Every week I make a resolution to stop spending so much money on the weekends. I’m failing miserably. It usually goes something like this:
Late afternoon, a coworker stops by my desk… “Hey are you coming to Happy Hour?!”
“Um, yeah… Sure!”
I deserve this. Right? I mean, I could stay here for another hour and respond to emails, but… Mojitos. Okay, just one drink. Emails will have to wait. Regards.
So I go. And for a moment, I think I’ve got at all figured out. Look at me, being an adult, and socializing with other adults. See, I don’t need spend a lot of money to have fun…or whatever this is. One drink, seven bucks. Perfect.
Our painfully perky waitress stops by to ask if she “can get us anything else?!,” but before I can say “No actually, I’m headed home to watch re-runs of Full House until I pass out,” Bob from marketing utters five words that change the fate of anyone’s night:
“Yeah I’ll take another one.”
“Me too,” says the intern, a little too eagerly.
And it doesn’t take long for the little game of round robin to circle around the table, and it’s my turn. Looks like everyone is going for round two, and I don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t order. “Yeah, okay, sure, thanks.” Jesus, I haven’t felt this much pressure to drink since the entire ninth grade class piled into Chris McAdam’s basement while his parents were vacationing in Bermuda.
Whatever, it’s seven dollars, who cares?
But I quickly realize that two drinks are about all it takes for my filter to lift, and I’m tempted to call out everyone for violating my workplace pet peeves, “Bob, you hum too loudly…Cindy, please stop bringing pad thai for lunch….” Yeah, that’s a bad idea, I need to get out of here.
I think about heading home, but I’ve already invested a few hundred calories, so I might as well “go all in.” No need to waste a decent buzz. I text a few friends and find myself at a pregame for an hour or two before we decide to take a cab to bar across town. “Why is this happening?” I think to myself, wondering if it’s too late for some Full House.
“SHOTS,” shouts someone, and I oblige. I head to the bar, toss the bartender my Visa like it’s a Black Card and I’m one the Kardashians, and he asks yet another fateful question…
“Keep it open?”
It’s important you understand that I suffer from sort of drunken personality disorder, where after a few drinks, I am convinced I’m rich, and want to treat all of my friends to a night of my luxurious lifestyle.
Within seconds…”Hey, do yall need drinks? I have a tab!” It’s usually the last thing I remember saying.
Sometime around 9am: Oh my god, is the apartment on fire? Why am I so hot? Why am I wearing a dress?
It takes a second for it all to become clear. Oh. Not again. I grab my phone, which somehow managed to make it to the charger, and log into my bank account. Time to assess the damage.
$18 for happy hour, $30 bucks in cabs, $45 bucks at the bar, and a $20 Dominos charge. I ordered pizza?
Over $100. Not great. But, I need to get rid of this hangover, so I mass text “Brunch?!?!” to everyone I know within a 10 mile radius, and wait til I get a response.
Brunch is lovely as always, but it’s only noon, and I’ve got time to kill. I’ll just go to the mall and look. I won’t buy anything. And that’s a great game plan until I find the most amazing pair of shoes I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t need them. But they are so perfect. I text a picture to a few friends, and all it takes is one “cute!” text, and I’m done. Okay, one thing. That’s it. It’s not the end of the world.
I drive home. When am I supposed to eat next? Brunch is confusing. It’s 4:30. I’m not-not hungry… Chipotle is up here on the corner. But I think I have a Lean Cuisine or something at home.
“..Brown rice, black beans, chicken… guac..”
Saturday’s total: $85. Winning.
I decide that if I just lock myself in my apartment, I can’t spend any money. Netflix, here I come. Pour some cereal. Go to grab the milk. No milk. No food, really. The fridge is looking pretty light. Okay I’ll go to the grocery store, then straight back home.
Have you ever been to the grocery store when you’re hungry? I wouldn’t say I’m generally the picture of perfect self-control, but if I’m hungry at the grocery store, all bets are off.
Dried acai berries? Sounds kinda gross, but I probably need them. What’s the difference between steel cut and rolled oatmeal? I’ll get both. Zebra Cakes? They still make these? Yes, please.
I walked out of there spending just under $100, which I’ll take as a victory, because it could’ve been way worse. I hobble up to my apartment, carrying four times my body weight in groceries because I refuse to make two trips from my car. But cooking after all of that heavy lifting seems out of the question, so I grab a Zebra Cake and go back to bed.
So the weekend cost me about $300 (and my dignity, and probably any chance of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels). It isn’t the first time, and won’t be my last. And for that, I am sorry. Kinda.
Probably should just cut these up…