My Last Hundred Bucks: The Hoosier State

by Rachael Ehlich

Where’d your last hundo go, Rachael Ehlich?

$12.86, lunch with my boss and our paralegal at MacKenzie River Pizza. My boss works remotely (and out of state) most of the time these days, so she likes to have lunch when she’s in town. Getting out of the office for lunch would be nice if we didn’t spend the whole time talking about work.

$15.71, Trader Joe’s for almond butter and mini peanut butter cups. Oh baby, you/got what I need.

$16, A cantaloupe, some raspberries, and some peaches at the farmers’ market. The feeling of superiority and the twinge of crowd-induced panic were free.

$14, two tickets to the Indiana State Fair (my second visit this summer). You can’t put a price on the opportunity to see the World’s Largest Boar and the World’s Largest Ball of Popcorn in the same convenient location. Also, a sculpture made of over 1,000 pounds of cheese.

$3, grilled cheese sandwich from The Dairy Bar at the fair. I would have added a life-changing milkshake or some obscenely rich frozen custard to the order, but I took care of that during my first trip last week. There is no need for Wisconsin when you have Indiana’s Dairy Bar.

$2, bottle of water from a fair vending machine. I’m surprised they don’t jack the price up even higher.

$14.99, dinner at Tavern on South, a restaurant conveniently located within walking distance of the Indiana Convention Center, which was hosting Gen Con (like Comic Con, but for gaming) — the greatest spectacle in people watching.

$0, a stroll around downtown playing “spot the Gen Con attendee.” Additional bang for the zero bucks provided by the chance to seek out some pianos that were part of a public art project and unintentionally walk smack into the middle of a motorcycle convention. Almost more culture clash than the homogenous Midwest could handle.

$7, Protein shakes at the gym because I’m too lazy to bring them from home. Included in the price is the shame of both overpaying and being someone who buys protein shakes.
The rest certainly went to gas, since public transportation in Indiana barely exists. I tried to do my part by living within walking distance of a wine bar and a coffee shop, but that has only made me poorer.

Rachael Ehlich lives in Indianapolis.

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