Wednesday, September 1, 2010

White trash confessions

For whatever reason, I've always been extremely frugal. Like, retarded frugal. Like as cheap as immigrant parents of whatever ethnicity you've heard is the cheapest. That cheap. Fact is, I really should be in the South or Midwest, where people live in nice apartments and duplexes for like $400/month. Through some bizarre turn of events, I ended up here. And it hasn't been pretty.

My worst offense took place outside my apartment around a year ago. Times were hard, it was the height of the Great Recession, and my boyfriend and I had both told each other that we wanted to move in together. But we both really just wanted to save money. So we'd just moved in to a filthy, busted three-bedroom in Crown Heights with two strangers who'd never thought to buy any furniture for the common space.

On garbage days I'm always on the lookout for free furniture on the curb, but I was even more vigilant right after I'd moved. So one afternoon when I came home there was a really great haul outside in the trash pile. So I ran into the apartment and yelled "Furniture! There's furniture outside!" My boyfriend didn't have a shirt on, but I screamed at him that there was no time, he had to help me carry those stools to put around the kitchen island in now.

And of course, while I'm picking through the trash heap outside my apartment, this guy I know from college walks down the street and sees me. I introduce my boyfriend who's only wearing basketball shorts and flip flops. It turns out Mr. Fellow Recent College Graduate is "just doing some freelance writing and editing," and, of course, his band is playing Tuesday night at whatever hipster Williamsburg venue.

This was perhaps my lowest moment. He was so perfect, so Brooklyn, with his hipster band and his hipster work in creative industries.

I was digging through a pile of New York City trash.

I was sort of ashamed, but I got two Ikea barstools out of it. So you know what? Shameful as it was, I don't even really regret it.


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