Jessica Gross

“You Need to Make Money to Say You Don’t Want Money”

In people watching on September 8, 2008 at 10:45 pm

I volunteer at a place called God’s Love We Deliver — an ironically non-religious organization that makes meals for people with AIDS (this is a plug). Tonight, I wrapped bagels in cellophane and eavesdropped on my bagel-wrapping neighbors. One told her coworker about her idealism when she graduated from college — she worked for the Elie Wiesel Foundation pursuing “acceptance, understanding and equality.” Then she realized how many loans she had to pay back. Now she works for an IT company.

“You need to make money to say you don’t want money,” her coworker responded.

Right on. When I was growing up in a rich Long Island suburb, I was above it all. Money? Scoff! All these people want are boats and giant flat-screens, I decided. Throughout college, I maintained a hatred for anything resembling wealth, and bloviated in the dorm my parents funded.

Well, I graduated from college a year ago and am paying my way through New York City. And I’m greedy. Money doesn’t look so evil when I can trade it for a place to sleep, some grub, and maybe a treat (my choice: this place). It’s just a matter of drawing lines — and for now, mine still comes before yachts. Way before.

  1. It’s quite confusing though…at first I was a tad pissed off reading God’s love, we deliver on the screens at Wall street’s closing yesterday.

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