Posts Tagged ‘money’

How much money do you make…?

January 11, 2014

Isn’t it funny how we present ourselves to perfect strangers? A dude sitting next to me at one of my favorite pubs once blurted out his annual salary unprovoked. I’m pretty sure I said something to the effect of “good for you”, but what I found more intriguing was the nature of this boast. Why, oh why, would you belch out a yearly figure to some random girl in a Jack Wills sweatshirt sitting on a bar stool? The obvious answer is to try and be as enticing as possible; however, how many Facebook posts and shared news articles from HuffingtonPost label women as gold diggers and cash-hungry bitches? Who’s really propagating this?

Cash for Dinner...?

Cash for Dinner…?

There’s an online site that one of my friends was once a part of wherein socially awkward, yet wealthy men bid on women for dates. These women would then go out to some of the nicest restaurants in Boston for free on this goofy, loaded dude’s arm. Nothing sexual needed to happen or was even expected – the men just wanted to go out with a pretty lady for a change. Who’s worse here? The girl who took the money to pay her bills or the man who couldn’t pull it together and ask a gorgeous woman out the traditional way. Someone without blame, please throw a stone. Some man actually prefer to make more money than their ladies anyway, so why the hell does it matter if everyone knows she’s WELL taken care of? A man wants a beautiful wife, a woman wants a wealthy husband. This website helps both parties, I suppose.

My girlfriend had her fake tits paid for by her boyfriend two years ago. They broke up last December. Obviously he doesn’t get to take back those cans, but I know she didn’t date him with the intention of having plastic surgery paid for in full. Oddly enough, she never talked about breast enlargements till they started dating…. What a nice present though! However, given that her ex drove a really nice car and (shocking) pretty much immediately told her how much he made, I can assume she knew she’d be taken care of. But then he re-arranged her body – or encouraged her to do so and provided her with funding at least. Who’s the brat here? My friend for taking the free pair of boobs or her boyfriend for not accepting her for just the person she was?

If the pick up line you run on me includes telling me your salary, expect that I will either A. Think you’re lying, and refuse or B. Expect to be labeled as a money grubbing bitch when we break up, and refuse. And all you really had to do was something witty like… Say Hello.

So, how much money DO you make? Does it really matter?

10 Things That I Judge about You

May 6, 2012

While this is not directed at anyone in particular, I can’t help but wonder who will be aghast at my boldness. Or perhaps this will secure a new habit or the removal of one in a person’s life and they’ll be that much better for it.

1. Bathroom cleanliness: When I walk into your bathroom and you don’t have, say, SOAP, I know for a fact you probably didn’t just run out this morning. You haven’t had suds in there for weeks. And where is the toilet paper? Ohhh! It’s right next to the toilet on the floor, waiting for misdirected pee. Wonderful, I’m thrilled to use your floor TP. Or the hand towel with green tooth paste smeared down the middle for me to dry my un-soaped hands upon after I’m done using ground toilet paper. Is there a ring around the toilet to the extent of foul that I literally have to hover and hold just to feel sanitary? And the shower? I personally have about five different face soaps to choose from and I like to mix it up with the shampoos too. I judge what you like to use to clean yourself. Do you like Neutragena? Jergans? Do you even have face soap? I love seeing what people carry in their showers! Often I get new ideas of what I should be using. My girl Melissa has SO many wonderful goodies for me to choose from, I may not leave her shower for an hour because I want to lather, rise, repeat with every shampoo she has to offer!

2. Cell phones during dinner: Going out to dinner is one of my favorite things to do with either my friends or a date. And I completely understand in certain situtations, business must continue while I’m stuffing my face with jumbo lump crab and sipping on Champagne. However, Facebook checking, Google, searching and naturally the ex-girlfriend texts are most decidedly off-limits. I realize I can be dull every now and then, but please, for Christ sake, just tell me I suck at conversation. I’ll take that over the passive aggressive I-phone app shopping. I can’t believe this has to be one of my 10 things I judge about you. No one has retained their dinner table training through the years of technology development apparently. Winning.

