The Cost of Things
Las Vegas Boulevard, commonly known as the Strip, is a singular example of government and private industry working together to extract every last dollar from every last man, woman and child in America. The sidewalks themselves are in on the scheme.
“Couples who make more than $125,000 a year (combined) cut their divorce risk in half.” So, yeah. You don’t have to be wealthy for San Francisco, just wealthy for Arkansas.
Mike: What color flowers do you send someone who has lost a relative?
Lodging: Free! The advantage to having a huge family is that there are so many places to stay!
For several months now, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night. I’ll look at my clock, and it’ll be 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., and I’ll close my eyes and lay still, hoping to doze off again to wake up at a reasonable hour.
David Sedaris, writer of FitBit native advertising for The New Yorker, did an AMA today. Through which I learned that Mademoiselle used to pay a lot of money. And/or probably still does if you are David Sedaris. Probably everything does!
What was the first lavish gift you bought your self with your first large check?
I bought myself, with the very first piece I ever sold to a magazine, which was Mademoiselle, an Il bisonte leather briefcase.
in tiny needling voice
It was in 1993…
I do not know what this leather briefcase cost in 1993 but in 2014 it costs $1528. With shipping, $1565.50.
+ Sold two big bags of small toddler clothes: $20 total. This involved inventorying and then trying to list items on the Park Slope Parents Classifieds board, only to realize I no longer had access to Classifieds. I had to figure out who to email about that, email them, wait for a response, and contemplate ditching the whole shebang on the sidewalk and hoping someone worthy would wander by and grab it instead of one of the many neighborhood shahs. Odds: 40 to 1 against.
Finally I confirmed with the right person that I did, indeed, pay my $35 annual fee in June for the right to get emails advertising “homemade natural toothpaste” and to sell stuff that I myself got second-hand or for free.
Then I had to negotiate by email with people who want X but not Y, or who want everything but can’t come til next week, and what brands are the shoes because her baby’s feet are wide; and strike the best balance; and wait some more.
The buyer arrived at last, sweet and eager. My daughter’s only four months old, she told me, so we won’t need this for a while, but I thought I’d snatch it up. Four months! I said. How’s it going? Fine, she said, dreamily. She’s gotten so big, I’m already dreaming about another.
This woman could not exist and yet there she was, pushing a twenty into my hand with a smile.
At last, purely by chance, they appeared on sale in my size at a store across the street from my apartment at the beginning of 2008. I snatched them up, feeling less like I had spent money than that I had won some kind of prize.
I decided I wanted to run a 5K this past May, when I read about the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run. For those of you unfamiliar with the Great Minnesota Get Together, it is a bacchanalia of dairy products, deep-fried candy bars, and foot-long corndogs. Non-edible fair highlights include (but are not limited to): butter sculptures, crop art, the fattest pig in all of the Minnesota, and dangling placentas in the Miracle of Birth barn. The state fair is the most Minnesotan of experiences; the Saint Paul Winter Carnival (where there is sometimes a palace—made out of ice—that doesn’t melt because it’s -25 here in the winter), a Gophers football game, and ice fishing may be Minnesotan, but nothing compares to the Minnesota State Fair. As a transplant from the hills of rural western Pennsylvania, I had never witnessed anything like the state fair, and it was love at first deep-fried-cheese-on-a-stick.