Be Flexible, Be Weird

The Traumatized Budget
5 min readAug 27

August Financial Check-In

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

When I was a kid, like many a kid, I had a complicated relationship with Barbie.

First of all, my mom didn’t let us have new Barbies or Barbie accouterments, so I mostly had to play Barbie at other kids’ houses. In our house, we settled for a classic Barbie and old-school Skipper — I think a GI Joe had to stand in for Ken. (We weren’t allowed new GI Joes either, so he was from a bygone war of unnamed origin).

But the reach of my mom’s feminist house rules faltered at the door. So when my next-door frienemy Debbi-with-a-circle-over-the-i Gatti got a motherfreakin DREAM HOUSE to go with her new gaggle of Barbies, it was game on. She had the new Barbies and all the clout, so my one classic Barbie from the fifties became the designated Weird Barbie. Twisted, pulled, contorted, hair shorn, marked up: she endured it all, and was never allowed to set foot in the Dream House. She lingered on the patio, mostly flat on her face on the fake flagstones, waiting for the next barbecue.

Why am I telling you this?

Because it all bubbled up in my consciousness when I went to see the one of two movies that has gotten us all back to the theaters this summer. Of all the Barbies in the Barbie movie, the one I related to most is Weird Barbie.

Weird Barbie has seen some shit.

Because of what she’s gone through, Weird Barbie has lost most of her Barbieness. In its place is a delightful combination of steely resolve and circus-quality dexterity. She is unbeautiful, shorn of her hair and stripped of her market value. Instead, she has become canny, watchful, leaderly, and DGAF cool. If Barbie Land had a witch living at the edge of its woods, she’d be it.

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie. offering the choice of Shoes.

So when it comes to the ongoing trash fire of my finances, I have resolved to be more like Weird Barbie.

What I Had to Be Flexible About This Summer

The most annoying pattern in my financial life, and probably yours, is this: you spend months or years chipping away at debt, only to have all of the progress wiped…

The Traumatized Budget

I’m a 60 (😱)-something bohemian with a mountain of debt and regrets. Can I dig out before it’s all over? I brake for poets.