Adventures in Disposable Income
June 28, 2004
(In which we are filthy, dirty yuppie sell-outs. Y’all are going to hate me after this post, I know it.)
I kicked off the weekend by spending over $200 on a haircut, highlights and hair products on Friday morning. Gulp.
Friday night, Jason took me and my haircut to LeftBank in Adams Morgan. LeftBank is a new trendy spot...the chef described it as a "wired retro lounge," or something. It's the kind of restaurant where you’ll spend over $100 while sharing a cafeteria-style table with up to four other people. Half the menu is raw/vegan stuff while the rest of the menu explores every culinary fad in the world. The music is loud so you end up shouting at your dinner companion and rolling your eyes at the slobs who dare to ask for a table while wearing JEANS and TENNIS SHOES. I mean, come on. Do they not notice the sea of metrosexuals in here? The Eurotrash and the Manolos? Please. Oh, and all the cups and cocktail glasses are made of fluorescent plastic. Funky!
(Coming Soon to an Amalah.com Near You: The Meathead Incident. There’s a whole other entry from this dinner that must be written, and will be written, I promise.)
After dinner, we could not bear to go home, for we had no air conditioning. A series of pipe bursts on our street knocked out the water supply to our HVAC unit thingie since Monday. It’s been awful. Luckily we ponied up the money for our sleeper sofa so we could sleep downstairs where it’s only 85 degrees instead of our bedroom upstairs where it’s 90.
But still. Hot. Humid. Crankiness. The AC came back on for one glorious evening this week on Thursday, only to be shut off again Friday morning when one of the repaired pipes sprung a leak AGAIN, probably because the District of Columbia is no longer allowed to repair water pipes with, you know, lead and asbestos and stuff. Damn liberals.
On Thursday we cranked up the AC so high we had to sleep under the comforter and I woke up with a little cold. It was wonderful. Our electric bill weeps.
So on Friday, when faced with another sleepless night on the sleeper sofa with the sounds of Wisconsin Avenue blaring through our useless open windows, we did what any couple who routinely spends $100 on a meal of veggie burgers and prosciutto with cantaloupe would do. We called a hotel.
Specifically, the Hotel Helix, future home of JournalCon 2004. We dashed home, packed a bag, filled up seven bowls of water for Max and bolted from our luxury/slumlord condo/sauna.
The hotel was very nice. So was the hotel bar. Also funky and trendy and loud. Except for all the tourists who dared go out to drink at their own hotel in Birkenstocks and athletic socks. But anyway. Lots of Red Bull drinks (which I am so over, frankly) and cocktails garnished with interesting things, like cucumbers.
After spending $11 a cocktail at the lounge, $5 for Maker’s Mark from the room’s minibar seemed really reasonable. And it went well with the complimentary coffee, which we drank at 2 a.m. and then had only decaf for the next morning so we went to the lobby for our free complimentary continental breakfast only to learn that no one ever really said "free" or "complimentary" and we paid $10 for two coffees, one muffin and a croissant.
I also could have done without the hotel bathroom ceiling starting to leak at 7 a.m. in the goddamn morning, and also without the bathroom ceiling starting to just GUSH water at 7:10 a.m. Especially since the dripping water not only woke me up but also made me really, really have to pee, which required trying to sit on the toilet and not get rained on, which was not possible. So I just prayed and prayed that the water was coming from somebody’s shower and not from any other plumbing fixtures.
But waking up early meant that we could get to a certain store that was having a certain big sale right when it opened. (Not-Exactly-Confidential to Zoot, Tjej and Fraulein: Thomas Pink is a store that sells tailored shirts and ties and cufflinks and scarves. All business-like and shit. But so, so beautiful. And expensive. But beautiful!) Jason thought he needed to exchange the black shirt I got him for his birthday, but it turns out he didn’t, because apparently we don’t know anything about men’s dress shirts, because we are trashy New Money. But while we were there we were soon suckered into buying him a matching tie and another shirt with another set of cufflinks.
And then I wandered into the women’s section. And at first I was all, yeah, these are pretty but I never like the way button-down shirts look. And the salesgirl was all, would you like to try on a sample shirt? (Yes, you can only try on samples, as the shirts you buy are all pristine and virgin and folded with so many fasteners they resemble a Chinese puzzle.) And I was all, okay, why not?
And then I tried the shirts on and was all, oh my god.
But even with the sale, the shirts were still pretty damn expensive, so I decided (or Jason glared at me until I decided) that I would only buy one. A classic one. One that would go with all my suits and I could wear all the time. Pink. White. Maybe a light blue.
Somehow I ended up with an eggplant-colored shirt with black and grey stripes and a pair of purple and pink cufflinks which are way more complicated to get on than I thought.
Anyway. After that spending frenzy, we decided to take it easy the rest of the weekend. So Saturday night we saw a movie, which cost us seventy hundred dollars for two tickets and a bottle of water. (We saw The Terminal. Which was sweet and harmless and definitely flawed, but starred Tom Hanks, who washes away a myriad of sins. Oh Tom. Please marry me. I will buy you shirts and fasten your cufflinks.)
After that, we decided to get serious about the not spending any more money. Except that the apartment was still so ho-ot. Too hot to make breakfast on Sunday. So we went out for brunch, which just isn’t brunch unless it includes Bloody Marys. But still, it was only $30 which was a bargain, except that we both clearly remembered a time when $30 was all we had to spend on dinner. On our wedding anniversary.
After brunch, it was time to not spend any more money ever again. Except on things we needed, like toilet paper. Except that once in the drugstore, I realized that I needed a lot of other things, like to try that C2 Coke with half the carbs or whatever, and also some fun lip gloss, because I should be good and not spend $30 on Chanel lip gloss ever again, even though I totally will.
I also decided to finally take control of my life and invest $29.99 in a package of Crest WhiteStrips.
Needless to say, when we realized we needed to hit the regular grocery store later on Sunday, Jason was perfectly happy to leave me at home in the hot apartment and go by himself. But he still bought me a bouquet of roses, because he’s like that.
And that, my friends, is how you spend your entire paycheck in a span of three days. And also why Amalah and Jason need to have a baby or get a hobby like volunteering in a soup kitchen, because this is shameful. But fun.
Plus I’ve already gotten like, five compliments on my shirt and am thinking I could really use a white one. And then I could donate all my cheap ones to the Goodwill or something, lest a huge karmic anvil comes crashing through our roof this week.
It would probably hit our air conditioning.