Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Money Matters

“He bought her a Coach bag for her birthday,” she says with a disgusted snort.

“Uhm, okay.”

“A Coach bag!”

I sit wide-eyed, not getting it, as two pairs of raised eyebrows glare at me expectantly.

“Oh! Ohh,” I finally say with an overzealous nod. “Because Coach is…not good.”

“Duh!” they say emphatically.

“Okay, okay, I get it.” Nod, nod, nod as I shove my pleather bag deeper into the recesses of my lap.

I’ve never actually owned a Coach bag.

Thus began shallow New Yorker lesson number one. Coach, bad. Gucci, good. DKNY, bad. Louis Vuitton, good. Calvin Klein, bad. Chanel, good. If name pronounce like spell, bad, bad, bad. Woof, woof. Good dog. Now go roll over and give your master, keeper of the Black Card, a blowjob.

You know your life has hit a new low when you’re sitting at a table, surrounded by your closest lifelong friends and all you can think about is what you did so wrong earlier in life to end up here. Force an unsuccessful smile and drink your wine in enthusiastic gulps as they speak several octaves above what most dogs can hear and laugh and laugh.

“So then, I was like, why don’t you just buy it for me, and he did!”

Cue squeals of delight, eyes rolling into backs of eyelids shrouded in Mac and Stila makeup.

“Oh my God! You’re so fucked up! I’m so jealous!”

“L?”

“Heh?” My head snaps up to attention.

“You’re always so lost!”

“Oh, you know me, heh, I’m slow. Sort of in my own world. You know. Hah…”

And now summer has descended on New York, saturating it in a cloak of humidity, and the crowds have retreated to the depths of Eastern Long Island in search of relief. The women have dusted the dust off of their Spring collection designer dustbags and draped its overpriced contents lazily over their shoulders. Corporate peons have begun to work summer hours and the days stretch to make room for dining al fresco on Manhattan sidewalks, lazing by rooftop pools in swanky gyms and browsing shops on Madison Avenue.

Yesterday, I quit my job.

I knew there was no way for me to tell my boss what I needed to say without actually quitting. I knew there was no way I could waste any more of my time doing something I so adamantly despised. But the relief only lasted five minutes before panic set in and the word “unemployment” started thundering inside my skull.

Flashbacks of awkward dinners where I browsed menus by price, ordered ice water instead of cocktails, skipped dessert. Asking people if they could “spot me” because they insisted I come out despite the state of my finances and took me barhopping at swanky lounges. Scamming investment bankers for drinks and feeling hungover and cheap in the morning.

The liberty a steady paycheck affords is worth more than the numbers rolling up in your bank account.

In less than a month, that liberty will be gone and while New Yorkers chat on rhinestone encrusted cell phones and board the Hampton Jitney to their Summer homes, I’ll be peeling my legs off my parents’ leather couch and pushing Dog’s fuzzy-ass off of me while watching another Mets game on SNY.

“I can’t wait for the day when I can go shopping and not have to worry about the price tag,” B says while we browse a cheap outlet store in Woodbury.

“Seriously, I was just thinking the exact same thing.”

“Someday,” he says.

-L

7 Comments:

Blogger biteme said...

Not that you necessarily care what someone living a thousand miles south of you thinks, but having held positions similar to yours, when you reach the point where you can't stand it anymore, the best thing to do is to get out before you do something stupid. If you stay there, unhappy, long enough, eventually you will do something that will have lasting negative effects.

It's always possible to find another job-- even if it means doing short term or temporary work. There are a lot of placement agencies that will pay well for well-educated experienced people who find themselves momentarily out of work. The job doesn't define you, so define what you want.

Resist the urge to panic, survey your assets, breathe deeply, accept that what is done is done, and move forward. If you (the person) is anything like you (the writer), you will be just fine. I've found that most people who make this kind of move end up happier in the long run. And that's what you want anyway, right?

By the way: it's not nice to cage drinks off of guys. A little self respect (and respect for others) goes a long way.

Good luck.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude -- from one drunk gook girl to another potentially drunk gook girl -- good for you. Just discovered your blog. Need to follow your talent in writing. I need to exercise -- stomach is spread over keyboard even as I type.

1:52 AM  
Blogger SleekBlackMercedes said...

The ones who dont have to worry about price tags when shopping are those who own the shops... LoL!!!

Cheers pal!

3:22 AM  
Anonymous Pat said...

Congrats on leaving the job, and good luck with whatever you do next.

Also you forgot to evaluate Kate Spade, my girlfriend's favorite. I assume good.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Justa Drifter said...

Congrats and good luck on the job front. I've needed to do the same thing for some time; you just gave me the push I needed.

Thanks.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous km said...

if ever u find urself in that situation again where u have to smile and nod and fight to keep ur head from exploding from listening to conversations like that... call me. i'll gladly join u and talk about how retarded it is when people try and flaunt what they have when someone else bought it for them (especially if they cant afford it themselves) while i'll proudly put my GUESS bag that i love on the table.

i love puttin bitches in their place. even if it doesnt phaze them on the outside, u kno they're not as hot as they'd like to be inside. *smirk*

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You know your life has hit a new low when you’re sitting at a table, surrounded by your closest lifelong friends and all you can think about is what you did so wrong earlier in life to end up here."
haha seriously! sometimes im just like , are we even on the same fucking planet???

11:47 PM  

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