The Secret

Being a Broke Bitch isn’t just a state of finances; no bro, it’s a state of mind. It’s an amalgamation of piss-poor judgment calls that makes it physically possible to stunt your maturation for an entire year, which is officially for how long I’ve lived in New York City (Brooklyn, baby!). The only difference between last December and this December, in terms of Broke Bitchness, is that I have more culpability over my financial woe than I did last year (see: employment). But hey, my precious flower, this is New York (and yes, I did just refer to myself in the third person in an affectionate albeit condescending term of endearment). Brokeness, in this town, is much like being single: you are, you are, you are, you wanna kill yourself, and then you aren’t. It can turn on a dime. However, seeing as how I am both these things, it might be worth noting that New York also happens to be the capital of making-repeated-mistakes-and-not-learning-from-them. Hence, current state of affairs differs little from this time last year, which is why this blog still exists. The Broke Bitch State of Mind is painfully far from ‘Empire,’ in every way, shape and form.

To be a Broke Bitch is to adopt a way of thinking that, admittedly, is not helpful to your ambitions at all; if anything, it makes your life comedic fodder for someone else’s anecdote at a party (“I know this one girl…”). This state of mind influences the behavior of every base pair in your decision-making matrix. For example: “Sure, I’ll blow my weekly sustenance budget on these three bougie drinks at this posh bar, plus a side of gourmet French fries,” or, “Sure, I’ll just take a back seat while this saleswoman at my optometrist’s cons me into buying Tom Ford frames that are worth the price of a plane ticket home for the holidays (for the record, I did not buy them, because my father’s voice of disapproval is the loudest thing I will ever hear at any given point in my life).” The poverty!

The answer is ‘yes,’ yes there is a certain level of self-deprecation and pity (and self-absorption?) that comes with such state of mind, but if you’re intelligent enough to weave it into some sort of colorful narrative, you’ll get to make someone laugh, and hopefully they’ll become your friend afterwards (not to be confused with husband, I often need to remind myself). 

But here’s the secret upside to The Broke Bitch State of Mind. Two things:

  1. You get to explore, in a way that your peers who make $80k or above and who live lavish lifestyles do not. You earn a connectivity and compassion for other people by virtue of having to problem-solve and work through your own ignorance, stubbornness, or insecurity (or all three, if you really a down-ass Broke Bitch! see: when keepin’ it real goes wrong) the hard way. The reason why Humans of New York is so successful is because people—you and I—are fascinated by the flawed and crudely forged experiences of the people sitting next to us on the subway or passing us on the street during rush hour: other Broke Bitches. I mean, would you give enough of a shit to learn their stories otherwise? The Broke Bitch State of Mind is one of passionate and relentless curiosity. Because you have zero shame—you are at a deficit of shits—you will indulge every ill-conceived and half-assed curiosity that pops up into that gorgeous dome of yours. Yes, you will follow these two Puerto Ricans (plus random German dude who works in Bundesliga broadcasting) across South Beach in Miami because they will give you the eventual ride home that you’re too cheap to pay for yourself (Lookin’ at you, Little Loca). And you will stay friends with them two years later. I’m going to make an ignorant sweeping generalization here, but I highly doubt that bitches who be drippin’ in diamonds fraternize with anyone who has real experiences not born from money. I’ve heard some crazy stories involving a penthouse, a mess of cocaine, Victoria’s Secret models, and a threesome with a 60-year-old perfume juggernaut, and I think “Boring. If you didn’t have money to entertain you, you’d probably be bored—and boring—as fuck.” I’d rather be with my down-ass Broke Bitches trying to cartwheel home to Brooklyn from Harlem at 2 in the morning because Uber actually sucks.
  2. You slowly become acutely aware of the limits of your own humanity. Your bullshit filter is wrought from the finest metals, from the tongs and anvil of Hephaestus himself, a gift worth its weight in gold in a city like this. Eventually, you’re bitchslapped in the dark enough times by the universe that you just say, politely, “Ok, please Sir, that’s enough now.” Mind you, like I’d mentioned before, you will only reach this point after your integrity has more holes in it than a hot pink mesh tank top, but you’ll get there (“Sí, se puede, as they say”), and though you won’t slowly accumulate wealth from here on out, you will begin your ascent onto the ladder of bad bitchness. Nicki Minaj or bust, man. But I digress. Knowing the limits of your humanity means that you’re less likely to vomit bullshit like a Pez dispenser and make promises you can’t keep. You’ll stop wasting everyone’s time (most importantly yours), you’ll recover from other people’s bullshit more quickly, and you’ll inevitably (in theory) live a more honest life. As the baddest bitch in the club.

I honestly don’t know where I was going with this post. To be honest, I’m just hungover from ceaseless alcohol and food abuse now that the holiday festivities are in full swing. Feliz festivus, hoes.

Roommate: “How many times have you watched this movie?”

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