It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and I’ve been working on this post for about 3.5 months…but just haven’t found the inspiration to finish it…until now. I’m babysitting tonight, the kids are asleep and I saw my friend Courtney today and she said, “You haven’t updated your blog.” So here it is.
1.) My grandmother came to visit. She was here for six weeks from September to mid October and thoroughly explored most of Northern Virginia’s major malls. She shopped ’til she dropped (really: We had to push her around in a wheelchair) and ultimately declared that American clothing has gone down the toilet (what terrible quality! what cheap materials!) However, this did not stop her from making highly specific shopping demands (Manassass Kohl’s only — Fairlakes Kohl’s was deemed indisputably sub par). Also, it’s not fair for me to act like a victim here…my mom, aunt and sister were the martyrs when it came to the shopping. My sister claims she spent six hours at Talbot’s with my grandma. I don’t know if this is true, but it’s not out of the question. Even though I didn’t take my grandma shopping, I did spend an entire afternoon teaching her how to email, and I believe she may be the most technologically advanced almost 84-year-old in her building (and the proud owner of a laptop AND an iPad)!
2.) My boyfriend moved down to Virginia and we’re living together in my little apartment, which I affectionately call “the hobbit hole” (my brother came up with the name) because of its lack of windows, low ceilings and miniature kitchen. So far, it’s going better than I could have expected, despite our widely differing definitions of good TV. I drove up to Saratoga Springs to pick him up…but before getting there, at a gas station somewhere deep in New Jersey, I was hit on by a skinny teenager drinking a Slurpee. My window was open and he leaned against my door, smiled down at me with slightly yellowed teeth (maybe Slurpee related) and said “Hey girl, how old are you? I know this doesn’t sound very romantic, but something about the way he said it let me know he wanted to know for more than curiosity’s sake. I was so flustered and so thoroughly unaccustomed to being hit on that I said I panicked, said I was 37, rolled the window up and backed out ASAP.
3.) Alfie continues to dominate family conversations. But how could he not? Look how adorable he is.
4.) I’ve continued exploring the mid-Atlantic region. Now I have an exploration partner (my bf), which is always nice.
5.) As you may remember, I dedicated myself to financial austerity earlier this year. As of today, I’ve paid of $16,000 in debt in 12 months, but have had some bumps along the way. For example, taking a two week camping vacation turns out to be quite pricey when one does not actually have any camping or outdoor equipment. It turns out one needs quite a lot of (expensive) camping and outdoor equipment when embarking on a 3,000 mile outdoorsy journey. In addition, it turns out that while camping for two weeks without reliable access to showers seems doable (and even naively idyllic) in theory, it can be quite unpleasant in real life after several 95-degree days in the desert and a week of sleepless nights spent imaging worst-case grizzly bear scenarios while your very thin and fit boyfriend sleeps peacefully beside you (Let’s face it — a hungry bear would prefer me and if the situation calls for running, my boyfriend would get a lot farther than me). Anyway, all this sweating and worrying lead to a several mini emotional breakdowns where suddenly, blowing the budget on a nice, three-star hotel seemed perfectly acceptable. I still really, really want to to be an outdoorsy person, but I’m not quite there…
When my boyfriend moved in I got a little off track buying household items (turns out he believes in pots and pans, a full refrigerator and plentiful cleaning products) and then Christmas rolled around.
But I’m recommitting. My 2016 Goals include paying off ALL my credit cards (only two more to go!) and finally, after ten long years together, getting rid of Sallie Mae. So I could have done a little bit better, but I’m moving in the right direction and $16,000 is almost a new car’s worth of debt!
If you’ve gotten this far, I thank you for reading and leave you with this:
Portrait No. 434,409,078,098: Alfie, a profile in courage.