Knit vs. Crochet

The ongoing drama(?) of a girl torn between two obsessions with too little time.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Uphill both ways

In today's NYTimes most e-mailed, there's an article entitled More Advice Graduates Don't want to hear, wherein the columnist responds to recent grads' criticism of his column's budgeting advice last year with more budgeting advice. I found myself realizing, as I read the column, that I am a stodgy, cynical old matron trapped in a 2o-something's body. I found myself sympathizing with the columnist's viewpoint, if not with his kind (albeit somewhat patronizing) tone. Near the beginning of the essay, he writes "What I suggested was impractical, many said. How would you like to try to live on $40,000 a year in Washington or San Francisco, several asked."
This is where I first got all riled up about kids these days and how spoiled they are. If you don't enjoy hearing your depression-era relatives talk about how tough they had it growing up and how today's young-uns ain't got no grit, you should probably get back to shopping online, since that's pretty much going to be the gist of this entry.
When I graduated from undergrad four short years ago, I wanted to spend some time in NYC. That's where the action (and the boy) were, thus that was where I was going to be. Thankfully, I got essentially the job I wanted--working as a research assistant in clinical/translational research. Unfortunately, it also paid a typical research assistant salary-- $28,000 a year, gross. When I told my friends going into consulting, or I-banking, or basically, any other field, what I'd be making, typical responses were "I don't believe you--they can't pay you that." and "No--you can't live on that!"
Well, as you may have guessed, they were wrong. Not only was I able to live for two years in the city on that salary, but I lived WELL. I ate out at fabulous restaurants, went out drinking/dancing about every weekend, and went to about as many museums, shows, and concerts as I could take. Sure, I lived in Brooklyn, did my share of cooking, and saw the inside of a taxi all of twice, but I was in no way cold, starving, or deprived. I even paid back about $5k worth of student loans.
So my words would be--I WISH I'd had $40k to live on. That would have been 120 more meals at Bouley--or a liver-failure's worth of half-price cosmos.
Kids these days--whiny little snots.
*shakes wizened fist at the lot of 'em*


At 5:38 PM, Blogger Oblivia said...

You know what? Now that I've got a bulk of my crazy college finances in order, your post makes me feel better about possibly living "large" in a big city. :D Silly kids these days.


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