What I’ve Spent Since My Boyfriend Told Me He Was Moving to Germany, Then Broke Up With Me

Just because people usually buy you lots of drinks during periods of significant personal trauma doesn’t mean you stop spending. Herewith, the damage I’ve done in the past week:

• $44: Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s, Visual Sensations: The Paintings of Robert Swain, 1967–2010, and a set of Robert Rauschenberg postcards at the Hirshhorn Museum’s gift shop
• $2.50: Tea at Chinatown Coffee Co.
• $60: Deposit at Tattoo Paradise. Nothing like making plans for another tattoo in times of emotional distress!
• $16: A Bell’s Amber Ale and burger with mushrooms at Cafe Saint-Ex
• $18: Cash, given to a friend of a friend for a ticket to see Ted Leo at the Black Cat 

• $9.50: Lunch special from A.M. Wine Shoppe (tuna salad sandwich, San Pellegrino aranciata, chips; I don’t eat the chips)
• $35: Co-pay for a doctor’s appointment
• $49.99: Ambien prescription. My insurance’s servers are down, and I know I can’t spend another night awake. Though the co-pay would knock the price down to $10, I pay out-of-pocket.

• $17.43: Nachos and pulled pork sliders at Riot Act Comedy, where my company is sponsoring a trivia night. The nachos appeared to be microwaved. The sliders are mushy. I accidentally leave my debit card at the bar—when I realize it’s still there, I go to the bank and cancel it rather than picking it up.

• $6.34: Tomato-basil soup and a package of saltines at Safeway
• $7: An Ommegang Hennepin at Marvin. He tells me it’s over when we walk outside. I sob continuously for the next few hours and feel justified in paying out-of-pocket for the Ambien.

• $188: Outlier women’s daily riding pants. I rationalize buying the pants I’ve wanted for over a year because they’ve been restocked and I’ve been dumped.

• $100: Sliding scale payment for a therapist appointment. The therapist I’ve found—at the last minute, via Psychology Today’s online listings, after a spelling mistake on the front cover of the paper I copy edit sends me into the most painful throes of anxiety yet—is out-of-network. I discover this way that my insurance deductible is far too high to ever be met in the 33 weeks left in the year, because I had no idea what I was doing when I picked out a health insurance plan.
• $9.50: Lunch special from A.M. Wine Shoppe (vegetable panini, Blenheim ginger ale, chips; I eat half of everything)
• $10: Lower Dens show at Rock & Roll Hotel
• $12: Acid Mothers Temple show at Red Palace
• $16.32: A SmokeShack burger, fries, and Washington Monu-Mint concrete from Shake Shack.

• $12.07: Brunch special at Sticky Fingers

• $12.57: A pile of classical records from Unique Thrift. I’ve just finished Alex Ross’ The Rest is Noise and want to aurally understand the magic of Sibelius’ tone poems.
• $9.07: Taro mochi, guava candies, jasmine tea, and pickled mango from Great Wall Grocery in Falls Church
• $49.42: Beefeater gin and Lunazul Reposado tequila (on sale!) at an ABC store. Virginia, you’re weird.
• $10: My friend’s band’s show at Black Cat
• $12.13: A 24-pack of Cottonelle toilet paper. I’m out—and I like it soft.


Alex Baca rides a bike in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Flickr/Eligerma)


43 Comments / Post A Comment

EggsErroneous (#855)

Re: Ex-Boyfriend: Sorry about that.
Re: Spending: That sounds about right.

guenna77 (#856)

meh to the break-up – but yay for the Black Cat. (and A.M. wine shoppe… love them).

They have Blenheim in D.C.? It isn’t all bad news!

There’s no need to rationalize: Those pants are awesome and no doubt look great on you.

However, I am mad at you because now there’s an incredibly high likelihood that I’m about to spend a bunch of money I don’t have at that Outlier website.


EvelynGarcia (#849)

You are good at leisure! (High praise from me.)

MLovelace (#860)

Oh man, first) SUCKS!! But you’re doing a great job of surrounding yourself with quality booze and other comfortable, fun distracting things.