3. Ticks that involve body parts: In my high school public speaking class, my teacher brought to light the nervous ticks people exhibit during uncomfortable moments. I play with my hair, talk with my hands, and smile off to the side of my mouth. However, never, I repeat, NEVER would I tick in a manner that literally repulsed the person with whom I was speaking. I am shocked and dismayed by the crotch grabbing, nose picking, ear wax searching and pants adjusting that is allowed during face to face conversation. I’m going to start clucking or making some sort of animal noise any time someone stuffs a finger in their nose when I’m talking with them just to see what happens. “Why did you just … Laura, did you just quack?” “Yes, why is your finger in your ear drum right now?” I can’t be asked to accept this type of behavior. It’s horribly rude! Imagine you offer your hand to greet a person who just watch you fix your crotch! What must they think of you? I certainly don’t want you touching me, and I know you! How much more so for a complete stranger/client/lady/boss/etc.

4. Silverware Warrior: Silverware was made to gentrify society. It keeps the hands clean, the table free of flying food and hopefully, secures that your food makes a successful trip to your mouth. Cutlery is to be held in a firm, graceful manner with poise and purpose. It immediately reflects on your upbringing. Ask my nana. That’s what she told me and nobody argues with Nanny. As of late, I’ve noticed something grossly disturbing: Silverware is a weapon. A fork has become a cattle prod meant to jab and dash, smearing sauce around the plate followed by a finger to push a side onto the utensil. Who needs a knife when you have an index finger? A fork needs to be held by your fingers not in your fist like a dagger. A knife is held with your index finger pointed downward, thumb pointed forward, and the rest of the digits face behind the handle towards your body. I immediately feel anxiety when I see this dining behavior as I know that you can NEVER meet Nanny. She’s Italian and she’ll eat you up with a sharp, disciplinary tone. Then I’ll hear about “That boy/girl with the horrible table manners. Please don’t bring them to the club again, Law-rah.”

5. Facebook pictures of food: My brother’s girlfriend brought this to my attention recently and I couldn’t agree more. When you make food, it looks SO much better in real-time than online. In fact, food typically exhibits a greasy gloss from the digital camera’s flash to an extent that I’m actually throwing up in my mouth at the thought of you eating that shit. To be honest, I have fallen victim to posting pictures last year of a baller stew I made. Even when I posted the picture, I wasn’t happy with how my dinner looked. Why do we post these things? Who cares? It’s just food. Oh first world problems…

6. Uncontrolled Body Odor: While bathing is traditionally a typical daily function, I see no reason to demand it. Should the need arise when you smell like a boar, perhaps washing your armpits is required for the sanitary sake of mankind. However, at any point… at any point of the day when you notice that you don’t feel fresh, you must attend to this matter. I beseech you. I have broken up with men over the issue of body odor. As I once said in my public speaking class of long ago: It is better to smell way too good and have the scent wear off then to smell even a little bit bad and have that problem only get worse.

Make up at the Gym: When you come pay homage to the iron gods after work, naturally you’re bound to still have on the day’s colors. This section is not directed towards you. I’m talking about the Jersey Shore ladies who stroll in to the gym at 8am on a Wednesday dolled up to the nines. Boobs are everywhere, bright pink lipstick on cologine injected lips, and hoop earings. My spin girls and I look like sweaty morning girls next to you, and you just look like a beauty queen contestant. The gym is where we go to make ourselves look better during the rest of the day; it’s certainly not the place to attempt to woo a mate while sitting on a back machine. This 40-something year old gal at my gym just started working out with one of my trainer friends and she looks absolutely ridiculous doing squats with a face full of bronzer. Recognize there is a time and a place for clownish makeup, my gym isn’t it!

Flossing Issue: I don’t carry dental floss around in my purse; I’m not that anal about this point. But make no mistake, if you do not ever floss, everyone knows it. Without having a lick of dentistry knowledge in my repertoire, I know that plaque builds up between your teeth during the day and into the evening and must be conquered at night prior to bedding. If you have never opened your mouth for minty string, I beg you to reconsider. The plaque build up makes for one of the most recognizable, putrid smells I’ve ever encountered. It’s as if an old dog took an old poo in an old barnyard right before he died. Once you smell this type bacteria, you’ll never forget. My roommate just described the process the bacteria goes through to generate such a smell, but I can’t even stomach the thought… Floss. Baz Luhrmann included this advice in the Sunscreen monologue, so obviously we must heed his words!

