Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"We all have to cut corners, you know."

As I mentioned previously, Ms. K and I are going to move in together sometime around July. Should we decide to leave Lefferts Gardens, we're laying the groundwork by researching neighborhoods and rental rates. We have a fondness for Ditmas Park due to it's proximity to the Q train and desirable cost of living. The neighborhood also contains one of our favorite restaurants in the city, The Farm on Adderley.

On Sunday afternoon we drove the car down there for some urban exploration before parking it on a side street and continuing on foot. We were interested in checking out the stock of old apartment buildings down there and assessing our options. Way back in 2006, as some of my long term readers may remember, I dated/slept with this girl named Val for all of a month. She lived in Ditmas Park in a well maintained elevator building along with her 80 lb dog. She had a HUGE one bedroom for all of $1,200 a month. For New York City, this is what we would call a steal.

As Ms. K and I will be combining menageries, one of those old pet friendly buildings seemed like a good place to being our search. We snooped around various places and wrote down addresses on a small notepad. At one very 1960s looking location, we saw a piece of paper taped in on the glass of the lobby advertising an available 1 bedroom. The Super was there to let us in and we nearly died as he showed us the apartment's HUGE living room, HUGE eat in kitchen, linen cabinets, walk-in hall closet, another hall closet, and HUGE bedroom that could have easily fit a king sized bed, four dogs, seven cats, a desk, and a dresser. Did I mention this bedroom had two more closets? And it was only a block away from the organic food co-op and subway. All we would need was $3,600 to move in.

Shit. We're broke. Like seriously fucking negative money broke. How the hell are we going to move this summer??

We left the building excited, but slightly depressed as the real hurdle to moving showed itself to us. I actually began to think about asking my parents for a small loan/gift/whatever* -- like $2,000 -- but knew I was risking a lecture and a dent to my self esteem. When I called my mom yesterday, I tactfully asked for the money before going the "Just deduct it from my inheritance" route.

She laughed at first, but then began the critical onslaught.

"Why don't you have the money? I thought you were doing well with freelance?"

"I had to pay my taxes and I think one of my freelance clients might be drying up."

"You're 30-years-old** and you have bad credit," she scolded me. "You need to start getting your act together. How is it your brother has $20,000 saved up??"

"I don't know. Maybe he's involved in something shady?" I mumbled.

"He's very frugal with his money," she added tartly, glazing over the fact that he lived at home till he was 25. "We all have to cut corners, you know. It costs me $70 to fill up my gas tank. Why don't you stop going out so much and cut back on all the $10 drinks?"

What my mom doesn't know is that I have already cut back and that I'm in a debt management program. I hardly go out (except for Date Day on Sundays) because I can't afford it. That's why I never see my friends anymore. Look, I wanted to tell her, I have never asked you for anything since moving to New York. Instead our conversation petered off into mutual disappointment. "I'll tell your father," she said cryptically.

When I hung up I felt dejected. I felt like a 30-year-old** failure. I loathed myself for having to ask for her help. I seriously wanted to cry. And still felt broke.

Plan B, thy name is tequila.

* God, this makes me sound so entitled and bourgeois.

** Twenty-nine, FOR FUCK'S SAKE. TWENTY-NINE!!!


jesse james said...

Once I asked my dad for money for college and received almost the same response, only he got my age right and his included interest- "It may not be what you were hoping for but it's better than anything you could find at a bank." You're moving-in adventure with Ms. K is in the stars- somehow it will happen and I can't wait to read about it.

thenewgirl said...

Well, at least you're getting laid. And you're probably having better sex than your bro.