Alright, I’ll admit it. The collapse of the economy was all my fault. I’m one of the irresponsible people who got a mahusive overdraft and six credit cards, spent all the money on shiny things from Accessorize and then went on holiday to LA instead of paying my creditors back.
I regularly fall into arrears because I decide to buy custom-made evening gowns for functions I haven’t been invited to rather than paying my electricity bill. Quite often, I’d rather buy a pair of sandals than eat dinner, do so and am then forced to live on one meal a day for the next fortnight. I’m not even being ironic to prove a political point here. I really am this fiscally negligent.
Does this make me a terrible person?
Is it bad that I don’t care?
As many cleverer and more eloquent people than me have pointed out: money doesn’t actually exist. It’s just a figment of our collective imagination, around which we have unfortunately decided to construct the world. Its power lies only in our belief in it. We are all complicit in a big old rigged game that I personally have decided to start cheating at. Fuck it, I’m my father’s daughter and as a part-time public sector worker earning a salary that equates to less than the hourly minimum wage the odds are stacked against me ever rolling in legitimate riches.
Fortunately, I am both irresponsible and carefree enough not to give much of a shit about the consequences of personal economic laxity.
Of course, there are loads of people who want to make me feel guilty about occasionally spending the little money I do have on things that delight and thrill me, rather than on staple necessities. Usually, these are outraged Daily Mail commenters or media and political figures who have absolutely no idea what it’s like to eek out a pleasurable lifestyle on a pittance. As far as I’m concerned they can suck my dick, being as they are complicit in my reckless financial attitude by sanctioning a system in which consumerism is king, but where the privatisation of essential services means we are expected to spend all our wages on surviving – while a few rich CEO types writhe naked on piles of bank-notes, masturbating and laughing at the misfortune of the 99%. They earn their money you see, and so have a right to enjoy it. The rest of us, obviously, just walk around with our heads up our arses and then riot in the streets like feral criminals when the going gets tough.
While I am not that bothered about living in debt, embracing potential bankruptcy and dying in shameful poverty, I can understand that this is not an attitude potential lovers will necessarily embrace. Other people tend to want things like a good credit rating and a mortgage and enough money to buy dinner – especially if they’re thinking about making children, who, I agree, need financial and emotional security I am not currently equipped to give. And I understand the point of view of responsible people, because I’m fairly liberal and try not to judge others’ need to socially conform too harshly. Plus, if I do ever decide to enter into a relationship, it will probably need to be with one of these commercially solvent types – I’m not ideal squatter material and I like my men to pay for shit.
I’m not ready to end my own personal, small scale, inevitably doomed attack on the system just yet though. For a start, I’ve got at least 18 months of financial paucity ahead while I complete my PhD. I’d like to remain both housed and stylish during this period. For another start, I’m not sure all the rich capitalist types have learnt their lesson. The whole ‘occupy’ thing seems to have died down without any noticeable change to the system and, despite my support for the movement, I was unable to get behind that in any physical way due to an extreme aversion to camping and dreadlocks.
I imagine at some point I am either going to win my one woman war against the man or have to sort it out and pay back what I owe. As I’m not totally willing to drag anyone else onto this sinking ship with me, it’s probably best that I stay single until I can change my attitude towards filthy dirty cash, pay off my debts and be less crap with money – unless, in the interim, I manage to pull one of them CEOs and cross over to the dark side.