9. Extensive Dropping: Names, Status, Titles, etc: About a month ago, I was in a car accident and the Medford police officer was so inappropriate and condescending that I nearly lost my cool. At 8:45am in a gym parking lot, there is never a need to gross rudeness. Oddly enough, later that day I was interacting with a few men and one of them said, “Hey, I’m a cop.” Who the f*ck cares!? You’re still going to get the same treatment, service, conversation and ultimately rejection that you would have received if you were the owner of a pet store! Hey, I’m a cop?! Are you kidding me? Or the people who say, “Hey, get _______, I know him. He’ll take care of this.” (which usually means that they want something for free). You know what’s hilarious? I typically know the person who you think is gonna vouch for you and cater to your whim. I’ll bet they wouldn’t appreciate you abusing their name. Or when someone throws around, “Hey, I’m in the industry,” or “Hey, I’m a sommelier” or “Actually, I own restaurants” or even better “Actually, I used to have your job”… If you want something for free, maybe act civilized and someone will take pity on you or simply stay home and eat popcorn. That’s free. I don’t care if you’re a cop. I don’t care if you know Mr. Del (there isn’t one BTW), I don’t care what your status is in life whatsoever. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? Can you participate in daily social situations without your insecurities blatantly waving in the wind? Make it a practice, please.

10. Your money: For those of you who aren’t aware, I have a job. I work hard, I play hard, I pay hard.  I like it hard. In certain circles of friends, I noticed the “no, I got the bill” conversation never happens. Iphone calculators happen. This is a grevious mistake; a $50 check and lower must be covered by one person. Hell, make the non-paying party member leave the tip. But to whip out deux credit cards for anything less that $50 is just cheap. Aren’t you both going next door anyway? Can she pay for this drink and you buy the next one? It would minimize the junk receipts in your purses y’know. Or when you offer to buy me a drink and I say (all together now) A slightly dirty Double Cross martini extra cold with three olives. And you say, “really?” in reference to that fact that I didn’t order a $3 Bud Lite. Yes, really. Don’t offer to buy me a cocktail if you can’t handle the order, I’ll get the damn thing myself. I came alone, didn’t I? I don’t know how to manage my money – it’s one of my flaws – but I certainly know that if I’m going out, it’s not for some crappy Bud Lite. I worked hard all day, I need a martini to the face. Beer is for the afternoon.

So, this is just a little laundry list that I compiled over the month after noticing -isums about people around me. The Silverware Warrior is truly my worst annoyance. My nanny can’t be ignored…

When it comes to life, I couldn’t help but wonder… is Sex in the City so off base?

July 6, 2011

I first watch Sex in the City back when I was 22 and living with sorority sisters. A past favorite, Kim, and I would curl up in her bed, stuffing our faces with chocolaty snacks and pretzels, while getting our fill of the girls. I’m pretty sure we watched every episode, taking breaks for air only when necessary. College classes obviously weren’t a priority for about a week till all six seasons were completed. Everything was so perfect – the shoes and clothes, the dream careers, the sexual adventures and the ideal cluster of friends. On the flip side and out of our apartment, college wasn’t really so different to be honest. I spent way too much money on shoes that didn’t fit, hung out with a variety of different gals depending upon the time of day, worked out all the time and of course, enjoyed dating and ordering lemon drop martinis (insert Mr. Yuck face here).

However, anytime I watch the re-runs that TiVo deems suitable – which is about 40% of the 94 episodes – I see the same trends over and over again. No one really ever sees the girls working. Whenever Samantha is “working”, she’s usually blowing Richard or drinking at some delightful cocktail party that she booked. I’m unfamiliar with the breed of party coordinators who are allowed to drink on the job in such an obvious manner! Jealous. Charlotte somehow gets a gorgeous, spacious condo in the middle of NYC for free regardless of Bunny’s nasty attempts to snatch it away. When has anything like that happened if kids aren’t involved!? The woman broke  up with her husband because he couldn’t get “Skooner” to perform. Oh sure, she wanted babies too but Tray’s real issue was a little more personal, in my opinion. Yet after bashing his manhood, somehow secures a penthouse suite and marries her divorce lawyer. Explain.

