We started going to The Ritz Casino because we were skint. The less money we had, the more my mates wanted to go.
We’d rock up – me dressed like Joan Collins in an 80s cocktail dress – wearing our poshest secondhand clothes. Then we spend the night pretending we’re Kate Moss, downing pink champagne, chucking our money on the roulette table, screaming: “This time I know it’ll be 32.” Occasionally, we win and go home with a fistful of fifties. Usually we lose.
There used to be a name for spendthrifts like us, living like millionaires when you’re £15,000 in debt. It was gold-collar workers; people with no real assets hiding their economic status with bling. But that’s not quite who we are. I’m not even sure they still exist.
We may be wild spenders but we’re not materialists. We don’t fantasise about owning gold chains, designer suits and Porsches or mink coats. The power symbols of the 1980s are dead to us. These days we don’t define status in symbols, but in social-media updates.
We don’t crave objects but lives rich in experiences that we can show off online. After all, everything that happens to us is noteworthy, but you can only tweet a picture of a Porsche so many times.
We bank cultural cachet on our Facebook feeds and sell ourselves through our actions, canny to a new reality that diamonds don’t last for ever but tweets do. Not because we’re shallow narcissists but because this is how we get jobs, make friends, tell the world who we are. We’re behaviourists who believe that we are what we do.
So when M loses a grand and our cab fare on Black Jack and I’m forced to walk home on Primark heels in the rain, I’m not bothered. I’m tweeting, just cashing in on the investment I’ve made.
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