According to my friends, that calls for a celebration. And, according to me, I guess, too.
It’s been twenty years since we were in college. Two decades. In my mind, I feel like it’s probably been 3-4 years since then, and my body feels more-or-less the same (I mean, if you don’t count the brain tumor and the three kids, so I guess I’m kind of fooling myself).
But we are 40 and life is apparently short. Remember those Adidas ads or whatever that said “Life is short. Play hard.”? And the whole “life is short” thing made theoretical sense but not really because come on, when you’re 10, life is sooooooooo loooooooooooong? Now it makes practical sense. Somehow we went from starry eyed stupid teenagers to crickety-backed stupid middle aged moms, and what’s not to celebrate about that?
The problem is that my friends from college are the opposite of stupid and are actually shining examples of America’s strong women – doctors, lawyers, environmentalists, accountants, people who have dedicated their lives to nonprofits and public health. Not naming names here, but some of these witches are rich. Or, rich enough.
I’m not shy about not wanting to spend money, so I opted out from the start, as they were planning. No way could I afford a ski trip or a beach house, not to mention flights and food and the three kids who might literally die if I’m not there every bedtime.
But then it turned out one woman’s husband had a condo on a beach in Florida we could use for free, and tickets were relatively reasonable. I budgeted that part out – housing, flights, and car would cost about $250 now that housing was free and if I only stayed one day…not so much for food and drinks…I could do $250.
My flights basically meant I left at 5:30 on Saturday morning from my house and at 5:30 on Sunday morning from the beach. I didn’t have to miss work, I didn’t have to miss but one bedtime, I would make it home for Sunday’s soccer game, how much could I blow on food and drinks?
More than I wanted to, perhaps because I knew I was limited by time. One big meal out with a margarita, snacks and drinks with my gal pals in the house, souvenirs for the family to prove I loved them, insurance on the rental car because I am anxiety-ridden and my credit card only covers collision and…I am anxiety-ridden.
So if you include flights (already long paid for), fancy dinner, souvenirs, car, snacks, and (free) housing, it was about a $400 Saturday. That said, I splurged on every last thing, and what a Saturday it was.
I’m no good at FI because I can’t value money above all else. Then again, I did about $400 worth of freelancing on the two plane rides, so it could have been worse. And…what a Saturday it was.