Despite her persistent lack of cash, Esme Fowler has figured out how to be poor in a cool way that maintains a positive relationship with her rich friends.
“I think I’ve cracked the code,” Esme said. “It turns out my rich friends don’t mind me being poor as long as I don’t really talk about it.”
Ms. Fowler, who has two jobs but still struggles to pay off obscenely high student loan payments, has developed a method to avoid having to mention her financial situation.
“It’s honestly really simple,” explained Esme over some beers she lifted from her serving job. “When my rich friends ask me to go out with them and I can’t afford to, I just say sorry, I’m busy looking for change under my couch cushions, and they’re like ‘hahaha you are so funny’ and then I go back to looking for change under my couch cushions.”
Esme has several go-to justifications she uses in these predicaments.
“Sometimes I say I’m ‘on a cleanse’ or am ‘trying a zero-waste lifestyle,’” said Ms. Fowler, who is forced to do most of her eating and drinking at home anyway. “Other times I’m just ‘tired from a long day’ which I know they can relate to – I just skip the part about how I just worked a 16-hour day to pay the rent.”
Ms. Fowler’s rich friends appear to be none the wiser.
“I know she doesn’t have a lot of money,” said Carrie Johnston, a real estate broker and a close friend of Esme’s. “But it doesn’t seem to affect her life negatively. She’s never complained about her money issues. Money’s so boring, ya know? Like my family has a ton of money and talking about it gets kinda old.”
“She’s honestly a really fun person, even though she’s poor,” added Melissa Wise, a friend of Esme’s who works in finance. “She never makes me feel guilty for having more money than her. In fact, she just doesn’t mention it at all, which makes the whole thing a lot less weird for me.”
And Esme is proud of how she’s managed to pull this off.
“My money situation shouldn’t be something my rich friends should feel responsible for,” she said, looking over her shoulder while she returned cans. “If being vague about why I can’t do any of the expensive things they do regularly, then they’ll see me as a chill friend – and it’s really working out so far.”
Thanks for being so low-key about it, Esme!