My Bourgie Index


bour-gie [bo͞o'zhi] adj. (comparative more bourgie, superlative most bourgie)
From Bourgeoisie or Bourgeois, from French; compare bougie.
1. (usually pejorative) used to describe middle-class values in their attempt to give the semblance of discerning taste.

Although there were more reasonably priced bottles of wine, they chose an expensive Malbec not for its flavor, but for its bourgie appeal.

I feel so bourgie these days, when I drive up to Starbuck’s in my brand new 2011 Toyota Prius, but not as bourgie as I feel when I actually place my order for a Starbuck’s Grande Latté. It only gets worse as I await my frothy beverage, for I pass this time, by surfing on my Apple iPhone. This collection of possessions, Prius, Latté and iPhone, has combined to define my personal bourgie index, at least on my morning commute, and this index is high.

Back in the day, when we had just graduated from college, and were beginning our careers, our friend, Evelyn, coined the term bourgie index. As we were setting up our households, aided by the influx of fulltime employment cash, possessions began to accumulate in our respective households. We would chide each other on our respective bourgieness. Buying a Cuisinart food processor was more bourgie than buying a Krupps coffee maker, but most bourgie, was the purchase of my baby Trans-Am, a Plymouth Arrow.

The Arrow was certainly not my most sober or well thought out automotive acquisition, but it certainly made heads turn. It was black and trimmed in gold tape. It really did look like a baby Trans-Am. In the intervening years, under the tutelage of my Spovely Louse, I have been slowly weaned from such testosterone fueled consumerism. We eventually bought a modest house, had two boys and settled into parenthood. Raising children only accelerated our consumerism, but in retrospect our bourgie indexed tended to slope downward. Then the kid’s college years came along, which in some respects continues on to this day. College’s drain on our cash flow inhibited our bourgie tendencies better than a cold, wet slap in the face. We are now working ourselves out of college debt and find ourselves these days with a little bit of extra cash. Hence, the Prius and this post’s faux lamentations about a bourgie index.

In truth, I enjoy the caffeine fueled, daily morning ritual of the flashing of the bling. The fact that I can do this in the banking sector, all the while accoutered in engineer’s garb, only adds to my pleasure among the blossoming suits. Politically, the combination of Prius, Latté and iPhone, speak of a liberal persuasion. I embrace this stereotype. It fits the neighborhoods and haunts that I frequent and makes a statement elsewhere. Effete, liberal, Democrat, tree hugger, whatever, call me what would you may, I revel in your stereotypes. Tag me as you will, but don’t you dare touch my new car.

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