You probably heard about that "affluenza" teen who was charged with killing four people in a drunken driving wreck and then fled to Mexico with his mom. (What a little bitch, by the way.) To me, affluenza sounds like some contagious flu virus — and maybe it is.
Boulder sees its fair share of affluenza: young kids riding around in $60,000 cars and living in $1,500-a-month apartments. It's absurd, like most things seem to be in Boulder these days.
Boulder is like a petri dish that is growing affluenza bacteria — and affluenza is the hottest thing to have around town. I recently paid $9 for a cup of soup on Pearl Street. I walked out ashamed. And the soup wasn't even hot. (#$%#!!) That's what got me thinking: If prices are going up, shouldn't quality? If I am going to catch this affluenza bug, shouldn't I notice that I am catching it, because the quality of my life is way above average?
It's not matching up correctly. The soup is a perfect example; I am paying for gold and getting coal.
We all know that rising living costs plague the county. Millennials are spending so much cash to live in a college-style apartment that comes complete with stained floors and white-painted walls — all the while, a large majority of them get ripped at the end of their lease term. I had a landlord who claimed I owed her $1,400. She told me to throw out my financial records, because I was wrong. Reality hit her after a 35-minute conversation about how she actually owed me the money. Think about how many careless affluenza-stricken kids in Boulder are just handing over that kind of money. (Gosh, makes me want to get in the apartment game.)
People are being priced out of town. And the ones in town aren't noticing the uneven prices compared to the quality. The new people moving in are a pack of affluenza-challenged Boulder wave-riders. They all want this amazing experience, filled with glorious foods and drinks — and are willing to pay the price.
But, Boulder isn't keeping up in the quality department. Boulder is just like, "Oh, that fancy place down the street is charging $100 for a cup of coffee... I serve sludge, but screw it, I can too." We are conditioning business owners to raise prices, thus, making us spend more for no increase in quality.
Sure, we get new restaurants, bars and all the goodies, but a majority of Boulder still is lacking in quality, but still raising prices. And from what I have been experiencing, we are only in the beginning stages; it's going to get worse.
The point of this piece isn't to bash businesses and landlords, but raise awareness of the affluenza virus. We need to stop being shined over by pretty wooden walls and nice lighting. We need to start demanding the quality of life that we are actually paying for.
Millennials are taking this town over — and we cover all areas: from the bottom (college) to the top (homeowners). We need to take some control.
I should have taken that damn soup back and poured it on the floor, screaming, "COLD SOUP FOR ME, NO MONEY FOR YOU!"
Next time I will — I'll practice what I preach.