Powerhouse Miranda, who’s ironically played by a gay woman, is the only one who seems solid but she’s a complete bitch and is “all inside her own head”, says Carrie. How the F does she work 60 hours a week and make babies when her husband is such a doofus? Sure, I cry like every other woman when I watch the bridge scene in the Sex in the City movie. And I do like Steve, but I’d just sure as hell NEVER date him. While this dynamic duo was inevitably thrown into the plot to show how opposites attract, I just found the entire connect a bit forced.

Now with Carrie, my issues lie in the fact that she got my dream job working for Vogue without struggling too much. Oh jeez, I’m drunk at Vogue! Oh shoot, my building’s going co-op and I just dumped my money bags boyfriend because I still love Big! Blah. Lemme tell ya, if you’ve ever interned for a city newspaper, the sex columns do not get handed out flippantly! You’re editing the weather section and the editorials; that’s how you start. When I did get hired, it was part-time and I paid per story. Vogue success story, Ms. Carrie Bradshaw, however, has globs of money to spend on shoes, dresses, parties, apartments, hair products, and lunches with the girls. How does she pay for these things? After I passed my wine exam, I pulled a Carrie! Oh sure. I went out, I bought oysters, drank brut rosé, indulged all around Newbury Street and thoroughly enjoyed myself. That was just Day 1. Then for the next two days, I lunched with a few gal pals, went shopping and had myself a real Sex in the City stint.

As close as I get to real life Sex in the City... notice how inexpensive everything around me is!

But I can’t hack that every day. Whenever I’m watching my beloved show – for as much as I rant, I truly love the girls – I can’t help but wonder… Are their lives completely unobtainable? Aren’t the girls supposed to model what successful women typically do each day? Two years ago when I moved to Boston, I knew nobody. The TV characters really were my only interaction with other women. But now as I’m a young professional with the same wants and desires as I had when I lived on my parents’ dime in college, I find myself having less and less in common with the ole faithfuls.

When it comes to Sex in the City, I couldn’t help but wonder… is it all just an act?

Can somebody spare a dollar? PLEASE!!!

May 1, 2011

Dad once came home from work and told us about a woman he and a coworker had encountered on the streets of Kirkland, WA. She was crying, pleading for $9 for a bus ticket. She only needed that $9 to see her sick son, I don’t remember where he lived. Dad’s coworker told her to get lost and snickered as the two of them walked off. Dad felt differently. He said she looked so sad and scared. I heard that story when I was about 7… I’m now 26 and I’ll never forget how I felt inside: Angry at the coworker, very sad for the poor woman, confused at how no one would help her.

Is this really what Seattle is known for?

 In the 1990s, Seattle used to scare the shit out of me because all over the city streets, bums would approach pedestrians and beg, they’d sit on curbs and stink, you’d hear them getting jeered by naughty college boys. I hated driving into Seattle on Sundays for our usual Science Center trips because we’d always pass a dirty bearded man with a “Please Help, God Bless” sign. Sometimes we’d give him money from our car windows, sometimes we’d drive by like everyone else. I still remember that feeling emanating from the pit of my stomach: hot and knotted, embarrassed for complaining about not getting an extra scoop of ice cream, grateful for my little twin bed.

Last summer, I was at my favorite coffee shop in Cambridge, sitting outside with my laptop. The breeze running through my hair felt fresh, I had a new dress on, and somebody close by was making their baby coo. Suddenly, from nowhere, a shrieking voice yelled,

“DOES ANYBODY HAVE ANY MONEY AT ALL!? I NEED A NEW SHIRT!.. IT’S HOT AN’… AN’… THERE’S NO PLACE FOR THE HOMELESS ANYMORE!! …. PLEASE!… PLEASE!!”

His cries grew louder, he started sobbing in the middle of Cambridge on the common way. I stared at him like the other people who had been enjoying the sunny day until a moment ago. Finally, a man walked up to the pacing, upset young man and handed him what appeared to be a large bill.

“HOLY SHIT!!! THANKS MAN! YOU’RE AMAZING!!!… THAT MAN IS A SAINT!” He pointed at the man who was now walking away. The homeless youth sauntered off to hopefully buy a shirt with his winnings. I never thought of him again until last week.

