I Moved To a Hip City To Pretend To Be Poor, Not To Actually Be Poor

This pandemic is getting out of control. And besides the obvious problems it’s causing, like widespread death and suffering, it’s also affecting me personally in a huge way: I’m, like, practially broke! The organic tampon startup I work at is temporarily closed, so I had to take a huge cut in pay. So I’ve decided to pack my bags and leave the city to join my parents in my suburban hometown. Because I moved to a hip city to pretend to be poor, not to actually be poor!


When I made the move to a bigger, cooler metropolitan area from my boring, bunk-ass, incredibly wealthy hometown, I knew that things would be different. If I was gonna make it, I was gonna have to get used to a lot of new things. And I’ve mostly adapted – to the public transportation, to the trash everywhere, even to the people of color. But if there’s one thing I absolutely cannot tolerate, it’s this virus forcing me to have to make the transition from intentionally looking like I don’t have any money to really not having any money. That’s where I draw the line.


I totally understand that me leaving my major city, which has some of the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates, could have devastating implications for not only the people I come into contact with while I’m traveling, but also the residents and medical capacities of my hometown. I could obviously be an asymptomatic carrier and not know it! But what my Uber driver to the airport, the airport staff, my airplane’s pilot and flight attendants, my Uber driver from the airport, the workers at the Taco Bell I made him stop at on the way to my parents’ house, my hometown neighbors and liquor store staff and grocery workers, and even my parents don’t understand is that being poor is really hard! If I had known that I’d have to literally struggle financially, instead of just wearing things I found at the thrift store and being a real stickler about my friends Venmoing me for everything, I would’ve never moved to the city.


I’m just not cut out for actual poverty, and I don’t feel like I should be judged for that!


Plus, if you think about it, me leaving the city is a humanitarian act. I’m technically a gentrifier (ugh, I know!), so me and all the other gentrifiers fleeing at the first sign of having to struggle in any way will lower the price of rent for people who have no choice but to stay poor. At least for a few years. Isn’t that kind of me?


Look, I understand how the decision I’m making looks. But I’m just one person taking the steps I need to personally take to preserve my mental health and my capability to buy as many Drunk Elephant products as I want, whenever I want. But I think people need to offer me a little empathy about the whole thing. I can’t possibly stay here and continue to pretend to be something I’m not if it means I actually have to become the thing I’m pretending to be. At least not until this is all over.