But second) I didn’t know there was actually attractive, high-ish end clothing good for cycling/office? I was just cursing yesterday biking home from work in cigarette jeans and how my knees can’t goddamn move in them. So thank you for bringing that to light for me.

You should go make some dark ‘n stormies and listen to all the Stevie songs on Tusk. That’s always a fun break-up thing to do.

alexbaca (#865)

@MLovelace Thank you! I wish Outlier made more stuff for women, because I’m really happy with these pants. It took awhile for them to be restocked in my size, but I recommend them!

We should probably talk about how the album cover of Tusk is the weirdest, most random collage of all time. Cocaine, man.

@Alex Sunday night, I knew we were about to break up, so I put “Rumours” on the record player. It has, of course, always been a life goal to break up to “Rumours”.

Also, I ride my bike everyday & I’ve wanted those pants since they came out. If I finally buy them I’m blaming you…and him.

Equestrienne (#862)

So they make “riding pants” for bicyles?! Simply fascinating! Based on your preference in toilet paper alone, I predict you will be fine. Last time I got dumped, I ultimately decided adult ballet lessons were way more helpful than visiting the therapist, and decidedly less expensive. Keep on keeping busy!

You spent $188. On pants.

alexbaca (#865)

@Reginal T. Squirge When you’ve torn the crotch of four to five not-tremendously-expensive pants in the past year, $188 for waterproof fabric that won’t rip wide open is worth it. I like my bits to be, you know, ensconced properly in something that doesn’t take four hours to dry.

punkahontas (#249)

@Alex You deserve those pants!

@Alex Fair enough! I’ve literally never torn the crotch on a pair of (my own) pants, so I didn’t know it was such an epidemic. Maybe I’m not moving around enough?

travelmugs (#162)

@Reginal T. Squirge I never had this problem on my old bike. I’ve had my new bike for a month, and already, r.i.p. favorite pair of jeans.

I hadn’t realized this was a thing before either. Maybe I need some $188 pants?

Pants are very much worth it. I just recently bought the Levis commuter series jeans. Skidded out on them yesterday while making a turn on some brick sidewalk on a CaBi. Jeans did not rip, and now they are stylishly scuffed, along with their more generous (for cyclists) cut.

alexbaca (#865)

@Will Handsfield@twitter Perhaps by my next breakup Levi’s will make commuter jeans for women.

Lila Fowler (#754)

My transPacific boyfriend dumped me yesterday. So far I have spent:

-$15 on a doctor co-pay
-$8 on a ticket to see The Five Year Engagement
-$7 on beer and red velvet cupcakes from Trader Joes

Those pants looks really nice. Solidarity, sister.

alexbaca (#865)

@Lila Fowler This list would have been double the length if I had gone to Trader Joe’s in the past week. So, yeah, total solidarity.

I was hoping the pants would be street jodhpurs of some kind.

@Anna Jayne@twitter but the ones you got are much nicer-looking and probably more practical than a jodhpur. Keep it up!

The pants look great and the guava candies sound amazing. Sending lots of good vibes your way!

Also, hope the tattoo turned out well!

sox (#246)

According to a friend…paying out of pocket for the sliding scale rate at the therapist is THE way to go. Insurance companies often require very detailed accounts of your sessions (!) in order for the therapist to get paid and then plans often only cover a short series of sessions – and usually no 100% of the visit- and you’ll have to pay out of pocket after that anyway. So you made the right choice there!
Eff boys who move to Germany. I had one who did that very thing to me last fall…who then did not actually move to Germany but still broke up with me.

alexbaca (#865)

@sox Yeah, it turned out that with insurance appointments would be, like, $90. Not a huge difference. Health care!

Oof. That sounds worse. I am sorry!

