Monday, October 30, 2006

Other People's Money

I'm relishing New York magazine's newest issue because it's all about the subject I love to hate (and complain about and lecture about): money -- especially how money applies to New York.

I doubt anyone who read this story about the "spending diaries of "real New Yorkers" (cough) wanted to punch Brian the "grad student" in the balls as much as I did. Last time I checked, wasn't the commonly held perception of a grad student (especially those who are studying "fiction" [cue laugh track]) supposed to be someone who is poor and working his way through the extraneous schooling his parents refused to subsidize? Apparently not. Brian lives in a posh $1,800-a-month West Village share (that his parents are "helping" him pay for), holds a gym membership at Equinox (that his parents pay for), and has school tuition (that his parents pay for). Boyfriend also has a serious espresso habit that's surely the cause of the migraines he suffers, which necessitated the $125 he dropped to treat them with acupuncture. And is he going to give up his $80 Iron Maiden concert ticket? Helllllz, no! This guy needs to be dragged across the river to Jamaica, Queens, and forced march down the street in his tighty-whities, waving the American flag. (I think I'm subconsciously reffing an episode of "The Simpsons," but that humiliation fantasy seems pretty apropos in this scenario.)

Am I jealous of Brian the "grad student"? Of course! But no more so than I am of William the Trader's wife, who has somehow justified spending $270 for a haircut while having no real job of her own. If I knew in high school that the occupation "wife" would be more lucrative than my entire career's worth of paychecks, I would have sunk my college tuition money into plastic surgery and miniskirts.

Side note: I think David Amsden did a great job on his story about how money can come between friends. (I totally identified with Liz, which should surprise absolutely no one who semiconsistently reads this blog.) And I was riveted by Jennifer Gonnerman's story of an impoverished father.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I have a -brilliant- idea. What do you say we kidnap Brian, hold him for ransom while we rent out his flat to tourists and force him to caugh up the bucks for our habits, whatever they may be. Clever, eh?

2:13 PM  
Blogger NewbietoNYC said...

Love the "let the punishment fit the crime" nature of that. Good thinking, Ms. Choo.

10:54 PM  

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