The other day my husband and I realized suddenly . . . that we have no money! It came as something of a shocker to us, being that the only three–oh so tiny little–things that have changed in our lives recently are me no longer having a full-time paying job, our rent going up by something like $400 a month, and having an additional human mouth to feed.
I mean, give us a little credit here: how could we possibly have seen those things coming?!
As a solution, we decided that–get ready for it; its ahead-of-its-time cleverness will blow you away–instead of dining out or ordering in every night? We would NOT dine out OR order in EVER AGAIN IN OUR LIVES.
Or, at least, every night, going forward, until further notice.
It’s been quite a challenge, partly because I fail as a stay-at-home mom and don’t really cook, and partly because it’s kind of hard not to just be like, “Why doesn’t one of us just run across the street to pick up a massive $5-per-person feast at the Chinese place?” every single night, since really sometimes the whole thing does seem a bit futile. But we’re trying to get into the habit of this, so we can’t allow ourselves to slip.
One thing that’s made it easy is our discovery of the frozen section at Trader Joe’s. And by that I mean, the frozen section at Trader Joe’s in its entirety now resides in our freezer and will be feeding us for the next quarter-year. For $27.85.
Every several days I trek over to TJs to top us off with stuff like a couple dozen bags of biryani rice–the excursion has replaced the trip to Whole Foods as one of my evening “alone time for mommy” rituals–and since I always end up unintentionally buying six or seven vegetarian or vegan dishes (read: “soy”cotash? Really? Didn’t realize lima beans were from an animal), the walk home is just like the new PETA campaign where the neck-brace-clad anorexic supermodel trudges back from the market carrying a bag of vegetables to refuel her maniac boyfriend’s insatiable sex drive.
Except that I’m weary from running around after a crawling baby all day instead of from starving myself. And except that if anyone ever did anything to me in the bedroom that put me in a neck brace, I would be walking in the OPPOSITE direction with that bag of vegetables. And except that I don’t usually make a habit of glorifying rape.
But other than that it’s exactly the same!
We’ve really stuck to the dining-in plan, though, and money-wise I do think it’s helping. And the nostalgia of feeling like it’s the last time I was poor all over again–when I first moved to the city over a decade ago–is kind of comforting in an odd way. Walking past all of these wonderful-looking restaurants day in and day out, dreamily gazing in and wishing I could afford to eat at them–makes me feel like my whole life is ahead of me again! Or at least my twenties.
Except that I wouldn’t wish the reliving of my twenties upon myself.
Nor would I wish my twenties upon my worst enemy.
I would, however, wish my twenties upon any and all young and impressionable girls who see the latest PETA commercials and decide to starve themselves so some sex-crazed douchebag (dorky and unattractive, as it turns out, but I guess that’s “in”) boyfriend figure will find them more desirable.
My twenties were an absolute field day compared to that!
Anyway, as soon as we have money again, we’re goin’ to Disney World! Nah, just kidding, we’re going to–waaaaaaaait forrrrrrrrrr ittttttttttt–a super-elite premiere NYC dining spot known as? The secretly be-gardened, lovely and shockingly reasonably priced Italian place around the corner.
And if we order vegetarian there, it will be entirely intentional.
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