Sunday, July 10, 2005


Now I can buy that loaf of bread I've had my eye on.

Based on my calculations, I ran out of money on May 1. And my payment finally arrived on Friday, July 8. In that 10-week period, my income was, to the best of my recollection:

Hedge clipping Job: $150
Garage Sale $50
Birthday Money: $75
Old Records Sold: $6
Old Books Sold: $42
Schwinn Cruiser 6-Speed Sold: $75
Johnny Horton Boxed Set Sold: $54.95

Total: $452.95

No. That's not all I lived on. I leaned pretty heavily on my Sugar Mama. But still. I was broke-ass broke. On the afternoon when the money finally showed up in my account, I was looking under couch cushions for spare change to buy pasta. Seriously. I was.

Now here's the weird part. I had everything I needed. I didn't really even need to scrounge for pasta money -- there was plenty of food around, I just wanted pasta. In truth, I probably would have gotten along just fine with a third of that figure listed above. Indeed, every time one of those piddly amounts came in, I raced out to spend it. And that's what's weird. I felt like an addict. Like I just had to spend.

Like when that birthday money came in, I headed over to Habitat Restore and bought a bunch of wood I still haven't used (plan to, though). And when I sold the books, I wasted about an eighth of it on Arby's, when I had plenty to eat at home. I bought something dumb at a thrift store too, I can't remember what. (To be fair, a lot of that $452.95 went into the garden which isn't a total waste.)

So then the big eagle finally lands and Good Lord! I wanna go on a shopping spree. And I have, sort of, though I'm being really careful. Allie and I are having regular financial planning meetings to keep on our frugal course while we transition into the next career phase.

Just makes you think about capitalism, I guess. I told Ebony all this and he nodded knowingly. He told me that Ivan Illich says I was programmed to be a spending addict in grade school.

"That's why we need to de-school society," Ebony said.

Sounds good to me.

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