to get by makes you appreciate each other more. There is something to the simplicity of life when you only have enough for what you need rather than getting whatever you want.

  2. Seriously...Notorious BIG was right anyway. More money, more problems. My favorite times were me and J's first year of marriage..where we had a $40 per week grocery budget because we were still in college, no full time jobs, etc.