The Boston city public transportation system is the hub for us lower tax bracket individuals to come and go without paying the ridiculous parking fees around our jobs. While many of us try to keep to ourselves, every now and then, we crash into one another by means of the trains jerking and breaking suddenly. Or, more figuratively by a common uncomfortable experience shared by a group waiting for a late train. Last week after leaving work, I opted to take the T home and save a little money. However, I’ve noticed what I save in money, I pay for through socially awkward experiences. On that particular night, I was waiting for a very late 1am train on the red line platform with ten other people when I heard a dreadful noise from behind me. Grotesque crying and moaning follow by a repetitious slapping shoe sound. I accidentally turned around to see a disheveled young man hobbling towards the platform with one boot in his hand and his right foot exposed. He was limping horribly and quickly, trying to reach the small crowd before the train took us away.

“DOES ANYBODY HAVE ANY MONEY?! PLEASE! I NEED THREE MORE DOLLARS TO GET TO THE HOMELESS SHELTER!! PLEASE, MY FOOT IS INFECTED! I CAN’T BE OUTSIDE!”

He was sobbing and looking around at each of us. The man caught my eye and I immediately recognized him. He was the young man from Cambridge! The very same! I recognized his tone and sobbing pleases as well. Was he still homeless from the summer?

“COME ON! PLEASE, ANYBODY! I CAN’T GO TO THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE THEY ONLY LET ME STAY AN HOUR, THEN THEY GIVE ME SOCKS BUT WHAT GOOD DOES THAT DO? PLEASE! I’M IN PAIN!….. COME ON!”

Sobbing and miserable, he laid down in the middle of the platform and cried out loud. A student approached him and gave him some money. The crying continued. I had no money at all, most people taking the T don’t have a ton of extra dough. But I felt nervous about what he might do if no one else gave him anything. Fortunately, I was saved by the approaching T and I left the crying man on that awful platform. Aboard the train, a couple of girls nervously laughed amongst themselves about the whole affair. I stared off, trying to regain some late night peace. The image of the crying man with his swollen foot didn’t leave me for a few days and sometimes when I was having a meal or laughing about something with friends, his image would reappear and ruin my attitude.

For Easter, Nick and I went to his family’s house in Princetown for dinner. Surrounded by sweet ham, homemade rolls and a savory salad, my boyfriend’s uncle and I lamented about having to utilized public transportation.

“You really encounter some crazies on the T, don’tcha?” He started. “Why, just last week I was on the T at Downtown Crossing when a man started screaming and cry on the train. He was saying something about his foot being infected.”

I was stunned. We both saw the same man! He was really making the rounds!

“He kept it up for a while and just as a buddy of mine reached into his wallet, a stranger yelled, “Don’t give him a fuckin’ thing! He’s been doing this act for the whole week! He’s faking!” And the weeping man shut up after that! He walked off the T at the next stop. You really can’t help anybody, they’re all actors,” the uncle concluded.

“Wait, he just walked away? No limping?” I asked.

I for one appreciate the honesty!

“Nothing, he walked away perfectly fine. He was acting,” claimed Nick’s uncle. I was annoyed…. and very angry. I had felt so badly for this “bum” with his plight seared into my brain for the past week but everything had been a sham. Who’s to say who’s a real bum and who’s an actor? Was the young man acting last summer in Cambridge too? He made some very compelling arguments if he truly was an actor.

Yesterday, I was shopping at the smaller Whole Foods in Cambridge when I was greeted by a man at the front door.

“Spare Change for the homeless. Remember us on your way out,” he said, holding up a newspaper advocating for the homeless and services for them. When I concluded my shopping (I was making bacon-wrapped scallops and sweet chili pork chops for dinner!), I started to drive off, passing the Spare Change man. But I stopped. I had just been paid, so why not give him a couple bucks? I got out of my car and gave him some money in exchange for the newspaper.

“Thanks hon, have a good day!” He smiled and I walked back to my car. As I drove off, I noticed the man pull out a BlackBerry phone and make a phone call. WTF. Wasn’t he homeless? Where did the nice phone come from? Maybe he was a writer for the paper? God, I hope so! It was just a little ridiculous to have someone begging for money with one breath and talking on a BlackBerry with the next breath. Which leads me to wonder, are all bums frauds? Actors and swindlers? How can you tell if you’re providing food for a homeless person or simply funding an actor’s ticket to California?

April has left me jaded towards beggars.

