Making My Life Make Entrepreneurial Sense
My gentleman friend (I refuse to call a forty-year-old a “boyfriend,” no matter how sprightly he looks) has made some wise and conservative investments regarding his retirement. This makes me a bit sleepy.
“But I’m going to start a million more companies before I retire, and the best way to invest my money is in my own businesses,” I say. We’re both right, in the sense that we’re playing probabilities based on limited information. In any case, he asked me what my “carrying costs” were.
“Oh,” I said. “I don’t really have any expenses other than rent. Electric, I pay with the rent. I mean, I have an iPhone. That’s it. I don’t have any debts. I’m paying for my masters degree in cash.”
“Come on,” he said. “I’ve seen your closet. And you went to India.”
So, I started adding. I had forgotten about Metrocards and the dentist and the deductible on my medical insurance and taking my elderly cat to the vet. I buy enough FreshDirect to be a member of the “Chef’s Table” program, which is hard to do as a single person (you have to drink a lot of Chimay). I own twenty blazers, because it’s hard to look like a serious person if all your clothes drape: you might as well stand pigeon-toed and cock your head to the side and say your own name as though it’s a question. (See Bullish: Speak Up Like a Competent Badass in Class and at Work.)
In Bullish: Social Class in the Office, I wrote about the disconnect of blue-collar kids who end up at Ivy League schools, and working in a white-collar world. I was pretty sure I was the only student at Dartmouth who had never been to Europe (being born on a Navy base doesn’t count).
So, suffice it to say, when I was finally able, I traveled, and bought the trappings of what I view as a dignified life. I spent one year of my early thirties living close to a six-figure lifestyle (while still putting money in the bank, of course).