I am piss poor right now. Seriously. Due to
an online shopping addiction extreme circumstances that extend well beyond my control, I have spent the last few weeks watching the numbers on my bank account trickle down. I am quickly approaching the bottom line — as a communication major, I have absolutely no idea what a real “bottom line” is, but I do know that I am going to be in real trouble if the total in my account falls into the double digits, which is becoming more likely with each passing day.
In an effort to prove to my parents that I can be financially responsible, I’ve been taking active steps to curb my spending habits. Gone are the daily trips to Starbucks, the hours spent browsing online boutiques, and, yes, even the triple weekly trips to Chipotle. All of that helped, but the biggest change I had to make in order to save some cash was to cut out going to bars. While my college town constantly runs amazing specials and has the cheapest liquor north of the Mason-Dixon, I always spend more than I intend when I go out. It’s because I lack self-control.
But I’m not insane and not concerned about what my doctor thinks of me, so I’ve kept up with my usual alcohol intake of two drinks per day, twice a day. That is if you consider the distinctly red flavored rubbing alcohol that is served from vats in every fraternity basement around the country, alcohol. It’s been a truly awful experience and I would not recommend drinking it to anyone because I’m almost positive it is toxic. But it’s been a nice call back to my early college experience, so we can chalk up the disturbingly large amount I have consumed to nostalgia.
However, there is only so much rubbing alcohol one person can consume, and I was quickly spent. I wanted to return to the land of mixed drinks, tabs, and a bar that is more than just a plank of wood balanced between two end tables.
My best friend had applied for an extremely prestigious internship, and through the powers of positive thinking and lying, landed it. Like the rational college student who is not in financial straits she is, she wanted to go out and celebrate. And damn it, so did I. I was chilling in the library with a friend, sipping a cool glass of fountain water and enjoying the free electricity that I didn’t have to pay for when my phone started blowing up with plans for the evening. Outfits were compared, bar specials were listed, and I knew that my bank account wouldn’t let me partake in any of it.
“I’m so happy for her and I want to go, but my electric bill is due in a week and it’s going to drain me of all my extra cash. My roommate keeps the AC so high I’m beginning to question why we need a refrigerator. Being responsible sucks,” I whined to my friend, frustrated and impressed with my ability to sound just like my mother.
She laughed and I continued to complain about how if I just had one more dollar, I could maybe afford to get half a drink. She pondered this for a moment and reached into her wallet, withdrawing a single dollar.
“Here,” she offered it to me. “Your life literally can’t get any more pathetic, so you should, at least, be able to try to drink away the pain. Consider it a gift, or repayment for that time I borrowed your sweater and ripped a hole in it.”
I was flabbergasted. Was she literally going to just give me money, like I was some kind of wounded seal or adorable old man eating alone at a restaurant? Was that what my life had come to?
I took the money, unsure if it was a joke or not. But as soon as the dollar bill was firmly in my wallet, a plan formulated in my mind. If I could go pitch my sob story about being a broke motherfucker to all of my friends, I could definitely get them to give me at least a dollar. After all, my ability to whine about nothing is unparalleled, and I would absolutely pay well over one hundred pennies to stop one of my friends from bitching to me while I was trying to study.
Throughout the rest of the day, I spent all of time weaving my sad tale about being a broke ass bitch who just wanted one fun night with her friends before returning to her sad, jungle juice saturated existence. With each passing hour, my tale got wilder and wilder and my wallet got a little heavier, and by the time the pregame was ready to go, I was set. I had successfully crowd-funded a drunken night out with my friends. Well, kind of.
In reality, I had only gotten about five dollars, which is just enough to get two drinks at the worst bar in my college town. But a fiver was enough to convince me that I should go out with my friends and have a good time, which is what I really needed. And I could just flirt my way to more free drinks, which is what I should have planned to do originally, instead of guilting my friends into giving me their hard earned money.
At least it’s proof that if I’m buying my friends, they are willing to buy me right back..
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