Hello, pumpkins. It's October! It's also 85 degrees in New York City right now. Ridiculous! Is there anything more exciting than talking about the weather?! No siree. Except maybe this announcement: I have completed the first of my 30 Before 30 challenges, holla! As of this morning, I am only in debt on one credit card! And also in student loans. And most certainly to my mother. But still: baby steps.
I started my foray into credit card debt while studying abroad my junior year. I know I'm amazingly irresponsible but I still maintain that travel is a worthy cause of debt. Live a little! See the world! I would, however, recommend putting the card away when you return and not breaking it out at the first pair of riding boots that catch your eye. The "I swear I'll pay it off the second the bill comes" trap is far to easy to fall into, trust me, I'm an expert. I would also recommend not opening a second credit card - especially if it is a specialty store credit card - for me, The Gap - no matter how much of a discount they offer you just for opening. Sure you saved 40% on that chambray tunic but suddenly it's three years later and thanks to copious 'members only sales' and promises of points and bonuses for non-clothing purchases you're a thousand bucks in the hole with little more than some flimsy cardigans to show for it.
I'd also recommend not moving to New York City or working in publishing but far wiser people than I have done it quite successfully with little to no financial hardship so maybe just don't listen to me at all when I'm dishing out money advice and/or life?
Long story extra long: I dipped into my savings account (which up until last January was at a standard balance of like $32, but that's another story for another day) to pay off my Gap credit card. It was scary to write such a huge check, from money I'd worked so hard to save, but it feels like the right move. The interest rates were staggeringly high, and every minimum payment I made felt like a sad drop in the bucket. I still have a long way to go on my other debts but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. I am pretty flim-flamming proud of myself, I'm not gonna lie about it.
Whoop! One (major!) challenge down, 29 to go...
Is this what responsibility feels like? It's refreshing! And terrifying. Mostly terrifying. Someone give me back my credit card. I see some pants I need...
No! Let me distract myself with story telling! Why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:
Did everyone watch the Breaking Bad finale on Sunday?! OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! No spoilers but I will tell you this much: my friend Kamran and I pulled out all the stops on our epic finale party. Or wait, the opposite. Across the interwebs we saw blue cocktails with home made rock candy and Heisenburgers...my own brother even made a blue cake decorated with blue "meth" sugar candy (well, it was more green than blue, such a Todd that guy!).
Kam and I managed to put down some blue (meth!) berry ice cream, three dozen "Pollos Hermanos" wings, a few slices of pizza and half a bottle each of scotch and Pinot Grigio.
Classy and festive. Or lazy and gluttonous. Little of both?
And if you don't know what any of these things mean, WELL, it sounds like you've been wasting your time doing dumb stuff instead of catching up on Breaking Bad so, sorry I'm not sorry. Get your life together, man.
Let's see...the largest of the bunch is a housewarming gift for my friend and her husband who bought their home in oh, May. The smaller in gold and silver is a wedding gift for my cousin who was married on the 5th of July... the colorful package below that one is another wedding gift for my friend Maureen, who was married on the 6th of July, wrapped in birthday paper because I ran out of the fancy wedding stuff. 4 months late and inappropriately wrapped. Regular old Emily Post right over here. (Also, both gifts are the same, involving the couple's initials and wedding dates. Both couples are M+M and married within one day of the other so the probability that I mixed them up is about 80 to 1. Just cross your fingers this all worked out.)
The stack of birthday wrapped packages are gifts for my godson and his twin brother on their 3rd birthday, which was just Wednesday so I'm only like 3 days late on that one.
I actually bought all of these on time, but let them linger in my office for months because I'm just the laziest. Or, OR, hear me out guys: it's strategic and thoughtful. I understand that there must be a sense of sadness after a wedding ends or several months post-birthday or house closing - all of your planning and saving and celebrating has come to a close and you go back to your sad, dumb, boring life with no presents, or parties or cake. UNTIL! Six months later, suddenly, you open your mailbox and, what's this?!?! A gift?! For me?! The celebration lives on! Once again your bask in the glow of your newly wedded/habitated/born bliss and feel special and loved again.
THAT is why I'm always late. It's not that I can't get it together...it's alllll a part of my master plan.
You're welcome, everyone.
