The following morning I lace up my sneaks and lock the apartment door. As I bound down the stairs, hot pink water bottle in hand, I think about the upsides to working for your family. No one says anything when you take two extra days of vacation. And when you own the joint like Dad does you cannot get fired. You can take some liberties with expenses. Not so liberal like buy a condo in Aspen, but enough to where you can buy nice pens and fun notepads.
I pop out of the building and head east to York Avenue. On the weekends, the City is so peaceful at 7:00 am. There are some downsides to working with your family, like working with everyone you are related to. And our business has really been a feast or famine game. When we are busy, we cannot keep up with the workload, the 1990s was proof of this. We went months without billing clients. But then the 2000s were the opposite, we would send invoices for $500. You are the last one to get paid when money is lean and you get stuck doing all the unpleasant jobs like trying to concoct ways to capture the bat, Bruce Wayne (yes we named him) that lived in the basement. Suffering through three days of no toilet when the building’s sewer line disconnected from the City line in the middle of January. Shoveling snow from the parking lot and shop vac-ing water one year when Spring came too fast and too early and flooded the basement.
And forget about taking a sick day. I had perfect attendance from first grade to senior year. Clearly I don’t get sick. In fact I have been sick about three times in my life. Twice was from food poisoning. That was dreadful. The first day you feel you are dying and the second day you wish you were dead.The other time we thought I had pneumonia. Turns out it was a really super bad flu.
I get to the gym and wait for the front desk attendant to review my guest pass. Once she finds is satisfactory, she nods her head and lets me in. When I moved to New York, I was making a Minneapolis salary. Luckily I don’t really spend money. I don’t have a gigantic television. I have a small flat screen that Meera gave me and since I live in 312 square feet I can lay in bed or sit at my desk and watch it just fine. I don’t have a car (I mean I have one in Minnesota but trust me it is almost free to have that thing there, the insurance is $90 a month on an SUV).
I don’t go on vacations. I visit my parents three times a year, and while Minneapolis-St. Paul for some reason is an ungodly expensive airport to fly into, I don’t spend anything when I get there. Unless of course I shop, it is afterall Minnesota, Mall Rat Heaven. So yes, my recreational spending does go into my clothes, shoes and handbags, but again – I live in 312 square feet there is only so much a girl can have. Oh and books, yes, books. I do have an extensive collection of books.
But it is the little things that add up. When I lived in the Heights (which really was only three weeks ago, but feels like forever ago) I went to the Planet Fitness in the Bronx. It was $10 a month and I could walk there, I'd cut through Fort Tryon Park and then head across the Broadway Bridge.
Now that I live on the Upper East Side, I need to find a gym and -- man oh man --- are they expensive! I mean probably not if I earned a New York salary living in New York. And of course, since I am a mighty fan of the discount and don’t believe in full price (I can count the number of things I have paid full-price for) I am in search of a deal for my gym membership. So until I find that deal, I am going to utilize the free gym memberships advertized in the paper until I find what I am looking for.