There are times in a girl’s life, when the shopaholic brat, inside of her, blinds her choices and rules her actions. As a fashion lover, I can’t deny it, that part of me, wants to get its way more times than I can recall, but I tend to be very rational about it. Nevertheless, I am still only human.
When I opened my latest bank statement it felt like a punch to my gut. It left me panting for air. I was walking on Rebecca Bloomwood’s fuchsia furry boots, and it didn’t feel good. My eyes scrolled down the stiff paper trying to take in every number. There was no mistake. I could account for every figure on the statement.
I sat down. Breathed slowly. “That’s it for you. No more splurging. No more spending like an effing rich heiress,” I berated myself. I quickly tapped my bank’s account password on my phone, praying for what was left of my last month’s hand-to-mouth wage to be enough to cover my debts. It wasn’t. My last pay check hadn’t even come through yet, which meant I had to wait a whole week to lift this pressing burden of my chest.
Granted, you can’t really call my situation a desperate one. It is a blessing that my actual lack of liquidity would be solved by scrimping on a few superfluous whims, but I still had to take measures, specially before my upcoming trip to London.
I made the urgent, and undesired decision to postpone a dear project of mine. No matter how much I wanted to undertake it, my project would have to wait, at least until next month.
At the 8:00 am gym session, Michael, my trainer, made sure I got a run for my money, heck!, for my every penny! Following that very intense hour and a half of work out, I rushed back home, put on a cap and jumped into the shower. The cap was a strategic call. I was not about to spend $21.00 on a 3 blowout package at the hair dresser’s. Considering that my agenda was packed with afternoon meetings, I twisted my dirty mane into a tight, hair sprayed top bun. For now, that would have to do.
“After office drinks at Lobby, right now. We are waiting for you”, my friend’s voice said through the speaker phone. It was close to 6:00pm, and I was in no position to go out and spend on drinks, I had already treated one of my afternoon meetings to a $3.50 frappé; but seeing that the afternoon traffic was impossible, made me turn the car around.
Lobby was deserted, for the exception of my friends, lounging on the newly refurbished terrace. “What are you having?”, one of them greeted me. My attempts at refusing to order anything went unheard, even after disclosing my very pitiful financial status. They wouldn’t take it, and so, they asked for a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio to be brought to our table, immediately.
Four hours, and three glasses later, cocooned in the warmth of my bed sheets, I texted one of them back: “Thank you! Seriously! Next time, drinks on me! xA”
I couldn’t leave my hair unwashed for any more days, and I was too lazy to blow dry it myself; so, I had to suck it up, and embrace the voluminous lioness within me. I smeared four blobs of hair cream on my already curled hair, scrunching every lock to define the waves a bit more. At least, today I wouldn’t have to attend any work related event or meeting.
At night, I rejected three invitations to go out for drinks, dinner, and partying. The only socializing affair I agreed to, was dinner with my folks, ensued by a date with my bed, for it was the only way I could guarantee I would not splurge.
It’s Saturday, and besides one of my best friends’ birthday small gathering, which I obviously can not miss, I have no plans to make any other social appearances for two reasons:
- I’m having the worst hair day since I was back in college.
- My bank account’s credit is still stinging in my pocket.
On my way to a business meeting, I get two consecutive phone calls. They go to voice mail. My friends are calling about an afternoon party that’s taking place right that moment, and surely, they want me to crash. Truth is, I want to go, but again, I am not ready to allow others to see me in my current state. I haven’t even tried to look presentable, because nothing can make up for my disastrous hair.
The meeting goes well, but when I’m done, my friends are giving me every reason why I should show up at the party. I give in.
It is 11:30pm, I am curled up in my bed, while my room slowly swirls around me. I am glad I went to the party. It was a blast. I had fun. I spent zero dollars. I couldn’t care less of what others think about my indomitable curly mane.
By today, I figured it was best to do something about my hair. And so, reminiscing of my time in London, I grabbed the straighteners and fixed it up myself. After all, I’ve done it a trillion times before. The result is brilliant! Note to self: “Do your own hair more often!”
I have to stock up a few groceries from my diet, so I run into the shop. I quickly make my way past the dried fruit section, restraining myself from even glancing at it, “Gosh, do I love a good berry trail mix!” Six minutes later, I am out of the supermarket with a bottle of light yogurt, a carton of skimmed milk, and a package of cottage cheese. Although, I didn’t splurge on a $20.00 nut pack, I did, however treat myself to a frugal $1.50 petit Llao, with a $0.50 extra topping.
On my way home, I stopped at a gas station and pumped $15.00 worth of fuel, instead of my usual $25.00, into the, by now, famished tank.
I exhaled in relief. I had been holding my breath, while the bank’s application loaded and showed my updated balance. This month’s paycheck was in! I immediately transferred more than half of it to my checking account, part of it to cover the rest of my credit card, part of it to cover this month’s expenses: the photographer, the designer, and the trainer. I was left staring at the meagre remnants of what seconds ago was my salary. And once again I wondered with despondency, “how on earth did I get here?!”
I lay in bed, lights off, reviewing my past week. I realize that if there is anything good coming out of my pathetic situation, that is a better, more humble and responsible version of me. “Everybody goes through this once in a while, that’s how you learn!,” my Dad’s consoling words reverberate on the back of my head.
Before dozing off, I think to myself: It is not the end of the World, it could be much worse, and well,… surely this won’t kill me, it will just make me stronger, right?