Your college girlfriend wanted us to remind you that once you were broke and happy.
I can't figure out wtf this is supposed to mean. Are they saying, "broke is good, so go spend your Citibank credit card up to the max and don't worry be happy"? Are they saying, "You worry too much about money, we can give you a big fat loan and make worry go byebye"? Or is it the opposite, something like, "You don't need all that materialistic crud, so buy wisely but charge it to us"? How about, "Yeah, you were a damn fool to break up with that cool college girlfriend and marry your last three greedy wives"? Or maybe, "Remember happy college days, when you didn't have to pay with your credit card to get laid by that gf? But you're old now, buddy, so if you ever want sex again you have to depend on us, and we're here for you."
And of course, it's very likely that the person referenced in the ad is broke and in hock to Citibank because of all the stuff he charged or took out loans to pay for while he was busy being broke and happy and in college with the gf. Pizzas and beers don't grow on trees and nobody gives you a Pell Grant to cover 'em either.
Knowing me, I'm reading way too much into it...but then again they did manage to get my attention for five minutes. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, GOOD WORK MEN.
The funniest part of the whole ad is that I was never "broke and happy". Me and my college bf were broke a lot of times, sure, but we weren't happy about it - we were happy IN SPITE of it. Nobody in our neck of the woods stood around and danced a jig about being broke. That kind of thinking is for rich kids. (I've always figured that people's level of rejection of materialism is often determined by how poor they were growing up, as in if you grew up dead flat broke you're most likely to opt for Elvis-Presley drug-dealer designer excess; if you grew up middling broke, like I did, you'll happily wear thrift store clothes but want a few things nice; and if you grew up rich with a big trust fund you're most likely to reject it all and go meditate in Tibet.) You don't need a ton of money to be reasonably happy but I'm not going to stand here and pretend it doesn't help. We spent a lot of time thinking about things we'd do when we Had Money. Not a ton of money. I wasn't like his previous gf who sat around enviously watching "Hart to Hart", ran off with a lawyer (given what i now understand about law, that lawyer was like, fourth tier, but any ol' lawyer at the time was better than unemployed punk musos) and bragged about making $60,000 a year at her court reporter job when $60,000 was like $100,000 is now and I always thought she was bullshitting to beat the band. I didn't want to be "Hart to Hart" rich (I still don't). I just wanted to be rich enough to buy anything I wanted at the thrift store and run up to NYC when I felt like it. Rich enough to not be stuck. Unstuck is what's happy.