Monday, October 02, 2006

It's Monday, time for a rant.

It’s time for a pedantic rant. Have a seat. Don’t take it personally.

We had a nice dinner on Friday night with a couple of friends. During the meal, (let’s just call her) Scarlett was bemoaning the fact that it’s been so long since she’s had a holiday and how she really needs to get away and fuckety wah wah wah. My official stance on this is: if you have had a holiday, (and by holiday I mean a period of relaxation lasting at least a week), within the last nine to twelve months, then YOU ARE NOT FUCKING WELL ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN ABOUT NEEDING A HOLIDAY.

My last holiday, going by the above definition, was in 2001. Scarlett's last holiday was in June. The reason for this is obvious: we are a single-income family with two kids and have come from fairly poor backgrounds. Neither Linzi nor myself were given a "start" in life by a twinkly-eyed grandparent. (Though Linzi’s family hasn’t always been financially fucked, they are now, but that’s a whole other post.) They, on the other hand, are a two-income family with no kids and a substantial inheritance from Scarlett’s husband’s parents. Let’s call her husband Rhett. Rhett and Scarlett have no further bearing on this rant.

Let me make one thing abundantly clear: I would love to go on a night out with you, but by telling you "I'm broke", I really do mean that I do not have any spare money. Whatsoever.

I am not living in poverty. I earn a decent salary, a fair bit more than the national average. I don't need to worry where my next meal is coming from. You know why, though? Because I live on a budget. That budget is stretched right to its limit. During the week, I eat soup at lunch. I don't smoke, or buy coffee, or donuts, or anything else during my working day. If you complain that you're broke, but you can still somehow afford to smoke fags*, and/or spend six or eight quid a day on coffees and sandwiches, then let's face it: you are not fucking well broke, because that’s about £200 a month right there for you.

What makes my blood boil is cunts who bandy these terms about without really realising what the fuck they are talking about. For some people, being skint means, oooh, I have to withdraw some money from my savings account this month to get the car serviced or, jeez, I need to decide whether I want this PS2 game or will I just get some new jeans instead.

What I want to say to these folks is: Fuck. Right. Off. If you're even capable of making these decisions, then you have no right to claim that you are broke. Having no money makes these decisions easy: you do without.

My car is off the road as of today**. I’ve admitted defeat and bought a monthly train ticket. See, I had a choice to make this month – do I get the car fixed, or do I pay for a combined naming ceremony for Jack/birthday party for Erin? There are a lot of people coming over from Ireland for this, some of whom are staying with us, so really, I have not got a choice at all. The car sits in the driveway so that we can have a memorable and enjoyable experience with our family and friends.

That’s broke, okay?

Now, you may well say to me “You’re just a bitter cunt because other people can afford to do things and you can’t because you got married young and have two kids and a wife to support.” You’d be partly right. I’m bitter, granted, but what I’m bitter about is that most of these motherfuckers have absolutely no appreciation of their own position, that position being one of comfort, of regular nights out, of weekends away with partners, of new clothes every month, of no worries about unexpected bills popping up because, well, let’s face it, if the car suddenly breaks down, all it means to you is that you’ll have to cancel that weekend in the Lake District. It doesn’t fucking well mean that you’re broke.

As for me, I have no regrets. I have a budget, a spend, right down to my last pound, every month. This budget allows for a few take-aways, some family activities, and covers absolutely everything my children need. (They're not at the stage of wanting expensive shitey toys yet; I'm looking for a better salary in anticipation of that day.)

What my budget has no allowance for is unexpected items like the car breaking down, or having a few pints out with the lads. There's no room in it for these eventualities, so trust me: when I say I can't do something because of financial constraints, I've worked it out, and I really can't make it. I'd love to, but I can't. If you gave me a month's notice, I could rejig my finances for that month and make it happen, otherwise, all bets are off.

I am sorry about this. I am constantly in turmoil about being a crap provider because I can’t do all the things that regular folk do. I'm working on it, though.

So, if you’re one of these people, if being broke to you means that rather than buying both pairs, you have to make the choice between the Manolo Blahniks and the strappy Guccis, then listen: YOU ARE NOT FUCKING BROKE, CUNTYJAWS. FUCKING APPRECIATE WHAT YOU’VE GOT, in the same way that I appreciate the advantages I've been given over those slender kids in Africa, or the junkies I ignore outside Central Station.

If you can't appreciate what you have, and instead choose to moan about the difficult choices that having so much spare money brings, I will stab the fucking head right off your shoulders.

* Fags means cigarettes in this context, my American cousins. I wasn't talking about doing a drive-by on some homosexuals.

** The most recent car-related disaster was driving to Edinburgh airport with Linzi and the kids a couple of weekends ago, on our way home to Ireland. I had a blowout on the motorway. That's "out", not "job". I could fit my fucking fist into the hole in the tyre. It was rather frightening.

EDIT: If you're commenting, can you please let me know something: is this site horrendously slow to load up? I'm not sure if it's just me or if I've got too much shit on my sidebar and it's the page that's slow to load. Ta.


freshairlover blathered this crap:

Sweetie, I'm broke too. I live on a strict budget, rarely go out because I can't afford it, and bring my lunch almost everyday. And I really really hate when people claim they are broke and then go out every fucking night of the week and eat lunch out and buy clothes constantly. It's irritating.

