Ahh, ASHEVILLE! That would never be a mistake. Unless you hate hippies or have a problem with people not wearing shoes or brushing/washing their hair. Those things don't bother me, so I think Asheville is heaven. But things are normal in Asheville that would be the weirdest thing around in other cities, so it's something to be aware of. Lots of great bars, restaurants, outdoorsy things to do, awesome people, beautiful scenery. Sigh. Western North Carolina is the greatest.
@Heidi I mean, I totally disagree, for my above stated reasons. I don't take dates to weddings just for a warm body. I like meeting people, as evidenced by the amount of weddings I've been invited to. But I'm offended when I'm not given the option. I always find it to be a slight. If I'm not important enough to get a +1, take me off the list. Seriously, I'm not being dramatic, and I'm not whining. I'm just saying.
@Jake Reinhardt Also, if you ever get married, you won't be able to just invite your horrible cousin. You will also have to invite her husband. When you get married, you are asking everyone in your life to forever invite you and a plus one. So how is it even remotely acceptable to not extend the same courtesy to the guests of your wedding? (the rare exception - the small intimate wedding where you are friends with the bride and the groom and there are less than 100 guests).
@Charlsie BTW - I've only been invited to seven weddings so far in 2012, so maybe the pace is starting to slacken.
I can honestly say it was a pleasure and an honor to be a part of every single wedding. I can also say, I am rarely able to give wedding presents. If I attend a shower, I will give a present. If I can afford it, I will give a present. However, if it comes down to me traveling to attend an engagement party and buying you a present, I’m going to be at your engagement party. I like to believe that any of my friends who care enough about me to include me in their special day understand the fiscal constraints of wedding presents. I also understand that not being able to afford all the weddings in your life is a rather ridiculous problem. I try to consider weddings something of a “hobby,” and not worry too much about how expensive it is. Because, dang it, my friends are worth it! I just wish wedding travel was tax deductable. And I hate etiquette books that chastise me for expecting a plus one and for not always giving a gift. Here is why - I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve been invited to between 75-100 weddings in the past ten years. I remember the summer after my first year of law school, 2004, I studied abroad and I missed six weddings. In 2007, I was invited to 24 weddings. I attended 13 of them. After that, I stopped keeping track, mostly because I literally couldn’t keep them straight. But I’m pretty sure 2008 had similar numbers as 2007. I’ve thought about sitting down and actually writing down every wedding I’ve ever been invited to, and I’m not sure I’m capable of that task. I’m not sure I could even tell you all the weddings I’ve attended. I would attribute all of my consumer debt to going to, and being in, weddings. I was a bridesmaid in four weddings over the span of six weeks in 2009. The weddings were from the last weekend in April til the middle of June, and I had to purchase the bridesmaid dresses six months prior, which meant, December. So, December 2008, I spent close to $1000 on bridesmaid dresses. Merry Christmas! I’ve been a bridesmaid 12 times, and I have been a reader five times. (I believe these numbers to be accurate, but I feel like I’m leaving someone out) That means I’ve been to 17 actual rehearsals and bridesmaid luncheons. I’ve been one of 13 bridesmaids at least three times. I’ve been a MOH twice. Two of the weddings were in my parent’s backyard. I’ve traveled to Colorado (twice), New Orleans (twice), Louisville, Dallas, Memphis, Birmingham, Williamsburg, Atlanta (lost count on that one), Charleston (before I lived here), St. Simons, Beaufort, Conway, Columbus, Macon, Athens, Savannah, Greenville, and lord knows where else. Ahh, so many memories. I like to believe it was all worth it. But don't take away my plus one, because it hurts my feelings. And I'm too old to not at least have the option to bring a date if I want.
Mike, I just want you to know that I read the billfold every day, and when I spend $30 on fireworks on Friday night because I happen to be driving over a state border and it is payday, that I feel like Logan and that you would be disappointed in my poor decision making skills concerning fiscal responsibility. My friends and I all talk about our finances a lot, because most of my friends have student loan debt that is not a secret and ranges from an annoyance to a crushing burden. And we all wish to be debt free. Life goals!
Do you have a Trader Joes near you? I basically live off Trader Joes - they have great salads, and chicken meatballs that aren't bad for you, and hummus and carrots and frozen burritos that are actually quite tasty. Frozen pizzas, pre-made chicken and orzo, chicken pai thai, veggie burgers - seriously, some of it is absolutely fantastic, and at the worst it is not bad. I also buy those green giant frozen spinach and frozen broccoli (you have to get these at the real grocery store), and I cook the spinach, and then I put cut up meatballs, and hunks of cheese (I prefer manchago), and tomatos if I have them. It doesn't take long, doesn't make a mess(this is my big hang out for food prepared at home, will I have to wash a lot of dishes? No? Sold!) And, as far as pre-made speciality grocery store goes, Trader Joes is pretty cheap. They also have cheap snacks like pita chips and cookies, and good cheap wine. Every trip to Trader Joes is pleasant. Try the joe-joe's in cream (like cookies in cream ice cream) - it is fantastic. Now I'm hungry.
Keeping my nails painted in a color that is currently making me happy can make all the difference in the world to my mood. Especially when the rest of life feels unsteady. It makes me feel finished, even if I haven't brushed my hair that day. Shower curtains are an investment. I bought an insanely expensive one in college, at Anthropologie, because it wasn't my money, and I felt guilty about it for a long time. That was in 2002, and I'm still using the same shower curtain, and I still love it. I have no need for another one. It looks a lot like this one - http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-bath/983340.jsp - but my ruffles go straight across and I recall it being $70 ten years ago. It also has a tendency to finish any bathroom, even if the tiles are stained.
Can I add one? While waiting in the Zaxby's drivethru line with your car window rolled down, casually stick the debit card into the rubber where your window would be, if it wasn't rolled down. While absentmindedly testing the limits of this strangely fasinating rubber opening, drop the debit card into the opening, losing it forever to the inside of your car door. Call your mechanic and have him laugh at you when you ask if he can take the door apart to get it out. Call your bank and order a new debit card.