It’s the most wonderful time of year: Tax Season

January 26, 2011

For the year 2008, I was a teacher in Maryland and working part-time at a wine bar; I received nearly $1,200 back from my taxes. Pretty awesome, right? Well, imagine my surprise when I received only $88 back from my 2009 taxes! I worked at four places in Boston over the course of my first year here and I made significantly LESS money than I did in Maryland. But honestly, that wasn’t even the worst of it. The most challenging thing about filing my taxes was the actual filing process.

My “full-time” job was at a fine wine shop where I occasionally had to conduct cashier duties. Some of these duties included the dreadful sale of lotto. Lotto is an activity wherein shaking old people, local grocery store butchers and scraggly drunks try to win millions by spending their unemployment checks on pieces of paper. Members of the local government call it a “tax on the poor”, I call it a tax on the stupid. Anyway, one of the lotto frequenters was this elderly gentleman who looked like that crazy-eyed guy from Caddy Shack.

Just add about 50 lbs and here's our perpetrator!

He would frequently come in and talk about how his son would be perfect for me (although the kiddo was still in high school!) and how he had a great finance business, the usual. Well, it was time for me to do my taxes and I wanted to support the “little guy” instead of frequenting an H&R Block type of establishment. The elderly gentleman, we’ll call him Charles, kept talking to me from in front of the lotto machine – while scratching tickets – about how he would “give me a good deal” on my taxes. The kicker though was how he kept promising that he was a good guy and commenting on how the store manager knew him. What the hell does that mean? If I had any sense at all, I would have taken a hint from his money spending habits and crazy self-promotion. Honestly, I just wanted to get my taxes filed and put my money towards a trip to France. For some reason, I truly believed I would receive enough dough to travel! Dumb.

Charles and I met at a local Starbucks to speak about my tax situation. I thought it was odd that we didn’t meet at his office, but Charles said something about it “being easier to meet somewhere in the middle”. I worked two  minutes away from the Starbucks and he allegedly lived around the area. A bit confusing, no? Well, when we met at the coffee shop, Charles told me I would be receiving around $700 from my returns. Not enough to travel, but enough to pay off some debt and maaaaaybe buy a new pair of designer jeans! I gave up my tax stubs and Charles promised to be in touch. I held out my hand for a shake but HE KISSED ME ON THE CHEEK! This is when I started grossly regretting my decision to working with this ofe. How unprofessional! Shake my hand, you buffoon, I’m a working woman not a lunching lady.

My situation did not improve. Charles and I had agreed to discuss his findings over the phone and arrange for me to sign the necessary paperwork. However, for three days after our scheduled phone call, I could not for the life of me get a hold of the man! To be honest, I was scared. My private information, tax numbers and money was the hands of this lunatic and I had no idea where he was! I left several messages, emailed him and could think of nothing else. After nearly a week, I told the manager at my wine shop I was using Charles for tax services in the hopes that maybe he could help me reach Charles. Instead he said, “Oh no! Are you serious? That guy’s nuts.”

Great. I started to panic and had begun to think of creative ways in which to reach Charles, when he finally returned my phone call.

“Hey, Laura! Sorry, I’ve been really busy – enter some lame excuse -,” he stammered. I snapped at him. I told him I wanted to see him immediately and he needed to bring all my tax papers as I wanted to “look at them”. We agreed to meet at my place of business not only because it was convenient but because I didn’t want to be alone with the loon. He came into the shop the next day and tried to be sweet with me; I wasn’t having it.

“Did you bring my taxes?” I inquired, and walked from around the counter. No kisses this time, pal! When I saw that Charles had my file and I told him I was taking my business elsewhere. “I haven’t been able to get ahold of you for nearly a week and I don’t feel comfortable allowing you to handle my finances anymore.” I snatched the paper work out of his hands and thanked him for his time. He had drawn all over my legal documents with red, blue and green ink!

All over my taxes!

“Why did you do this?” I demanded. Charles fumbled out a response about just checking his math… all over legal documents!  Again, I thanked him for his time and told him I was taking my business elsewhere. Charles had a fit! “Well, you owe me for all the work I’ve done!”

“What work have you done? You’ve just colored on my tax documents and haven’t returned any of my phone calls!”

“W-well, I wrote down these notes,” he said, referencing a paper half-full of chicken scratch. Half of the notes were from him trying to figure out if I had insurance or not. “You’ll probably only get back a hundred bucks.”

