Whenever I want really nice things my husband quotes a Britney Spears song: “you better work, bitch.” Expletive included. Andrew, well really no one, is allowed to speak to me this way, but for the sake of art and Britney’s meaning from the word, I allow it. I figure she’s a survivor, if anyone’s able to call me a bitch it’s Britney. Because it’s valid you know, the majority of us have to earn those dolla dolla bills to have the finer things in life. I’ve never been ashamed of loving beautiful things, in fact I’m very much inspired by them. I understand the satisfaction that is fostered from seeing your blood, sweat and tears translated into something good. My immigrant parents have always instilled in me that there is no secret formula, it’s just hard work. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love for some pale blue boxes in white bows to show up at my front door.
My best friend K and I once casually mulled over how great it would be to have an allowance from our husbands and to not have to work. Several feminists are rolling their eyes as I write these words, literally saying, “are you kidding me?” I should be more precise, Second Wave feminists are frustrated at having marched with placards on the streets for me to utter such a statement, and Third Wave feminists allow me to feel whatever the hell I want. Nonetheless, they are probably all rolling their eyes a little. But the question is, who doesn’t want to have an unlimited amount of disposable income and choose how they spend their days? Just because we would occasionally be “ladies who lunch” doesn’t mean that we are also not achieving meaningful goals. It also doesn’t diminish our degrees from those fine educational institutions. There’s always a price to pay for the allowance anyways, because every single thing has a cost. Whether it comes in the form of never seeing your investment banker husband, having to report how exactly you spent his hard-earned money or having to mitigate the consequences of something not being good enough, the debt collector just arrives on different days. That life of leisure is not valued in society. We are unpaid and reduced to doing “nothing” and that’s not right either. I’m pretty sure that choice is a fundamental aspect of the politics I signed up for.
Therefore, I kind of appreciate that my husband wants me to work. I mean that’s what I ask for when I’m demanding some form of equality right? With that employment also comes a power, however small the paycheque, that no one can take away. It’s a form of leverage in the relationship. I just want all forms of work that we women perform to be counted.
Some people buy jewelry to signify that they’ve achieved their aspirations, other invest it in real estate. I’m planning on slowly but surely putting aside a portion of my income each month to buy a Celine purse. Lets ignore the fact that the Kardashians love them because if we held everything to that standard we wouldn’t be able to purchase a thing. The Celine baggage tote is truly beautiful, so well designed and constructed. The best part is that it’s relatively accessible, well, compared to Dior or Chanel anyways. I know that my husband would kill me in my sleep if I spent 5-10 thousand dollars on an accessory, so Celine it is. When I was recently in Paris I saw one in the department store Printemps and got actual heart palpitations. Andrew asked if I was going to touch it and I said no. I don’t feel it appropriate to touch anything at that level till I am good and ready to produce my credit card shortly thereafter. Just like you don’t enter a Chanel boutique in rubber flip flops, I’m willing to wait and work for it.