Being poor sucks. A lot. And I’m not talking “I guess we need to buy the store brand cereal” poor. I’m talking “I need to check my account balance before purchasing this bottle of water” poor.
Okay, I’m being overdramatic. I have a roof over my head. I eat well. I bathe on a consistent basis. But when you’re filling you’re idle time wandering about various places in Hollywood because you don’t have a car so it very well doesn’t make sense to go home when it will take longer to get there than you’ll actually get to spend there, you reach a breaking point.
So you walk around Target feeling sorry for yourself.
You see, my amazing boyfriend has decided he wants to go on a cruise for his birthday. I’m ecstatic. I’ve never been on a cruise before. However, because I am too poor, I cannot repay his generous Portland birthday trip by treating him to a magical week at sea; he must pay for his happiness. Meanwhile, I’m way past feeling guilty over not financially contributing to the trip (not really but it makes a good segue). Instead, I am freaking out over what I will wear. You see, if I can’t pay for the trip, at least I can try to give him the most attractive date on the ship, right?
Of course, this is totally selfish because at the end of the day, I just want to hear him say that I am beautiful and that my being with him is all he really wants for his birthday because he’s the luckiest guy in the world.
I’ve seen a LOT of rom-coms.
So as I wait to show up to what promises to be my second waste-of-time audition of the day, I decide to walk around Target. I consider buying myself a new bathing suit. You see, I’ve been working really hard on the bod since the beginning of the year, and I’m finally starting to see some results. I change my mind, however, when I realize my Target card is maxed out. As is my other credit card. “Maybe I’ll get one anyway” I think. Sexy birthday girlfriend, hello!
And then I see the price. And shamefully walk away. Then I think perhaps I will find a cute dress for Valentine’s Day (another day I have nothing of monetary substance to contribute). Wrong again. When did Target become so damn expensive? Better yet, when did anything that costs more than $20 become so expensive?
Dejectedly, my gaze drifts over to the Clearance rack. I used to think I was so thrifty getting things on Clearance. Now I realize there is a REASON no one bought these clothes and they are now marked down (to prices I still can’t afford, mind you). The clothes themselves are embarrassed to be hanging there, let alone how I feel desperately searching through hangers for something, ANYTHING wear-able.
I try on two dresses I know I can’t buy, hoping I’ll hate the way I look so I leave the store crying and beat myself at the gym tonight. Hey, there’s a reason I’ve been seeing results…
To my utter dismay, my plan backfires, and I LOVE the way I look. I have a frenzied moment where I consider stuffing these two dresses in my backpack, somehow sneaking out of the dressing room and back onto the gray and rainbow striped WeHo streets.
Instead, I mumble “thank you” and hand both dresses and the red plastic “2” back to the clerk.
I blame the state I’m in on reading; a hobby I thoroughly enjoy, but seem to avoid. You see, reading makes me annoyingly introspective and morose. I have an overwhelming desire to write and express myself, but as soon as I make an attempt, I am met with the earth shattering realization that my overwhelming desire is outweighed by my underwhelming creativity.
I am not a writer. I am a 20-something aspiring actress complaining that I have auditions to go to. I embrace having “problems” because I secretly hope they will make me more interesting. I find myself to be abhorrently boring.
At least I can always regale people with my triumphs navigating the city of Los Angeles with sub-par public transportation, terrible commuters and my trusty Schwinn. Because that doesn’t get old.
Being poor sucks.