I handed him back the rubbish and maintained a strong grip on the folder of my taxes. I then reminded him about how he had originally said I’d receive around seven hundred dollars. He denied EVER saying that but the damage was done, I was over Charles and his shenanigans.

“Fine! Well, I need to-to look in the file… to make sure I didn’t leave anything in there.” Fat chance, pal! I told Charles there was nothing more in my file for him and again, thanked him for his time. He bumbled out of the shop in a huff but I didn’t care, I had my documents back! I’m sad to say the lesson I learned was to watch who you trust with your finances. I honestly wanted to support a local business man but I nearly got dooped!

So, go to H&R Block, people, or if you can manage, complete your taxes online. I didn’t receive my $700, I didn’t even receive $100. After paying both the H&R person for his services and Taxachusetts for letting me live here, I came away with $88. Please, be wary of who you give you information out to; I learned this the hard way. Maybe you won’t.

$25 and a pair of Kate Spade booties

January 3, 2011

I flew to Seattle for a whirl wind Christmas. It was even more jam-packed with to-dos than my suitcase! My best friend, Kristin – who I didn’t even get a chance to see! – said this trip was probably my busiest, save one other trip a few years back. I don’t remember which time she was referring to but my god, this trip bit me in the ass. One possible reason why everything was such a cluster f*ck was I brought my boyfriend to Seattle with me. Trying to visit with my family that I see once a year and attempting to keep my honey entertained/comfortable as well proved to be something of yard sale: All over the place. However, Christmas Day this year was aaaaaawesome! I received everything I asked for and more, the key gift being a pair of perfect black Kate Spade boots with perfect red bows!

Would you like to go bare foot or wearing my boots?

I left Seattle only four days after arriving to battle the nasty N0r’eastern storm that was rocking the New England area and leaving hundreds of flights delayed or cancelled. To be honest, I shouldn’t have been leaving in the middle of a such a storm but I had to cut my trip in half to work. Whatever. So, my boyfriend and I drove back to the SeaTac to return our rental car, leaving behind a slew of fun things left undone. I had no idea that our adventures were far from over!

The estimated cost of the Dollar Rental car was $96 for four days. I have the confirmation code to prove it. The actual price we paid was $172. Taxes, they said, and literally stopped talking to me about it. End of discussion, get the F outta here. I always end up spending more than I anticipated when I travel but I didn’t mean for it to be on something so lame. Jeans or wine perhaps, not a stupid car.

Ma gave my $25 for travel money moments before I tried to keep my shit together when I bid my fam a dieu. I figured I’d just spend the cash on booze during our layover in Denver. After returning our lame and over-priced car, we made it to the airport ticket counter to throw our bags into someone else’s hands.

“Your bag is just at the limit,” scolded the ticket lady. “Next time, put the heaviest bag up first.” Apparently we ruined her system by putting Nick’s bag on the scale before mine. I am ashamed. We waded through the line of other tourists and visitors, sauntered through customs and finally made it to our gate. Fine, no incident. Our flight to Denver was short and cramped. Nick and I played Angry Birds on his Ipad and caught up on the zzz’s that we missed during our vacation. Whoever said that vay-cays were relaxing has never traveled with me!

We landed late in Denver and I barely had time to pee. We ran to our gate and I specifically remember commenting to Nick, ” I have no idea how old people would have made this connecting flight!” I had missed my seat position of A45 because our Seattle flight took its sweet time taking off and I didn’t get to pick the seat I wanted. Who cares right? Well, I hate babies so I need to make SURE they are nowhere near me or I start to kinda freak out and get anxiety whilst they scream and their mothers just stare at them. No joke, on one of my previous flights years ago, this stupid woman was just staring in dumbfounded wonder at her wailing infant. An older, wiser woman got out of her seat, walked over to the idiot and said,

“You need to walk your baby around and bounce it.”

I still had my $25 at this point and I found some suitable seat. I took my chances with the baby situation and put my carry on luggage above me. My carry ons included a large bag of shoes and a picture of Seattle that Mom and Dad had bought for my house. It was carefully packaged in a flat, large box so not to be dented. The box itself was a present wrapped neatly in green and gold wrapping paper and one little boy said, “I wonder what she got!” Legos… a PSP… thousand dollar bills. No, just a photo. So this old guy got on the plane and wanted the space where I just placed my present. Nevermind the open bins around and behind him, only my bin will do! He took my package out and tipped it over. Sure, we both knew that there’s a flat picture in the box but what if it couldn’t be tipped over!? Dick. So, he shoved his goofy bag into my bin and tried to shove my present back on top of his luggage.

