They did not speak English or take credit cards. We didn’t have cell phones. It was 8:30 on the first morning of our honeymoon, and we were already screwed.
When you’re in college and work on the side, your day fills up pretty quickly.
For a few months in the fall of 2012, I became something of an expert in Craigslist studies. A recent college graduate, I was a part-time unpaid intern and part-time retail employee. New to New York, I lived with four other underemployed recent grads in a three-bedroom apartment in Bed-Stuy, sleeping on the top bunk of an IKEA children’s bunk bed called “TROMSO.” I was living mainly on graduation gift money and savings from a summer spent working at UPS, supplemented by my $10 an hour retail gig. After one too many meals of $1 Trader Joe’s spaghetti noodles, I found a solution: Craigslist studies.
Every week for the past 18 weeks, I’ve gone to the same restaurant in downtown San Luis Obispo and ordered the exact same thing: One pulled pork sandwich on a French roll. It’s $7.82 with tax.
A few days after I sent the application he “approved” me and asked me to wire $2700 — security deposit and first month’s rent — to his California bank account before I could receive the keys in the mail. He also drew up and signed a simple lease agreement for me to sign and return, but it lacked important details: i.e., it had the street address of the condo, but not the specific unit
Two weeks later I opened a Secret Santa gift and found a Clarisonic Mia. It retails for about $99, and as far as I’m concerned the Rx stuff can suck it.
Theoretically, it’s our parents who teach us about money, the technicalities of how to handle it, but also how we might feel about it as a concept and approach it through a moral lens. But what about when our parents die before they can teach us anything?
Today’s post about the 31-year-old who lives at home gave me the idea that we should have an open thread about how much help we take or took from our parents, or how much we help our parents instead. I’ll volunteer to go first!