|This is me. Far too often. But don't I look pleased?|
I haven't touched base here on the old blog for a while. Most of the action has been happening on my Facebook page, The 52/52 Project
. I hope you're following along there, but I promise to spend more time here, too. Here's what's up:
the past three weeks, I’ve needed a dryer repair, a central air repair,
new tires, and new brakes. All said, it totaled just short of a
gazillion dollars. And Mercury isn’t even in retrograde.
brought to mind a similar cluster a few years back. I had told myself
then that I had to tighten my purse strings with a triple knot. I would
allow no superfluous spending for three months.
Yet later that same day, I found myself in the middle of this conversation with myself:
Wednesday, 1:45 P.M:
"So, that's that. If this spring's financial fiasco
wasn't a wake-up call, this week's emergencies surely were. Broken rider
lawnmower (beyond repair), car air conditioning (quoted fix of
$600-$1,200), and central air (replacement costing $2,500), You need to
make some significant changes in your life."
yes, you're right. I will change my lifestyle right now. I will start
by playing the lottery every day and by switching to Natty Light beer."
Sensible Sherry (glaring):
"What I mean is truly tightening your purse
strings. No more eating out, no more vacations, and no more spending a
fourth of your grocery bill on adult beverages."
"Wow. You are a tough taskmaster."
"I am. And from now on, you shall be my bitch."
"Um, excuse me? Is that you, clicking around on Orbitz.com?"
Stupid Sherry (glancing around and whistling):
"Jesus. It's like I don't even know you."
“But listen to this! Remember back in April, when I
found that unbelievable deal for taking the Megabus to New York City? A
round-trip ticket from Toledo for $4.50? Four dollars and fifty cents! I
booked it right then, just in case I could make it work."
"It WON'T work. Cancel it. And walk away from the computer."
"But I just managed to change my bus reservation!
Instead of spending three nights in Manhattan, I'll only spend one! Look
at the money I've saved myself already!"
you will sit on a bus for 12 hours, stay in New York for a single day
and night and then turn around and spend another 12 hours on a bus?"
"Yes! What an adventure it will be!"
Sensible Sherry (sighing):
"That's what the Donner Party said."
"No. Tell me you didn't."
"Can you believe my good luck? A hotel room, on Manhattan's lower east side, for only $100!"
"Did you notice the fine print, about the 'shared bathroom'?"
Stupid Sherry (shrugging):
"I won't shower for 48 hours. And I'll cross my legs."
"What about bed bugs?"
"Bed bugs? The hotel amenities didn't list those."
"Right. And what will you do in New York, with no money?"
"Oh, there are tons of fun and free things! I'll visit
the public library. I’ll walk through Central Park. I will pass by
homeless people and learn to truly appreciate my life."
"Mm-hmm. How will you eat?"
"I plan to pack a bag of peanuts and six PB and J
sandwiches in my duffle bag. And drink from public water fountains."
Sensible Sherry (closing eyes and shaking head):
"You are so full of shit."
"You’re right. Not realistic or practical. No, I’ll
survive on $2 hot dogs from street vendors. And I will ask for extra
mustard packets and make an entire meal out of them."
"You need professional help. Although you can't afford that either."
"Come on! How could anyone let a practically free trip
to New York go unused? That's like telling Ed McMahon to go away when he
shows up at your door with a giant check."
(checking dead-celeb dot com):
"Ed McMahon died in 2009. If he happens
to show up at your door, promise me you'll tell him to go away."
"OK. But I am definitely going to New York."
Sensible Sherry (rolling her eyes):
"Fine. Go ahead. Spend 24 hours
squeezed into a bus seat and another eight hours sleeping in a
frightfully cheap hotel."
"Yes. Yes, I will.
Sounds delightful. Jeez, you're such a worrier. I mean, with a great
plan like this, what could possibly go wrong?"
Sadly, I found
myself with a scheduling conflict, and I had to cancel that trip. I’ve
made up for it with loads of amazing trips over the past few years. But
this week I proclaimed another moratorium on traveling.
recalled that cancelled plan yesterday, however, I found myself curious
about the going rate for Megabus tickets to NYC. I hopped online and
randomly searched travel dates—purely for research purposes, of course.
Round-trip fares were mostly in the $60 range. But then I spied it: a
trip to NYC for $15 and a return trip for just $1.00. Round-trip from
Toledo to New York for $16.
And, I then discovered if one was
truly SERIOUS about a frugal roadtrip of this sort—which I wasn’t—one
could still find a hotel near Soho with a tiny cabin room and a shared
bathroom for $100 per night.
Within fifteen minutes, I had my
room and travel booked. Two nights instead of one, because over the past
few years I’ve grown far more practical. And I made certain my
reservations were refundable, in the event my transmission dies in the
next two months. Or in case I come to my senses.
I figured the
long bus ride would allow hours of writing. An ultra-efficient use of my
time, really. And the hotel/hostel commenters on the internet mentioned
how interesting it was to meet other guests, while sitting out on the
roof or the fire escape. Chalk up another fascinating life experience.
I planned a single year of strange new adventures, through The 52/52 Project
, to be a mere one-off period in my life--before I returned to my regularly scheduled program. Yet, here I am.
I may need an intervention.
Are you a traveler or a homebody? What's the craziest thing you've done lately?