“Easy does it,” he sighed. I get up, this dude is out of his mind. My present won’t fit! I help him turn my box around a bit. “This is mine,” I said with annoy. Whatever. Everything worked out and we took off. The plane landed in Boston and the place was covered from a heavy snowfall. Our bags, or rather, the Southwest Airlines people took their sweet ass time getting our luggage out of the plane and we left the terminal about an hour after landing. Not bad, you say? TRY FLYING FOR TEN HOURS THEN COME TALK TO ME. Nick wasn’t happy about my bag collection. I had four, he had one. Sorry. I have a vagina so I pack more stuff. Plus most of the gifts were in my bag! Aaaand most of the gifts came home in my bag too. We waited and waited for the Silver Line bus to come and get us. As we’re waiting, I’m standing with our bags and Nick is trying to see where the bus stop is. During this process, he discovered the lack of airport courtesy and slipped on a patch of ice that wasn’t salted. He cracked his head on a garbage can and started bleeding! Things went from shitty to shit storm. My honey is bleeding, the bus is late, it’s cold outside, I’m tired, where’s the damn bus, I keep hearing about how many bags I have, I’m sorry, I’m sad, it’s okay to be sad, we need to stop being mad, oh look! it’s the bus. Five bucks for the ride, fine! We went from the bus to the T and rode into Harvard Square to hail a cab. Big shocker, the taxi driver didn’t speak a lick of English and I’m tried not to worry. You all remember that story from The Metro about that psycho cabby who got made at his patrons and stole the girl before she could get out at her stop? Yea. Same guy, I’m sure. We somehow managed to get to our house and everything was just lost under a mountain of snow! I whipped out my $25 from Ma. Nick had to drag all my shit around with him, so I paid for the cab. The cost was $5 something and I asked for $13 back out of my $20. We pulled our bags out of the taxi trunk and stood in a foot of snow before our house. The next question was where are the cars? In Boston during a “snow emergency” the city tows everyone parked on the wrong side of the street (you have to be all-knowing to understand which side of the street!) and they make a pretty penny before lifting a finger to deal with the snow itself. Plows come out, make a mess and return to base. Nick and I were frightened that our cars would have been claimed by this nonsense. We prepared ourselves and peered down the road. BOTH CARS WERE ON THE GOOD SIDE OF THE ROAD! I was and still am amazed. I really thought Nick parked on the bad side of the road! It was incredible. God knows how much the towing fee AND storage fees would have been! Sheesh.

The next day I took the leftover $13 I had from Ma and went to Johnny’s Foodmaster. The place has wall to wall carpeting… don’t buy the produce! I bought the fixing for breakfast (and inevitably, some other random things too!) but upon return, I realized I didn’t get eggs! I’d just used all my money so I gathered up all our empty beer bottles and returned them for the deposit fee. $1.95, aaaaaaaalright! Now we have eggs.  After a hearty eggy breakfast, we set to the task of digging out the cars. Enter my awesome boots!

That's my car and Nick's behind it.

Previously, I was apprehensive about buying galoshes. I thought they were kinda dumb and made you look like a duck. The polka dot booties are simply dreadful. But after careful research, I sent Mom three different pairs that I deemed acceptable and had her pick one out for me. I could not have asked for a more opportune time to utilize my boots, hell, I wouldn’t have asked! Nearly two feet of snow mauled Boston and had to be shoveled away in order to life to continue. My boots received a thorough christening! It took Nick and me about two hours to not only dig our cars out but also to help our landlady shovel her drive way. That wasn’t my idea, it was Nick’s. She has a perfectly fine driveway where we should be allowed to park. She can’t drive anymore because she’s really old and choppy, so her car just chills in the driveway. If we had been allowed to leave our cars in her driveway while we were in Seattle, I would have totally been fine with shoveling. But that didn’t happen at all. We busted up our backs for charity. At least I had my Christmas boots though. And I made up a banging breakfast with my $25.

 Thanks, Mom!