My Last Hundred Bucks: Yoga Class, Mother’s Day Gift, and a Shower Curtain
by Mary Phillips-Sandy
$100! It is a lot of money, and yet, it is also not a lot of money at all. Where did your last hundred bucks go, Mary Phillips Sandy?
$5: Donation-based yoga class. I experienced a twinge of guilt about giving the minimum donation but the only other bill in my wallet was a $20, and you do not want to be the jerk asking for change at the donation-based yoga class.
$16: Brunch with a friend at Alchemy in Park Slope. Turkey burger, fries, salad, green tea, plus tip.
$21.13: Grocery run for essentials: apples, Greek yogurt, Cafe Bustelo and dry cat food. The Bustelo is cheap ($3.99 for 10 oz., plus the value-add of the bright canister), but it’s not a thrift thing for me, it’s nostalgia. I had a roommate years ago who drank Bustelo and I got used to having it around, and then I got used to the taste. It is obviously not as delicious as the $12/lb. beans but it is what I want in the morning. As for cat food, my cats only eat dry, and a couple years ago a vet told me there was no reason to buy the expensive all-natural kibble with free-range chicken and organic kale or whatever, so now I get Purina and try not to think about the poultry by-product meal. I mean, they also eat dust and plastic bags.
$25.75: A $25 donation to the Pine Tree Legal Fund, plus 3% to Network for Good so the entire donation goes to charity, in my mom’s name as a Mother’s Day gift. Pine Tree Legal helps low-income Mainers get free legal aid, which is something that matters a lot to my mom (I am from central Maine). I thought about getting her a book, but she’s devoted to her e-reader these days, and florally speaking I can never outdo my father, who always splurges on flowers for her. I like the charity-gift-as-gift approach, both as a giver and as a recipient, because it’s meaningful and you don’t have to make room for it on a shelf.
$7.61: Essie nail polish in Sure Shot from the drugstore near my office. I am going through a stressful breakup/move (as opposed to all those fun, relaxing breakups/moves!), and it is easier to deal with such things if your nails look nice.
$7.48: A salmon-avocado roll and a ginger ale from the gourmet deli near my soon-to-be-former apartment. I had been listening to “Tunnel of Love” on the subway, so by the time I got home I wanted something comforting and slightly indulgent, and that overrode the part of my brain that knew there was leftover lentil soup waiting for me two blocks away. This was $7.48 in sales that never would have been realized had I not been listening to “Tunnel of Love” on the subway.
$43.54: A shower curtain for my new apartment. I ordered it online, late at night, after drinking the ginger ale with some Maker’s. Is $43.54 a crazy amount to spend on a shower curtain? Should I have put that money toward something more significant, like a couch or non-Ikea kitchen chairs? I don’t know. My new apartment has a bathtub. I figure I will take a long, hot bath and paint my nails and everything will be fine, eventually.
Previously: Sara Eisen