Monday, February 02, 2009

Money Monday: February 2

This is the ‘on the road’ edition of Money Monday, coming to you live from sunny shady Garberville, in the heart of the redwoods of California. Much to my surprise, we are on an anniversary trip – I’d thought it was off due to grandparent unavailability and what might be called a cash crisis here in the Den…but crazier cooler more organized heads than mine prevailed, and here we are.

Twelve years ago yesterday, I married the guy who asked me to marry him on a Disneyland rollercoaster.

I suspect I deserve every minute of the wild ride I’ve gotten ever since.

But I digress.

ANYWAY. My focus for this week is to not spend wildly while on vacation work my way back to bimonthly shopping. (And that other thing, too. We’re staying, eating and playing on the cheap this year, which is actually a lot more fun than it sounds. This is how we were twelve years ago – ready to camp in the van at all times and just sort of seeing where we ended up. More Chez de Taco Bell, my love?)

I’m afraid I’ve fallen into a bad habit lately. My business mail box is conveniently located next to our supermarket / pharmacy, so each day I swing in to check the box…and maybe drop off / pick up a prescription, or pick up whatever I forgot or didn’t realize I needed yesterday.

It encourages me to be lazy about things. It lets me just sort of, you know, whatever.

It also means that almost every day, I’m facing the Gauntlet of Temptation around the cash registers. Not only am I endangering my wallet, I’m putting my waistline at risk as well. Between bags of Skittles and “irresistible” sales on Hostess goodies, I’m in for a world of hurt. Oh sure, I say I’m loading up on cupcakes as a ‘special treat’ for the kids and that obvious, being a mature grownup and all, I will be eating nothing but maybe some organic salad and perhaps a carrot or two…but, um, well, yeah. Right.

Or should I say, Riiiiiiight …and also, I am up for Pope in next week’s election! Vote early, vote often!

Bad habits are amazingly easy to carve into stone. I’m already whining about the ‘inconvenience’ and why is it such a big deal, I mean, if I forget milk or something, is it such a bad thing if I just pick up, you know, just a little milk, when I’m going to be right there anyway, picking up the business mail? Oh, I promise I won’t buy anything else, just the milk I need…

Also, have I mentioned a bridge I have for sale? Big orange one, right outside San Francisco, a real bargain at only $3,000,000, CALL ME!

So. Since I’m out of town half of this week anyway (did I mention that The Lady My Mother is a saint?), I’m considering this to be my ‘off’ week, shopping-wise. I’ll also be playing catch-up at work, which means that meals will probably be extemporaneous, a word which here means, whatever can be defrosted and on the table in less than an hour, hallelujah amen.

And now, I’m going to go pretend to be my 20-something self again. I’m finding it fascinating how much, and how little, has changed in the 20-something years between Then and Now.

I did a lot of this kind of travel back then. Spontaneous, unplanned, devil-may-care and if we can’t find a motel we can afford, well shoot. That’s why I own a van! Put down the back seats, pass the sleeping bags and let’s all be glad I have plenty of fuel for the camping stove can I get an amen? AMEN!

It’s playful, and fun. We’re spending very little money, we’re seeing a lot of stuff, we aren’t anxious to get anywhere…and I’ll admit it. It’s making me feel younger. The lack of planning, the ‘hey, let’s see where that road goes!’, stopping at the kitschy little ‘see the world’s biggest hairball’ roadside attractions (or not) – it’s invigorating.

But at the same time, I’m more anxious. I’m worrying about the kids, about my parents, about every dime we’re spending…even when the total for the day, for gas and food and ‘lodging’ and, well, everything was less than $50.

I didn’t worry about tomorrow very much, back then. Today, it feels like I’m in an opposite mode – I can’t stop thinking about tomorrow, and sometimes find it makes enjoying now difficult.

But overall, I think the changes aren’t that bad. Back in the day I got myself into a lot of trouble by not thinking about tomorrow…while it’s a bit annoying right now that I have a constant ledger sheet in my brain totaling everything up and figuring out how I’m going to pay for this by foregoing that and all, there is also the comfort of knowing that I’m not going to have to go through “all that” again, because I wasn’t paying attention to what the final bill was going to be for all this fun.

And with that, my dear ones…I’m off for the breakfast of champions.

By which I mean, the super-breakfast-plus pancakes at McDonalds.

Because this is a vacation, and we are pulling out all the stops on this one.


LNS said...

Happy Anniversary! Your twenties sound a bit like mine are currently :-) "Take your sleeping bag out of the Jeep. You are not a hobo."--my mom I like to keep it there 'in case'.

natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

Happy Anniversary!

I thought that I was the only person who got married in the dead of winter...

Have a wonderful time, and don't let the worries distract you from the joy of being with the one you love, sans kids!

Louiz said...

Congratulations, hope you have a great trip:)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, oooh! I have something useful to contribute:

Tomorrow, you can have a Grand Slam breakfast at any Denny's for FREE between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

I saw it on TV (during the Super Bowl) AND on the internet, so you know it's totally true.

Happy anniversary!

mama edge said...

He proposed on a roller coaster?

Now that's romance.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!

(And I was going to suggest the Denny's free breakfast that Jan mentioned. Must run, the kids and I have a breakfast date!)

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! Sounds like you've enjoyed your wild ride, which is great. Here's to many more years of fun and adventure!

Science PhD Mom said...

Happy Anniversary! Mickey D's breakfast pancakes are the best, hands down. I'm glad you guys got your getaway vacation even with the whirlwind of the new business and finances et al. Enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, Tama! I wanted to send you this link, 'cause, you know, I think you'll appreciate it:

Have a great vacation!

Dysd Housewife said...

go to my link pinching your pennies. It's a life saver.