Kav blathered this crap:

Thank you rant has been validated since there's at least one other person in the same position.

Andraste blathered this crap:

You speak truth, Kav.

I have a friend who has a house in the suburbs with NO MORTGAGE, and her husband refuses to carry credit card debt, and they BOTH have savings and inherited money. And she bitches about money all the time. Says they can't afford this that and the other thing. And she bitches TO ME. I'm renting, trying to save up for a house, have tons of debt, but I don't let it stop me from having a night out or a few pints. You only live once. But the difference...I don't complain about money. If I have 20 bucks in the bank the day before payday, I'm RICH. Let's drink it!

I'll never get that house, I fear, but I'm enjoying my life...

Kav blathered this crap:

andraste: Thanks for stopping by. And, yes, exactly. I don't care what people do with their money as long as they don't complain about being broke when they've spent the last six nights out getting ossified.

And let me tell you something else: I was reading and enjoying your blog the other day, and I meant to comment, but then got distracted by work. How fortuitous that you show up here.

Or was it... ;-)

hotdrwife blathered this crap:

Only holidays I get are if I hijack my way onto one of my husband's business trips. And those are good for me, shitty for him. He's in meetings all day and I'm not! But - I would love to have a vacation sometime with just us, no work. I still wish for that, but I'll take what I get.

(and no, not slow for me)

fyrchk blathered this crap:

No...not slow. Begin the Fyrchk money story:

When I first moved in with Irishfyrgirl, we were BROKE. We ate lots of Ramen and would routinely put any extra money we had (hardly ever) in a jar so if the other one needed money, it was there. There were times when I called in sick to work because I didn't have the money to put gas in my car.

Now, now I feel like I'm rich. I actually have some money in savings. Of course, that's all going to finally getting a new car, but it's something! And the cruise I went on with HDW was the first vacation since 2000. 6 years in between ain't bad. :)

jali blathered this crap:

Not really slow.

Now you have much more time to read - which is great.

I hate being broke too - your imagination and sweetness provided a great birthday for Linzi on a serious budget - I'll bet you'll be the best host on a budget when the Irish contigent come over.

Summer blathered this crap:

Very, very well put rant.

We've discussed money before. You know my issues. I can say I'm very grateful that I can afford the occasional extra. Never would I complain about it to someone with less than I have.

I can say that I haven't been on a vacation in more than a year. Unless you count visits home to my family, then I'm fucked. I consider a vacation some place you go to not worry for a whole week. My family doesn't qualify for that.

Cindy blathered this crap:

You use the word cunt a lot. I think that's funny. (not slow)

Steph blathered this crap:

Oh you whiny fucker!
LOLZ, kidding!

I'm not broke, and i refuse to feel guilty about that because i work up to Fifty fecking hours a week!!

I dinnae have offspring or a mortgage so I'll take the Manolos AND the Gucci thankyouverymuch!

I paid my own way through uni and worked three jobs to afford my trip to the UK, Spain and Italy.

I'd shout ya a night out, so i would. Next time I'm in your neighbourhood, I'll drink you and the missus under the table. Mkay?

in the meantime, have you considered doing teh phone sexin from home? Quite lucrative so i hear. :P

Kav blathered this crap:

HDW: Having read your blog, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes even the relaxing trips are stressful. ;-)

fyrchk: Good for you! I don't begrudge anyone who does have disposable income - I'd be delighted to be in the same position. The only thing that annoys me is when people act all "woe is me" because they have so many options available to them, and don't appreciate that they've got a good thing, not a problem.

jali: Yeah, I'm def catching up on my reading (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers at the moment - the guy is an incredible writer). And thanks for the compliment - I hope it goes well. We're kinda dreading it to be much family, all in our house. It's a recipe for disaster.

summer: I do indeed - it's all relative, isn't it?

I know exactly what you mean about the holiday thing. Because I live away from home, every time I've got some time off, I feel obligated to go home to visit. Getting home is definitely not a holiday!

cindy: Welcome - is this cindy-lou or is it a new cindy? Anyway, nice to have you. I ought to explain that cunt is as common a word as any other when you're Irish. I don't just do it to be crude, it's more that cunt is equivalent to Americans usig the word "jerkoff" or something.

steph: Damn girl, I would never expect you to feel any guilt for having money (even if you didn't work so hard to earn it!). As I was saying to fyrchk, it's only people who don't appreciate what they've got who annoy me. I can tell that you don't fall into that category ;-)

You know, I might hold you to the night out in about 18 years or so. Linzi and I never did the Oz thing and it's something we plan on doing as soon as the kids have grown up. Word.

Phone sexing you say? Hmmm...I do have the charm. Here's how a phone sex call to me might go:

Sexman (me): Hello, potato man.

Lady: Talk dirty to me.

S: I've got a big oul bag of spuds just freshly dug out of the earth. They're covered in muck and all sorts of shite.

L: Oh god, keep talking baby.

S: Big, hard, veiny potatoes, imagine them bubbling away in a pan of boiling water, swelling...

