What I’ve Spent Since My Boyfriend Told Me He Was Moving to Germany, Then Broke Up With Me
by Alex Baca
Just because people usually buy you lots of drinks during periods of significant personal trauma doesn’t mean you stop spending. Herewith, the damage I’ve done in the past week:
• $44: Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s, Visual Sensations: The Paintings of Robert Swain, 1967–2010, and a set of Robert Rauschenberg postcards at the Hirshhorn Museum’s gift shop
• $2.50: Tea at Chinatown Coffee Co.
• $60: Deposit at Tattoo Paradise. Nothing like making plans for another tattoo in times of emotional distress!
• $16: A Bell’s Amber Ale and burger with mushrooms at Cafe Saint-Ex
• $18: Cash, given to a friend of a friend for a ticket to see Ted Leo at the Black Cat
• $9.50: Lunch special from A.M. Wine Shoppe (tuna salad sandwich, San Pellegrino aranciata, chips; I don’t eat the chips)
• $35: Co-pay for a doctor’s appointment
• $49.99: Ambien prescription. My insurance’s servers are down, and I know I can’t spend another night awake. Though the co-pay would knock the price down to $10, I pay out-of-pocket.
• $17.43: Nachos and pulled pork sliders at Riot Act Comedy, where my company is sponsoring a trivia night. The nachos appeared to be microwaved. The sliders are mushy. I accidentally leave my debit card at the bar — when I realize it’s still there, I go to the bank and cancel it rather than picking it up.
• $6.34: Tomato-basil soup and a package of saltines at Safeway
• $7: An Ommegang Hennepin at Marvin. He tells me it’s over when we walk outside. I sob continuously for the next few hours and feel justified in paying out-of-pocket for the Ambien.
• $188: Outlier women’s daily riding pants. I rationalize buying the pants I’ve wanted for over a year because they’ve been restocked and I’ve been dumped.
• $100: Sliding scale payment for a therapist appointment. The therapist I’ve found — at the last minute, via Psychology Today’s online listings, after a spelling mistake on the front cover of the paper I copy edit sends me into the most painful throes of anxiety yet — is out-of-network. I discover this way that my insurance deductible is far too high to ever be met in the 33 weeks left in the year, because I had no idea what I was doing when I picked out a health insurance plan.
• $9.50: Lunch special from A.M. Wine Shoppe (vegetable panini, Blenheim ginger ale, chips; I eat half of everything)
• $10: Lower Dens show at Rock & Roll Hotel
• $12: Acid Mothers Temple show at Red Palace
• $16.32: A SmokeShack burger, fries, and Washington Monu-Mint concrete from Shake Shack.
• $12.07: Brunch special at Sticky Fingers
• $12.57: A pile of classical records from Unique Thrift. I’ve just finished Alex Ross’ The Rest is Noise and want to aurally understand the magic of Sibelius’ tone poems.
• $9.07: Taro mochi, guava candies, jasmine tea, and pickled mango from Great Wall Grocery in Falls Church
• $49.42: Beefeater gin and Lunazul Reposado tequila (on sale!) at an ABC store. Virginia, you’re weird.
• $10: My friend’s band’s show at Black Cat
• $12.13: A 24-pack of Cottonelle toilet paper. I’m out — and I like it soft.
Alex Baca rides a bike in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Flickr/Eligerma)