broke

Confessions Of An Overnight Broke Person

By Sara Levine | April 13, 2021
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When I ordered Seamless last night, I theoretically knew there were only two exit paths — either I would talk myself into cooking the perishing groceries in my fridge and exit out of the online ordering app, or $40 would exit from my wallet. I didn’t really think about it when I started adding various specialty sushi rolls to my cart. I thought that it would cost a little bit, maybe $20. You don’t think much about $20; it’s not life-changing. After seeing how much I was throwing into my cart with reckless abandon, my roommate said, “You know that’s going to cost you like, $70 right?” I thought she was delusional. Then, I hit “proceed to checkout.” That’s how I learned my dinner order was going to run me $83.67 before tip.

It’s not purely a celebratory time. Sure, I’ve temporarily alleviated the responsibility of having to cook my own meal like a functioning adult, but it’s a stressful time, too, because of the constant decisions. Is 16 rolls enough, or will I still be hungry after? I’m always hungry like, an hour after I eat sushi. Should I get an appetizer of edamame? Do I sub out a dragon for a California roll, or is that embarrassingly basic?

Of course, once I saw the total, I had a brief moment where I asked myself, should I even be doing this? That’s like, 6 months of Netflix — or maybe 5 since they keep upping the price. I don’t know. But then I considered the alternatives: opening that can of black beans that I bought “in case of emergency”, which would require wiping off the film of dust that’s collected on top of it; figuring out what to do with said black beans; maybe boiling water for some pasta? And then pretending like eating plain pasta and canned beans with a spoon is a normal and not at all sad meal. I should really invest in a rice cooker.

There are things that rich people do, and from what I’ve learned from watching Arrested Development from my roommate’s ex’s Netflix account, pretending like your problems will go away if you ignore them is one of them. So I hit “place order” on my small army-sized portion of sushi, not thinking about how it would bring my checking account balance to $2.94 and especially not thinking about the birthday drinks I promised my friend I’d go to on Friday. I resolved to sell some of the clothes I don’t wear that much on Poshmark to make up the difference—“gently used” is subjective, right?

At this point in my life, nothing is going to change. What would I do differently, aside from budget, exercise self-control, or say no to social obligations? I’m only having as much fun as my peers are. So if they’re going to brunch, why shouldn’t I go to brunch? Never mind the student loan debt I’ve barely made a dent in despite making the minimum payments for eight years. (Talk about not thinking much about $200,000.) I keep a shrine in my closet to President Biden and pray every day for him to forgive student loan debt, so I’m doing my part.

What would I really do with the money aside from pay my bills or donate to my 401(k) that, similarly to my emergency black beans, is also collecting dust? It’s not like I’m ever going to be able to afford to buy a house. And even if I could, Williamsburg feels like it has peaked and is going downward. I walk my dog at 1pm, and I pass like, two different açaí bowl places that have closed down. I think that’s unsustainable. Shit, that reminds me—I forgot to pay the premium on my dog’s health insurance this month. Hope he doesn’t need any serious dental surgeries.

Guess I’ll have to open up a dating app and line up a few dinners for next week. Most of my friends are getting married or having kids, and I guess I should technically be looking for someone I could bring as a plus-one to their weddings, but my more immediate concern is finding a plus-one for happy hour on Thursday.

What’s that saying, you can’t take it with you? At the end of the day, even if I did get to a point where I was somehow making a lot of money (like maybe I won the lottery?), I could just lose it all. Isn’t that what happened with Yahoo? It was the darling company in the 90s and know I don’t know if it exists. I think about Yahoo constantly, but not enough to have ever typed it into the address bar of my laptop, phone, or tablet to see if it’s still around. I guess I could look that up. Hey Google…

Images: JP Valery / Unsplash

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