Last night I realized just what a toll it’s been taking on me mentally that my bedroom (and to a lesser extent the living room) is in disarray. I’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the floor and using a shitty little cheap bookshelf leftover from Dandette as a nighttable. I don’t feel like I should assemble the bed I bought or add any other furniture to the room until it’s been repainted the way I want. I began this process the other day – shoving my minimal furniture to one side of the room and then the other in order to put primer on all the walls – but the exertion hurt my back and I had to stop after one coat. So now on top of the room’s lack of furniture/personality/convenience, the walls have a layer of white primer through which the previous maroon shows in patches, so it looks extra makeshift in here. I feel like I’m camping and I hate it.
Add to this that even when I do eventually assemble the bed, it’s a queen size and my mattress is a double. I put up with this same disparity with my previous bed for a year or two because I couldn’t afford to upgrade my mattress, but I really hope I can save up enough to buy a properly sized mattress soon*. I just…really want a bedroom that looks like it belongs to an actual grownup.
I told this to The Dandy and he said “Sometimes you just have to be patient and save up for things.”
This unfortunate wording made me flinch and then start to rage-cry. I asked him why the hell he would say that to me. He said he meant it as comfort, like “don’t worry, you’ll get it eventually, hang in there.”
I believe him. But what he actually did say came off like he was explaining the concepts of saving up money and delayed gratification to me.
The Dandy has never been poor, currently makes nearly six figures, and doesn’t have any kind of nest egg in the bank; he spends any extra cash he has on luxury goods. I’m fairly sure he spends more than the cost of the mattress I want for myself on custom shoes and/or antique fountain pens and/or designer clothes and/or fancy knives every month. Probably he’s had to save up for something at some point in his life, but most of the things he wants seem to be within a price range where he can get them immediately.
And I…have been trying to save up for the right-size mattress for my bed for two years. I haven’t been to the dentist in seven years. I’ve worn the exact same bra every day for, I don’t even know. Multiple years. I haven’t bought that queen-size mattress or new bras or dental work because instead I’ve had to squirrel away enough money during each lucrative school year to get me through the substantially poorer summer. A couple of times, despite my best efforts, I fell short and had to put a month or two of rent on credit, but I paid it back. Bastardcat needed major surgery and I put that on credit and paid it back, eventually, too.
I do not need Mr. Moneybags to explain the concept of having to wait a while and apply myself in order to afford things. It felt like my dismissive parents blaming me for my own poverty all over again. Either that, or condescension: “sometimes you (you specifically, I guess because you weren’t smart enough to go to university or whatever and get a great job like me) just have to be patient and save up for things. (Good luck with that! I’ll just be over here impulse-buying a $450 knife that is almost identical to three of my other knives.)”
I’m not sure if The Dandy understands how his comment came off to me. I tried to explain it. But he doesn’t know the strain of being poor and I secretly suspect that he does kinda see my poverty as my own fault – or, not my fault exactly, but that he thinks the job market is a lot more of a meritocracy than it actually is – I suspect he thinks he gets paid so much more than I do because his job is proportionately more difficult or valuable than what I do, rather than because the people I work for are underpaying me.
But yeah. He’s sympathetic to the fact that I’m poor. But he doesn’t get it. And this sometimes leads to him being a bit insensitive by accident.
*Technically I have enough for the one I want right now…but I also have a bunch of urgent dental work that needs doing and that The Dandy’s benefits probably won’t completely cover. So I gotta see how that shakes out before I go buying any big-ticket items.