Yesterday someone called me bougie – you know, the slang word for Bourgeois. This is not the first time I’ve been called bougie and it probably won’t be the last, but I’m sitting here trying to figure out what makes people want to attach that word to me. I’m not wearing the latest fashions, chasing dudes with nice cars, or trying to be anyone other than me.
In my mind, being “bougie” is a negative term and refers to someone who is attempting to live above their means while looking down on those who can’t afford the same thing. In this sense, I don’t think fit the category. Yes, I am firmly a part of the middle class, but I don’t see myself as bougie.
Credit Cards Don’t Know Me
I learned in college that credit cards are not what’s hot. At one point I had 13 credit cards simply because they were giving them out like candy (along with a free t-shirt). I still own my very first credit card purchase: a yellow dictionary. Other than that, I think all of the stuff I purchased on those cards is long gone. Most of it was donated to Goodwill or is in a landfill somewhere.
The 13 credit cards have been closed for many years now, and the only thing I rock at this point is my debit check card. If I don’t have the money to buy what I want outright (other than my new car), then I’m not going to have it until I have the cash. I assume bougie people live on credit and I’m not trying to do that ever again.
The Finer Things (I get it from my grandmother)
When I was younger, I always felt that my grandmother was a well dressed woman didn’t tolerate any BS from people in general. If she thought your words didn’t ring true, she would immediately correct you and move on to the next thing on her agenda. My grandmother walks with her head held high and does not tolerate shoddy work or behavior.
Because of my grandmother’s influence, I expect people’s work ethic and service skills to be on point. I tend to frown upon apartments that are not well maintained, I refuse to eat at establishments who see sanitation as an option, and I have no patience for people think learning is not important. Does this make me “bougie”? I don’t think so.
Red Bottom What?
I would be wrong to say that I don’t notice fashion. I do notice fashion because I have eyes and can see. However, I generally wouldn’t know one designer from the next. I have always said that I like fashion as an art and I appreciate the creativity of high end clothing designers. Artistry? Yes! Staring other people down to determine if they paid $5 or $500 for their clothing ensemble? No. Also, you’ll never hear me saying that I have forsaken my rent payment for a new purse (or technology) just so that I can impress someone. That’s just plain dumb.
In The End
What I buy, wear, drive, or eat is all about what appeals to me. Where I live is all about where I feel comfortable and safe to lay my head at night. If I can afford to travel on ocassion, so be it. Don’t call me bougie because I like to live in visually pleasing neighborhoods. If you must attach that word to my name, do it because of my standards and expectations, and not based on how much I spend. Because quite honestly, it’s hard to get me to part ways with my money if it’s for something outside of food or everyday living expenses.