Carless in the City saves me money on gas, insurance and oil changes. Most certainly I don’t carry Bottega bags that cost more than my Washington Heights rent. Yes, yes, I am a slave to my manicures, but they are dispensable if necessary. I shudder to think of that tragic mani-less day. Waxing, however, is a must. I cannot run around Manhattan with a uni-brow nor have hairy arms that rival Hanuman. It is also best not to have a moustache bushier than my desi date. So see, all is good and fine, I live within my means. Until I sit in front of the computer and review my online credit card statement.
During the first few minutes I convince myself that the $2,437.21 bill was accrued by someone other than me. Yes, that MUST be it. So I scroll through the charges and last month flashes by my eyes. Uh-oh. I read an article that said carry-alls, pink, ruffles, platforms, and chunky jewelry were the trend for Spring. This must be why I have a charge from J. Crew. And oh yes, Ann Taylor had a coupon sale. Oh my, I don’t remember going to Bloomingdales. Oh shoot, Macy’s had a shoe sale. Then that New York Times best seller went paperback, hard covers are too much of a weight commitment for me. Oh yes, Siobhan and I had sushi at a Zagat rated West Village restaurant. Oops, Ainsley and I went to La Palapa and we must have left a hefty tip because $37.00 is a lot of money for cheap eats! Meera and I went out for drinks. Target. Duane Reade. Associated Groceries and the list goes on and on.
I remember having a similar problem when I worked at Ann Taylor as a Sales Associate years ago. In two years I collected 12 pairs of black pants (keep in mind I have one ass) and 14 cashmere sweaters for my one and only back. Clearly the time to get serious and employ cost savings measures has arrived. I can reduce my one weekly Starbucks treat to none. That will save at least $20 a month. I used to get a coffee every day until my brother pointed out that was an annual habit of $1105. I promptly bought a coffee pot. I can also cut back on cocktails by drinking at home. Sure, that might seem depressing but I am an upbeat person who would save at least $64 a month!
I could cut the professional waxing appointments from two to one and do a touch-up each month. That will save $300 annually. And I can start saving money now! I open the linen closet and take out the wax strips. I microwave them and head back to the bathroom. I peel the wax strip from the backing and press it against my upper lip. I inhale and exhale, preparing myself for pain since I am so NOT a professional. With a fast yank, yank, ouch, ouch, my man-stache is gone. I press a strip against my eyebrow bone and and oops. The strip shifts too high and gets stuck. I have no choice but to rip it off and pray I won't have to buy an eyebrow pencil and draw my eyebrows in for the next three months. I count to ten and slowly peer into the mirror. OH THANK DURGA!!! While that was a close call, I don’t look like I got caught in a weedwacker. I will however have to tweeze the other side to even it out.
Hhhmm. While saving money is an excellent idea, one I should keep pursuing if I plan to live in Manhattan, I should not stop paying professionals for depilatory services.