Wondering what's in those packages? Not telling...except this one peek.
Best book EVAH! Got one for my godson....annnnd a copy for me. I haven't read it in years! What a classic.
My godson Michael is one of a set of twins - they each have separate godparents. It doesn't feel right to get just Michael a birthday gift, but I felt like I needed to do something special for the guy, since I am his spiritual mentor and all. I realize that I'm not exactly a pillar of Christian morality (whoops) but do think I could teach the kid a thing or two about something that I believe is truly valuable: lit-rah-chaaa. Every year for his birthday I'll help to build his library, supplying him with my favorite books I read as a young person. Last year I got him The Phantom Tollbooth and this year, the Mixed Up Files. He just turned three, so he likely won't be diving into these for a few years, but when he's ready I want him to be prepared with a fully stocked, totally badass library.
I'll make this kid a bookworm if it's the last thing I do!
I guess that's not really awkward, unless you count me reading books for 3rd graders on the subway. I just wanted to show off that, though I send them way late, I DO give solid presents.
Now, time to overshare. You ready for this?
I don't know if you are.
Some BOLD color choices up in this apartment.
Last week when I wrote about my multiple public restroom disasters, my friend commented thanking me for keeping the toilet humor classy and I was so honored. I don't want to reach too high for the stars, but that's kind of my goal. To be the classiest inappropriate person on earth. Can it be done? Well, this next story might push the limits but I think it's important to share.
So. Wednesday evening I was going to a friend's house in the neighborhood for a ladies' grilled cheese evening and stopped off at my apartment between work and her place to drop off my things and rinse off, as I'd gone for a run near my office and was smelling like a real peach.
The house I grew up in was pretty old, with a plumbing system to match - flushing a toilet anywhere in the house would set the hot water totally haywire, so you had to be really careful before taking a shower. Any flush action within like, 20 minutes pre-shower could have you shivering in ice water the whole time. Consequently, I never, ever flush if I you knowww before hopping in the shower, even if it's a number twosie, which is totally never is because girls don't poop. Except when they do, which is sometimes before they get in the shower. Or so I've heard.
I just close the toilet lid, scrub up and flush when I get out.
WELL. Wednesday evening I was rushing around to get to Abbe's house, my brain a million places at once. Brian was working late, so I came and went before he made it home. I was halfway to Abbe's house when I got that horrible, sinking anxiety feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'd forgotten something. You know how you can convince yourself that you didn't unplug the iron or turn off the stove? Well I was suddenly just horribly, devastatingly positive that I'd forgotten to flush the toilet, leaving a delightful surprise waiting for poor Brian.
Now, we're pretty open (some might say too open) (some would probably be correct) with discussing our bodily functions, but there are some lines that can't be crossed, you know? Not yet, anyway. We've lived together for TWO MONTHS, we gotta save something for the future! If we start seeing each other's doo-doo two months in, what's left at two years? Twenty-two? I literally can not imagine...nor do I want to.
I contemplated turning back around but it was too far for just a hunch and plus: what if Brian beat me there? So I did what any weirdo would do and texted him:
"Listen. If you get home ant he toilet seat is down...flush it before opening. Don't ask any questions."
Guys: this is real life. No one prepares you for this stuff! When you make the decision to move in with a romantic partner, whether it's pre-marital or post, no one clues you in to the actual HARD TRUTHS of cohabitation. Sure you hear all about splitting finances and chores and making sure you get alone time but NO ONE prepares you for the very real and probably inevitable possibility of seeing the other person's poop.
Well, now you've been warned. Tread lightly. Double check that you've flushed.
Luckily it turns out that I had, in fact, remembered, so this whole situation was just an act of unnecessary oversharing, anxiety and weirdness (my three best qualities) but I still think it the creep-o text was better than the alternative. And Brian still seems to be attracted to me (what a freak!) so I think we're in the clear.
You can count on me to always report the most vital of information from the front lines of living in sin...whether anyone actually wants to hear it or not.
Annnnnddddd I think that's as good a point as any to shut this mother DOWN. It's Friday y'all. We made it. What's everyone up to this weekend?
I trust you'll keep it an appropriate mix of classy and shameful, whatever you do.
xoxo Liz Ho