The Cost of Things
When I first started fencing, I imagined the only gear I’d need is a cutlass, some of those thigh-high leather boots sported by Errol Flynn in Captain Blood, and a chandelier full of candles to show my enemies how sharp my weapon is. Who would have thought fencing is a full contact, anaerobic sport that requires an ocean of protective gear?
Two months ago, I signed a contract for a new part-time gig. About two days into the job, I started to worry. The job pays me for 20 hours each week. I can work those hours whenever I want, from wherever I want—it’s pretty great.
I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for more than two years now. When we resided in the same state, it was easy to see each other because I had a car, and only needed $20 for gas to make a trip to visit my boyfriend. Now, with me in New York and him in Pennsylvania, seeing him means I’d have to pay $47 for a round-trip bus ticket. Sure, this isn’t a huge difference, but when you’re working off a limited budget, it can get overwhelming.
I decided to put my own furniture to the American Girl test: my Sleep Master Platform Metal Bedframe, at $98.86, is less expensive than Samantha’s Victorian bed (with canopy), Julie’s mod 1970s bed (with beaded canopy), Caroline’s 1812 wooden bed (with canopy), and Rebecca’s 1920s brass bed (surprisingly canopy free).
When I first got the email saying I was invited to audition for “Jeopardy,” half of me was already spending the money I would win. I figured I would crush the literature and food rounds for five nights in a row, and then I would figure out the answer to “Final Jeopardy!” thanks to some pivotal life event (a la Slumdog Millionaire).
Departure tax: S/.2 each, because Arequipa will not let you leave without a fight