I sit on the steps waiting for a job to hit my screen, and I watch as these impossibly clean women teeter past, hair bouncing, shoes shining, panty-hoes without a pucker; so much more then a shower a day. My hair is always limp; my clothes are always torn and 30 minutes after a shower I look like I’ve never had one.
My armpits have hair, my eyebrows un-plucked, hair on my legs blow in the wind, my fingernails are french tipped with dirt and because of my bag pulling at my shoulders I have shocking posture.
Make up, clothing, hair ties, jewellery, salads. Our haircuts are 5 times as much as men, our clothing 3 times as costly; Being a lady is mucho expensive, but being a female courier gives you just a massive excuse to be cheap and nasty. It’s awesome. I can have sweat and dirt on my forehead, grunt and heave when my bag is heavy, shove whole muffins in my mouth at once and don’t think twice about being ‘unladylike’.
I am saving to cycle around the world, which is an expensive dream. So I try to cut costs, we don’t earn much as a courier but it is a cheap and lovely life. For example:
-You only have to wash you hair once a week (if you want to) because it’s in a cap or a helmet, saving on shampoo and conditioner.
-You don’t need to waste money on make up each day and in the past 3 years I have only replaced my tinted moisturizer once…ONCE!
-My clothes can remain torn and stained and I can fix them myself because it doesn’t matter if the patches are showing.
-If you wear wool and denim, like I do, you can wear the same thing everyday, it never smells (questionable)…Save on laundry detergent. Awesome.
-You can get the old food that restaurants or take-aways give out at the end of the day to share with your friends and become the hero. I even had a friend tell me he was so cheap he once ate the left-overs on people’s plates at the food hall. For me, that would be too far, but the idea is there if you want it.
-You don’t have to use public transport.
-Save on gym memberships…but you do have to endure every damn day someone making the incredibly original statement of ‘you must be fit’.
-You get to pick the cheapest vending machines in the city, instead of paying $2.50 for a can of soda, go to the $1.20 vending machine at 1 Farrar Place’s loading bay. So much more refreshing.
-If you are lucky and friendly enough, there are a few receptionists that will make you a coffee in the morning. You have to sacrifice the quality or the option for soy, but who gives a fuck! I’m a cheap slut.
-If there is a give-away anywhere in the city you know it’s happening, free chip samples, free BBQ’s to raise awareness of bowel cancer, jelly beans for wear it purple day, monster energy drinks, the red bull minis, or a ute full of free pens. I have got it all and never miss a trick.
I live in a cheap world but the pleasure I have is more about the ability to live without the responsibility of respectability. To completely guzzle a can with freedom, to not have to worry about how my hair is flying, whether my sweat marks are showing, if my outfit is flattering enough… I can’t tell you how freeing it is.