Being Single is Making Me Broke
I have been single for almost a year. Okay, maybe longer, maybe shorter, but who’s counting? (Apparently my extended family and half of my friends…). I always thought that singledom promised a fatter wallet. After years of providing for bum men and wearing the proverbial ‘pants’, being alone seemed at the very least like a better economic position — that, and a lot of heartbreak. I mean, yes, being able to spend the money I earn on my individual self is great. I love a good candle trio and the Sephora sales have been phenomenal BUT splitting the internet I use to access that sale? Cutting my rent in half? Or, I don’t know, getting a tax break because I am macking on the same dude for the rest of my life? My bank account would love that.
Being in the industry that I’m in — modeling, thank you very much — has NOT been lucrative. I know, I know. How shocking that my non-famous, skinny-but-not-skinny-enough, straight-sized-but-not-straight-sized-enough, pretty-but-not-pretty-enough ass would not be pulling in the big bucks? Add the fact that I’m in the age range of women whose beauty standards switched from Kiera Knightley to Kim Kardashian in the span of my most formative decade AND a pandemic happened at the tail end of that. I mean, your girl (me) was basically set up to fail in a very detrimental way to my finances. And look, I know I pursued this. I know it was a pipe dream. But you and Dave Ramsey can both kiss my ass if you think this is entirely MY fault.
America champions individuality but punishes singlehood. The Costco membership I shared with my brother-in-law has long expired. We only had it for a year and in that year, I braved the aisles of Costco in Glendale, California no more than five times. It was overwhelming as hell, man. I am one of five siblings and perusing the identical Costco aisles as a child in Anchorage, Alaska used to be a fun endeavor. There was peace in knowing that, yes, my family will wipe our asses enough in two weeks to warrant that bulk purchase of single-ply toilet paper. As a single person, 248 rolls would be overkill and I wouldn’t know where to store all that excess, anyway.
When I moved back to Anchorage at the start of the pandemic, I was relieved to know that I would be back on my parents’ bank account. YEAH, SHAME ME TO HELL. I CAN TAKE IT! I had lost my job, my living situation, and any semblance of my former life, so having that familial safety net was extremely fortunate and believe me, I would not have been able to survive without it. No longer was I paying for Windex (or more aptly: generic glass cleaner) or dental floss and that shit adds up! Sure, I had to live right below my father apparently pounding his feet up the imaginary beanstalk every day, but it saved me an incredible amount of money when I did not have any to spare.
But therein lies a problem. The gap between the wealthiest and poorest in this nation is growing and sadly, much like most of my contemporaries, I don’t think I inhabit that top rung. Include the fact that less and less people are getting married, and it is almost a recipe for a shaky financial foundation, no matter what the Crypto bros are saying.
There is a lot of shame projected in moving home or trying to gain financial stability while having to sacrifice what is perceived to be ‘individual freedom’. The United States purports this false notion that we have our shit together and I can attest that many of us, in fact, DO NOT. What does that even mean, anyway? I’ll be the first to say that living at ‘home’ for the last year was actually kind of fun. Barring the dark and cold of Alaska that renders me absolutely hopeless and frozen with depression, I loved being with my family. And I LOVED feeling a bit financially stable for like, the first time in my life.
It seems like yesterday I was sharing the meme that emphasized my dream was to be the rich, single aunt who brought home gifts from abroad to her less fortunate relatives. However, time has caught up with me and here’s an apology to my niece: I am the broke, single aunt who is bringing home bath bombs from the bargain bin at Grocery Outlet. (THEY’RE THE SAME AS THE OTHER STORES, OKAY?!) And it’s the ‘single’ part that is really killing the bank account.