As always with Dorothy, the pendulum first has to swing both ways before she comes back into her balanced normal self. This time is no different. She has paid what she owed to Tatyana. It wiped out all her savings. That hurt badly. But she’ll be fine, I know she will.
“Wow Fiona, look at this cute little video I found on YouTube. It’s the Jungle Book. I just love Disney movies. Think I should buy it for the baby.” Dorothy shows me her iPad.
“Is that a wise idea, dear ? You’ve just paid off Tatyana. You should be a bit careful for the moment with your expenses.” I point out softly.
“Oh it’s just not fair. And what am I going to do ? With no more back-up, no apple in case of thirst. This stinks.” Dorothy snorts.
“It’s not that bad. At least you didn’t have to take out a loan to pay off Tatyana. Look on the bright side, how many people have twelve grand just lying around ready to pay off a prostitute ?” I insist positively.
“Yes but I worked hard for that money. Now I have no extras at all.” Dorothy wails.
“Come on, it’s not like you’re living under a bridge with your children and eating cat food.” I laugh at her. “It just means you’re going to have to cut out the extras and stick to the bare necessities for the time being.”
“How bad can that be ?” Dorothy sounds evasive, so I believe I’m going to have to spell it out.
“Well no Prada shoes this year to start with. You’ve quit smoking, so that’s a cost less. I’d say cut back on the dark chocolate too. You don’t really need it with your juicy round but. It’s stuff like that you should be looking at. Each purchase you make, each bill you pay, just ask yourself if this is really needed. Or if there is a less expensive way to do this.” I’m great at giving advice.
No reply from Dorothy, so I continue. “You can do your own housework too. Or at least part of it. Will help you lose weight too.”
Dorothy shoots me a dark look, but remains silent.
“And then there’s your ironing. You can do that by yourself easily.” I continue.
“What ? Do my own ironing ?” Dorothy sounds like the end of the earth has been announced.
“Come on dear. It’s not that bad. I find ironing rather relaxing. You get to ponder over your thoughts as you iron and fold up your clothes. Something like a guided meditation but in complete awake state.” I reassure her.
“Hmmm…” Dorothy dreams off. “What have you already bought in the sales ?”
“Two tops from Scapa. Beautiful fabric, great designs!” I’m happy to announce. “And you?”
“A jeans dress from Hampton Bays.” Dorothy confesses quietly.
“And I got some golden pumps.” I add on because I know Dorothy has bought more than just one dress. It’s the sales after all, the time when us women are allowed to go mad.
“But you already had gold pumps!” Dorothy is hasty to reply. “I also got a new bikini for my holiday to Senegal, and some pretty pink and red lingerie.”
“Great ! Lucky you booked that trip before the court sentence. Else you wouldn’t be going on that adventure either. See how things work out for the best.” I continue to enthusiasm.
“True, and lingerie is actually a good investment.” Dorothy continues. Oh no, she’s still thinking about her diamonds. “Men go wild for great underwear. It’s all part of the seduction, you know.”
“I sleep naked.” And I look at her blankly.
“To be honest, I wear Chanel number 5 to bed.” Dorothy grins at me mischievously and gives me her diva look.
“That’s my girl !” I exclaim. “You see, although money makes the world go round, people tend to wildly distort how much us freelancers actually make. I hate it when people think they’re qualified to make my accounts for me. I often feel compelled to offer a frank account of my financial life and why my salary doesn’t exactly reflected my social media lifestyle.”
“But that’s nobody’s beeswax really, now is it ?” Dorothy snaps.
“Have you ever noticed how hard it is to talk about money ?” I ask Dorothy in guise of soothing reassurance.
“True, I’d rather share graphic details about my sex life than reveal my monthly bank balance.” Dorothy nods.
“What you really have and what you really earn is the ultimate taboo. People’s fantasies about what you do, or don’t do, actually distort the perception of how many disposable euros you’re sitting on.” I continue. Peeps, if you can’t bear a frank discussion around money this is the time to look away.
“Is this going to be a discussion about privilege with class connotations ?” Dorothy asks. “Because quite frankly I’m fed up with the socialist jealousy politics going on in this country. When people start complaining that it’s not fair to have first class train seats, then I wonder where this country is heading.”
“No it’s more than just social class.” I go on. “As feminists we need to start getting used to talking about money. Sharing information about salary compensation has become a major issue. If we’re so secretive about what we earn, how can we ever expect to bridge the gender pay-gap and get the wage we deserve? The only way we’re going to overcome gendered financial inequality in this lifetime is to stop being polite and start opening up about our earnings.”
“Oh I love it when you get going on your feminism rant.” Dorothy beams at me. “I do want to say it is possible to find both financial security and success in freelance consultancy. Every step of my career has been worth it. I love what I do, I’ve had incredible opportunities and I do have a nice wardrobe as well as a house to call my own. But I’m a long way from being a millionaire.”
“Aha, and I love it when your dreams of ambition ride the abundance wave.” I enthusiasm back at her. To my dismay, Dorothy inadvertently changes to conversation back to where we started.
“Do you think there’s a hidden message behind the Jungle Book ?” Dorothy asks suddenly. Oh no, here we go again.
“No Dorothy dear. If a man has something to say, he’ll just come right out and say it. No subtle hints like us women can venture to make. Men just don’t do that. And to be honest, our subtle hints really leave the entire world clueless. It’s just a cute video and a nice story. Nothing more, nothing less. Stop being such a Social Media lurker.”
What do you think ? Which areas can Dorothy cut down in her expenses ? And still looking for new lucrative ideas. Always pleased to read your comments.
* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.