Aspiring To Be An Effortlessly Cool Woman With $400 Shoes

Emily Gould continues to write essays that unearth all the feelings under our barely-conscious money behavior, i.e., essays that we wish she would have written for us. This one is an excerpt from that one book, Women In Clothes, which is an anthology filled with writing by women that focuses on “style and its deeper meanings.”

In the early spring of 2004, I was twenty-two and had just received my first tax refund. I didn’t have any money, but I was close to money all the time. At the slick corporate publishing offices on the Upper West Side where I worked, the profit-and-loss statements were for hundreds of thousands of dollars, which it was my job to calculate, and I fetched coffee for established authors and agents — daily interactions that reassured me that my modest circumstances were only temporary. The hazy future would deliver me a big payday, so there was no need to save. I spent every penny I earned, which was easy to do: rent took most of it, food pretty much covered the rest.

When I unexpectedly got a check in the mail from the federal government for $342, I went out to buy a large, rectangular, pale pink Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag.

I remember being 22 and really, really wanting to own things from Marc by Marc Jacobs, but the only thing I ever got from there was a pair of rain boots my mom bought me on a visit. They were $30ish dollars, a size too big, and they leak.

Anyway, I love this essay in the context of this book filled with effortlessly cool, creative women who in my mind wear Rachel Comey shoes and I think they look great so I look them up and the shoes are $400 and I don’t understand. “I thought you were a writer?” Then I start to think I could be a Rachel Comey shoe woman, or maybe one day. Maybe by the time I am 35. But no, this will probably never happen.

Photo via crafty foxes on Flickr

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