when I grow up

Welcome to adulthood.

I think. In this, my 25th year, I have a selection of shoes I love. I live in a gorgeous bachelor apartment near every necessity, including a mall. I am the woman I've always wanted to be.

Aside from that nasty load of debt -- the result of student loans, poor decision-making, and that lovely selection of shoes.

I find solace in the belief there are people out there who are far more irresponsible than me. Yes, I know that characters in fictional stories are, well, fictional. But they make me feel better.

Like Becky Bloomwood. The completely unbelievable, idiotic shopaholic in Sophie Kinsella's series of tales that make your chin drop to your lap and your eyelids slap your forehead with incredulity.

Becky is the kind of chick lit disaster you can really have fun with. Confessions of a Shopaholic opens when she opens a bill. Actually, that's not entirely true. It starts with a series of (horrendous? embarrassing? have I already said unbelievable?) letters exchanged between her and the poor man tasked with getting her out of overdraft and back onto the road of financial stability.

Becky's tales are painful. Brutal. Hilarious. The downside is that at the end of a day, she needs a man to save her. Frankly, Becky would never actually be able to get out of debt on her own. It's impossible on a PR girl's salary, or a journalist's salary, or a salesgirl's salary. But as a rich man's wife....

Cue Darcy Rhone. The heroine in Emily Giffin's novel, Something Blue, has no choice but to clean up her act without the help of a guy. Darcy finds herself ditched by her fiance, ditched by her new boyfriend, and pregnant. With little cash to start with, she heads across the ocean to London (one of my all-time favourite locations for chick lit), then completely loses her head and starts spending extravagantly with no thought for Baby.

I'll let you find out if or when she comes to her senses.

The classic femme money manipulator? Gone With The Wind's Scarlett O'Hara.

Yes, I admit, there's a giant leap between Becky Bloomwood's ill-fated discovery of e-Bay and Scarlett struggling to keep Tara in the middle of the American Civil War. Additionally, Kinsella's outlook may differ very much from Margaret Mitchell's Depression-era point of view.

But let's remember Scarlett isn't all about keeping the land throughout the book. Sure, by the end she's a tough dame able to keep the books at a lumberyard and keep her family afloat, with or without Ashley or Rhett or whomever. But at the start of Scarlett's tale, she really is a painfully ignorant daddy's girl. Had she the opportunity to pick up a pair of Manolo Blahnik's, she'd grab 'em.

Although I could probably learn a thing or two from her dandy curtain-turns-dress trick....

(By the way -- one of my favourite characters with no sense of financial responsibility? Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw. Technically, a character in a book, although I've never read it.)

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