LydiaBennett (#121)

@sox I’m sorry but this just isn’t true. It obviously depends on what kind of insurance plan you have but no insurance company cares (sorry to break it to you) about your therapy sessions. Promise. You’re right that they probably won’t cover the visit 100%; in network it’s more likely to be 80% after the deductible, or if you have a PPO, you may just be charged a co-pay. I really wish people would take the time to read their SPDs before making assumptions about the level of care available to them. Also, it’s pretty outdated to have a specified limit of outpatient visits in a year, just sayin’. Do your homework!!

sox (#246)

@LydiaBennett Thanks Lydia. Did do my homework, and do not doubt that my company uses an outdated/ultra-conservative insurance plan. It also pays for 100% of men’s annual exam but only 80% of women’s. But my plan covers 10 visits in a calendar year. My specific mental health professional has had experience with my insurance provider with other patients where backup documentation, including session notes, were required for her to be paid. I don’t think they care, but I care if that level of detail is on my file. I would think it would indeed contribute to a ‘pre-existing condition’ if I switched carriers.
I guess this is another example of everyone’s plans, coverage, and lives being different. Yes people, do your homework for what applies to you, specifically!

sox (#246)

@sox *My coverage will apply to 10 therapist visits, not overall outpatient visits.

chic noir (#713)

@sox I would think it would indeed contribute to a ‘pre-existing condition’ if I switched carriers


cherrispryte (#19)

This is so “good DC”-centric, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Megano! (#124)

Oh man, I had to go out of town immediately after my break up (he probably wouldn’t have said anything if I hadn’t, the poobrain), much money was spent on booze, food and makeup (though that usually happens anyway, my sister never has food in her apartment).

MuffyStJohn (#280)

I wonder if buying those amazing pants would motivate me to bike more?

:hugs: for Alex! Breakups are hard, but any man who would leave a woman with such good taste in food and trousers does not deserve you.

LydiaBennett (#121)

“$49.99: Ambien prescription. My insurance’s servers are down, and I know I can’t spend another night awake. Though the co-pay would knock the price down to $10, I pay out-of-pocket.” Not that I don’t feel for you, but if the problem is just the servers, why in the world wouldn’t you just resubmit the claim for reimbursement? $40 isn’t a lot of money but probably worth the 2 minute call to your pharmacy asking them to put the claim through insurance again…

alexbaca (#865)

@LydiaBennett Good advice, and something I should have followed up on. The servers were down the next day, too, and at this point I’ve eaten the cost. Should this happen to someone else, I’d also tell them to resubmit the claim, even if I…failed at doing so.

chic noir (#713)

@Alex is it possible that your pharmacy could sell you like three pills until the servers are back up? I’ve had something like this happen before and I just asked for a few pills to tide me over.

Virginia: not super weird. I frequent an ABC store because it has all the oddball liqueurs I require way cheaper than anywhere in the city.

alexbaca (#865)

@Vicky Johnson@twitter I wanted Benedictine. There was no Virginia-sanctioned Benedictine.

carolita (#869)

I remember spending HUNDREDS in sushi, facials and full body massages, which seemed to be the only things that could take my mind off my heartache. Sometimes I thought I should sue the guys who dumped me! It costs me a fortune to be dumped! Well, not anymore, really. I’ve become way more blasé about these things. But I was supersensitive back then. Last guy who dumped me, I indignantly made him buy me dinner, because I didn’t see why I should go home to an empty cupboard and be hungry as well as heartbroken. By the end of dinner, he was reconsidering, ha ha. Must’ve been my gumption was kind a sexy or something. (And actually, seven years later, we’re living together, happily).

Megano! (#124)

@carolita That is a total Jane Segel-Sterling. Only way to top her though is to get the ex to pay for an entire apartment.

So, since I’ve had a couple lame break-ups this year, does that justify that I can buy a couple pairs of the Outlier pants?!

alexbaca (#865)

@Jackie Dun Owns You@facebook I mean, I ride my bike several miles daily, almost entirely uphill. I was holding off on the pants because, whoa, expensive! But I think they are worth it, if you are, as I was, very tired of ripping the crotch of your normal pants that you paid for and paid to be hemmed.

@Alex I have those pants and they’re sooo nice.

ashleyrar (#900)

thanks for visiting us at Saint Ex during your sad time, i hope your enjoyed your brew and burger. stop by next time and a beer is on me!

alexbaca (#865)

@ashleyrar I will most certainly take you up on this.

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