Nickeled & Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

Days without alcohol: 4

The postal service can blow me.

Though it would be nice to get a little lip service, I don’t mean it in a sexual way. I moved to New York in June with the intention of building a cohesive life in the nation’s biggest city- I’ve failed at building anything cohesive, but I might additionally fail at sustaining my own life if I cannot find a way to get along with the post office. After a lengthy conversation with my mother I convinced her to spend the whopping 25-dollars necessary to ship my winter coat from Michigan to Sunset Park,  Brooklyn. A few days later a small waiver appeared on my stoop, and I gladly signed it and gave the postman permission to leave the package on my covered porch even if no one was home.

A few days later, nothing. Weeks passed. Eventually I confronted my government mail carriers, who informed me that because the package was insured the USPS gets last say in whether a package can be left on a porch, and they deemed my neighborhood unsafe. So without notice they shipped the package back to Michigan and promised to refund nothing. The first $25 my mom barely pulled together in the first place, a second 25 to resend is not even worth asking for. No coat, no slippers, no winter blankets, no luck.

A stylish coat isn’t the most important thing in the world, but on one particular day in November the temperature dipped into the low 30s as I walked my friend/coworker Tilly to the Duane Reade. We attempted to cross the busy roads in Turtle Bay while both wrapped in her thick coat, which was rather inefficient. Still, I wasn’t about to let my new favorite co-worker buy RU486 alone. So we both put on her coat and the cutest hats we had at the office and walked to the pharmacy to buy the morning-after pill like the penniless kids we are. One assistant can’t afford a winter coat, the second assistant definitely cannot afford a winter coat for a baby.

While she nervously talked to the pharmacist I occupied myself with a Snickers bar at the front of the store, hanging back like the deadbeat boyfriend the pharmacist assumed I was. After the purchase we sat around our desks and ate chocolates until she perked up enough to go back to work. Though I may be cold whenever I step outside, I’m definitely not a cold-hearted coworker. Unfortunately my splurge on pre-abortion chocolate bars left me with only $22 in my pocket. With full intentions of taking Georgia Ann out for birthday drinks that evening, I was going to have to play everything just right. Man Vs Manhattan has very quickly turned into Brooklyn Boy Vs Budget.

Half a king-size Snickers sufficed for lunch and fortunately Bahama Mama sufficed for birthday drinks- Georgia Ann was more than happy to meet me in her home-sweet-Hoboken and stop at a bar that offers $1 drafts. Her birthday was spent exactly the way it should be- perched in front of a beer tap. 20 dollars later we were both very drunk (and eating french fries. dammit!) and happy. We stumbled to her place and immediately dove into wine and Sex & the City, I talked about my waivering stance on the Professor and she reminded me how she refused to discuss relationships until she gets laid (it’s been a while) and at some point we were both too drunk to remember what time we went to bed.

A full day of shopping in the fashion district left us both exhausted and drained. As a friendly birthday gift to Georgia Ann I bought a sexy new tie for her to look at when I wear it, that’s how good of a friend A few hours later we’re dressed swanky and joined by Jersey Girl, who has slipped into a little black dress that makes her look like a feisty young Audrey Hepburn and left me looking like I collect trash. Fortunately it must be really fancy trash, considering we had just begun sipping $25 cocktails at Buddha Bar, perhaps the most “Carrie-Bradshaw New York” of all the bars I’ve dared to enter. Sure, the champagne-infused something-tini was more than double the amount of the cash I had in my wallet, but when I’m not picking up the tab who cares! Had I been stuck with the bill I would’ve just told everyone I left my wallet in my coat… Happy Birthday Georgia Ann!

After over-indulging we met up with the rest of The Mess, who had wisely selected a budget appropriate margarita joint. All too aware of the last time I had margaritas (ruffies, yay), I was a bit reluctant to purchase a cup full of frozen and salt-rimmed regret. Somehow my feet dragging paid off and a drink appeared in front of me without me ever removing my wallet from my pocket, which meant I HAD to drink it (regret or not).

The next thing I know I’m back on a dance floor at Flannerys, taking pictures of The Mess standing in front of a passed out man who had been left behind by the bridal party he once helped comprise. Georgia Ann rocked out to 80s tunes, Fabu-gloss and her girlfriend bought pitchers for the gang, Times Square sprung for donuts, Hard Coors drank what was put in front of her, and I nearly died when I looked over at the dance floor and saw Straight Boyfriend dancing to Britney Spears. That’s when you know everyone has had way too much to drink. That’s also when you start to see the small sparks between Straight Boyfriend and Georgia Ann. Ok, maybe they’re not sparks, but you can hope they are. I mean- Georgia Ann needs some cock, Straight Boyfriend needs to dump his long-distance girlfriend because it’s inconvenient for me… yeah, pretty much I win all over the place. So I order more drinks and request more Britney and squeeze a little more out of the night.

The next thing I know I’m sharing my bed with a georgian girl who is no closer to getting any. And still I have no coat. And I have eight dollars to last me for 7 days until payday. Still, this hangover was virtually free and I have hate mail to write to my post office (its always nice to have something to look forward to). And there’s always some solace in the fact that I’m the only one on the bed who’s had sex in the 2009. Ha!

[but dancing with your eyes closed- every single time you’re gonna spill your wine]

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One response to “Nickeled & Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

  1. good read! but question where are those lyrics from? the “but dancing with your eyes closed- every single time you’re gonna spill your wine” sounds very familiar

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