I've been having a bad couple weeks, no hours, exams, lots of homework--all kinds of things. Even worse. I live in the Northwest. My car is molding.
I've never had a moldy car before (just saying it makes it sound dirty), but the other day I opened my trunk and it'd been raining for so very long, really really hard, I had mold around my gaskets. Not bad enough I have mold on the bathroom ceiling that I have to go up and destroy with bleach every other week, but my car?
People tell me it's normal. Just part of the experience of living in a wonderful area where every day is eye candy, but...okay, it's pretty. I won't deny it's pretty, but the ground is blanketed with pollen (when it's not raining) it's cold (in MAY) and a twelve pack of soda is (sorry, I meant to say, "pop") is 7.99. Hey now, 7.99? Maybe it's just me, but last time I checked the local Food Lion, Coke was selling for 3.33 on sale, and sometimes you could get it for 2.50. Food is expensive up here.
But, in a happy coincidence, the wonderful people (no, not joking. I like the IRS) at Internal Revenue decided not to audit me, and gave me my refund. Yay! I have enough to clean off my bills and maybe buy some groceries. I was so thrilled, I opened my power bill.
It was two hundred dollars. Down a hundred from the last time. I'm not sure if it's because I'm using the dryer less or cranked the thermostat down, but whatever--I'm grateful. One hundred dollars. In my pocket, for nothing except...well, nothing.
I spent part of one day thinking, "a hundred dollars. What can I get/want/need with a spare hundred?" I've gotten so damned frugal my freezer is full, I don't personally "need" anything, and I've already paid for the conference. (not that a hundred will do anything for the conference, lol)
So I figured--okay, open more mail. (bills are like a given. You open mail you get bills. I wait until I know the things are due and open my mail a few days ahead to cut down on the worry) And a coupon falls out. Yay for me. Cheap haircut. I have money. It's about that time anyway.
I had a reasonable electric bill, a good haircut and went down to my mom's house (it's her birthday, I wanted to give her a present) thinking, "What a great day. Good things always come in threes." Which is wishful thinking, but still.
The day before, just on the off chance I could find my kid a bed table to match her overly ornate frame (or "anything" to match her overly ornate frame) I answered an ad in craigslist for a Queen Anne Bombay and Co side table. Bombay and Co are nice. Good heavy wood, solidly made and wildly expensive. I've become a connoisseur of ritzy areas where people used to have money. Lot of the subdivisions over near Bellevue and Snoqualamie are full of laid off techies. Gorgeous houses, furniture sets, nice cars.
I have a line on an antique writing desk to replace the one I left behind, but I was more interested in that table. So the woman tells me, "It's a nice table, but I don't know how to do the picture thing (some people don't). You can come and take a look."
So I tell her, "My daughter loves Bombay and Co. (the table was cheap, lol) If it looks like something in the catalog, she's good."
And we talk for a few minutes (got to feel out craigslist people on both sides, it's not the safest way to buy things) and I tell her about my kid's bed, and she says, "well, I do have a few other things that might match if you want to take a look."
...and I'm thinking. I have a hundred dollars, the table is cheap, but I have a hundred. It's not likely I'm going to buy anything else.
So we drive out there, beautiful Northwest day, the mountains are right up against the subdivision. Kids everywhere, little boutique shops, a bank, a library. Snoqualamie is a planned community. Everything is so clean and tidy, it's like some kind of fifties time warp.
The woman's house is for sale (lots of houses are for sale). She has my table out in the garage and I'm looking and going, "gorgeous dark cherry color and maybe one tiny flaw on the top. I have wax at home." And she pushes this sofa out of the way. On the other side is the most gorgeous, over the top, ostentatiously ornate, no holds barred, with attached candelabra dark cherry wood vanity set, complete with fancy frou-frou stool and swivel mirror.
And she said, "you mentioned your daughter had a metal canopy. I have one too, I was going to list this tomorrow, but thought you might like to take a look." Did I want to take a look? I wanted to hit the nearest ATM. One hundred dollars for a seven hundred dollar vanity that would make the most convoluted semi-goth victorian furniture snob grab hold and hang on?
So it was more than I wanted to spend, but I had a good day. Low power bill, good haircut--and now? My kid has a bedroom that bears a striking resemblance to a high-falutin' bordello. It's a good thing.