Dress you up.. money and me, 12-18

Posted on: 13 November 2008

O yeah! Let me cover you The isolation of the move to a different town had convinced me to make lots of friends and be popular in highschool.Of course, I’d dress me up scantily and sing in front of my moms mirror like all girls my age at that time. Money became quite a frustration, now. I had convinced my mom to give me a montly amount to buy my own clothes. Finally, I had the 100 guilders a month that had seemed such an insurmountable amount before. But alas! It turned out a feeble amount for my goals. In my highschool – an upper class white one – which I chose because my brother went there and had, through his entreprises and big mouth, attained a very good status, of which I hoped to benefit -in vain as it turned out – dressing myself popular was definitely not an option, then.


Remember, this was before H&M: we had to make do with affordable but ugly C&A and V&D stuff. The only other option was labels: Levi’s, Esprit, Mexx, Bijenkorf, Nafnaf, Nike – but all of these were way out of my reach. The sex infused gear like Madonna was sporting was not even on sale – but I did not realize then, that that was what I really wanted. Fruitless and depressing afternoons on the highstreets followed. If only I had more money… frustration grew. I was a nerdy A-grade student, bored with my friends, my life and my image, desperate for change, but clueless. How to find the thrill or fulfillment I wanted? I tried a boyfriend, I tried ballet, I tried singing in a band – nothing. Maybe if I had the money to dress me up?

I thought long and hard about getting a job. The humiliation of working the till seemed insurmountable for me. This was before Gilmore Girls with cute Dean working at Taylor’s, making it seem like an option – two of my teen neighbours work in supermarkets and I think non the less of them, even admire the girls’s cheeriness on her job; she’s a cute one, too. Even a cousin of my husband works at AH just because of the colleagues. He was one of those amazing kids who started his own computer bizz, some kind of Internet thing I truly have no clue, so he’s managed to save up a real serious figure – but still he took the supermarket job for saturdays, for fun.  Come to think of it, even some friends my age worked in a supermarket in their teens – friends that I really like and respect, too.

For me, I am not proud to admit, something else came into play, however. Working for lowly wages seemed beneath me. I guess I was afraid of what my brother would think, because he’s the main source of this disdain. I mean, of course minimum wages at age 15 in those days would amount to something as low as 3 guilders and some cents, just short of one and a half euro. But I can still hear the sound of my brothers annoyed droning voice, doing the math: how many hours, minus taxes- I’d end up making something like 10 euros for a whole day’s work. Of course, he was rationalizing why he did not want to work at a supermarket. I guess he minded other people’s opinions, too. I admired him to no end – he was my cool older brother. Unfortunately, in his speeches he did not at all consider the effect on me, and my lack of other resources (hm, that does sound a bit pathetic).

The only option I seemed to have left was not working. So I earned nothing at all, where work might have earned me some self-respect, possibly some nice colleagues, and if nothing else, a sense of the value of my own free time. That I was now spending emptily, wasting away in front of the TV, wondering why my life was so empty. Why I knew no-one to babysit (that seemed like a nice way to make some extra pocket cash). Why I had no entrepreneurial ideas. And so on. No wonder I started feeling depressed.


2 Responses to "Dress you up.. money and me, 12-18"

I was not aware that your brother did have that much influence on you.


This is so interesting, the phases of your life, and the presence, or not, of money in it for you…….

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