L: Oh yeah, that's it

S: Leaving the skin on, I plunge the masher into the potatos, pumping steadily...

I give up. I can't think of any more potato-based sex humour.

NiolK blathered this crap:

Aw fuck. You're so grown-up!

Stop, it's depressing me. I'm still a fucking child. I don't want to grow up and you can't fucking make me!!!!

I have to say I respect someone who knows their limits and does whats necessary. Much props. I'm off to drink coffee, smoke some fags and play my new 360 CAUSE I'M FUCKING BROKE!!!! Ha ha ha!

AMS blathered this crap:

If you inject some of the smoking fags and blowouts/job stuff into the phone sex you'll be grand.

I know where you're coming from on the brokeness - Im a trainee accountant and would earn much more if I worked in Spar. My day will come though and Ill be able to beat those rich beeatches who've been rubbing my face in it with their fucking pannini's, soy lattes and cosmopolitans, over the head with the rusty heel of a Fendi shoe.

Kav blathered this crap:

niolk: I'm just jealous, that's all. That rant was one big long diatribe against those who have what I can't afford! You and your feckin 360...someday, when they drop in price by £200, I'll have one too. I still won't be able to afford coffee though. I'll be the guy who buys a jar of it and brings it with me for when I need a cup.

As for you being a child, I'm kind of a manchild combo. Linzi says I am the biggest child she knows (and that's saying something when we have two kids). She probably has a point - I jitter and squawk around the house like an epileptic with Tourette's, I love gaming, my humour is extremely childish...but at the same time I'm a decent dad, I do all our DIY and shit, have a respectable job where I manage to conceal my spasms for 8 hours a day. I'm a flippin walking paradox.

ams: I hope you were cackling gleefully and rubbing your hands together while your eyes roved maniacally as you wrote that. If you want to take over the world, you're going to have to play the part ;-)

Conan Drumm blathered this crap:

Being broke's an absolute shite, the 1m+ cunts here with SSIAs are doing my head in with all their yapping about what to spend their money on!! That said, having lived broke (and a parent) for many years all you can do is pay the bills as best you can and for hollyers, if you can bear it, go camping. Kids love it, even in the pissing rain in Ireland.

Kieran blathered this crap:

Cuntyjaws. Nice, I'll nick that for my CV. Loads very fast for me. A little too fast perhaps.Unsettlingly.

Kav blathered this crap:

Conan: Welcome sir. Good advice, and we've no problem doing the camping thing. It's a good job too, or we wouldn't be having much fun for the next few years. You're right though, kids love all that stuff.

Stop about the SSIAs. I left Ireland just after everyone had set theirs up. The bastards are rolling in it now.

Kieran: Lahke ah says boy, ah'm watchin you, ya bastid. You goan need eyes in t'back yo' head to keep up.

Fat Sparrow blathered this crap:

"What I want to say to these folks is: Fuck. Right. Off. If you're even capable of making these decisions, then you have no right to claim that you are broke. Having no money makes these decisions easy: you do without."

Tell it, man. I have to listen to those fuckers all the time.

Kav blathered this crap:

fat sparrow: Thanks for stopping by. Your blog's hilarious.

The Swearing Lady blathered this crap:

I forgot to comment? What's WRONG with me? :(

Kav blathered this crap:

Ah sure you might as well comment now. Your money woes are well-documented. Go on, have an oul squawk.

Dark Damian blathered this crap:

No slowness.

God bless ya for this rant, lad. I'm in this same exact boat. Life has a way of smacking you about sometimes, and it burns my britches when others don't get that. I make a pretty good living, but I also have a house, 2 cars, student loans, etc. that I must take care of. I get SO TIRED of my friends saying "Gee Damian, you make [my salary] a year! You should be rich!" Yeah, well, I'm not. More than likely, my friends who're making $12/hour have more money in their pockets than I do at any given moment, and they fail to see the irony in that. It drives me nuts.

So thank you - I appreciate you giving me the ability to commiserate with you.

Devin blathered this crap:

Fucking right you are.I've three sprogs (youngest is 6 weeks)and once their needs are met I get to eat.I have $7 in my pocket right now but my bills are paid and I've a full tank of gas.Payday is tomorrow and I am wealthy beyond measure.
Our last holiday (by the common definition here)was in 2001 but I whip back to Limerick off season (all bloody year really)at least once a year to have the mother wreck my head.I need to have that head examined..oh is.

Desirae Madison blathered this crap:

Do you like soup? I would think that you would get hungry before dinnertime. I'm thinking I might try rice and beans.

Kav blathered this crap:

DD: Cool, it's good to know there's others in the same boat. I think it's the kind of thing that, until you're actually in that situation, you cannot appreciate how awkward and stressful it can make some situations. You're right too - I make more money than almost all of my friends (I'd never get this salary back in Ireland), and yet I have the least amount to spend each month!

devin: Welcome along. I know what you're saying about going home. To be fair to my family, they make alot of effort to come and visit me as well, so I'm fortunate in that respect.

desirae: I don't mind soup actually. I've gotten so used to it now that I don't even think about it. I'm an automaton at lunchtime.