Well, this was the week of me doing dumb things. It all began with a forgotten lunch…
Last week, I shared that Mr. Frugalwoods and I had the incredible opportunity to speak at NYU, which was amazing and wonderful! And filled with unicorns leaping over rainbows! Perhaps not quite leaping, but certainly rather excited unicorns.
We returned home late Thursday night and, being relatively responsible people, packed up our lunches for the next morning. Friday began like any other Friday with us up at 6am
doing our calisthenics reading blogs messing with Frugal Hound writing insightful words, and things progressed normally from there.
However, upon arrival at my place of employment, I made a terrible discovery: my lunch sack (which is a tote bag advertising mammograms that I received for free at a flu shot clinic 2 years ago) contained NO rice-and-beans.
In layman’s terms, I’d forgotten my lunch. In frugal weirdo terms, I’d committed an EPIC sin. Frugal people DO NOT buy their lunches out, which means frugal people DO NOT forget their homemade $0.39 lunches that their bearded husbands hand-crafted for them with love.
I broke into a sweat. I ransacked my desk–not a scrap of food to be found. Totally thwarted by my own refusal to buy packaged foods! I did have my salad of greens, my carrots, and my banana. But I suspected this wouldn’t suffice for the entirety of the drudgery know as 9 to 5.
However, hope was not lost. Why? My office is home to notoriously fantastic leftover food (which I often take home for dinner–we call it my “cooking”). So, I bided my time, consulted with my free food sources and waited.
You see, gentle reader, I always know exactly when and where free food will appear. How? I give rides to work (free of charge) to a younger co-worker who lives in our neighborhood and is responsible for ordering food in our office. Never underestimate my cunning when free food is at steak (oh yes, I said steak). Sadly, my informant let slip that there were no prospects for food that day. And so, I toughed it out until 1:30pm thinking perhaps I could limp by with my salad and carrots. But no. I am an eater and this would not do.
It’s with much embarrassment that I confess to you fine and frugal people that I BOUGHT MY LUNCH in the CAFETERIA. This is easily the first time in at least two years that I’ve forgotten my lunch, but still, I felt a burn of shame. I’m not even kidding–I felt guilty walking through the cafeteria and hoped no one would recognize me (then I remembered that I was at work where no one knows I’m Mrs. Frugalwoods). Nevertheless, I have a frugal reputation to uphold.
To make matters worse, I was so famished/embarrassed that I ended up buying what can only be described as caloric-laden deliciousness: an egg salad wrap with potato chips. It’s possible you don’t know about my situation with egg salad and potato chips, because I try not to admit it with any frequency. In sum, I’m a diehard addict. Something about the eggy mayonnaise with those salty, crunchy chips. Sigh. I was in heaven. After consuming this feast, my heart was beating fast and my face was hot. Guilt, shame, and elevated cholesterol all in one fell swoop.
Now I realize many folks will respond–what’s the big deal with forgetting your lunch? It was only one day! Well, the big deal is that for me, that’s how the slippery slope commences. If I were to allow myself to “forget” my lunch in favor of munching my fave egg salad/chip combo periodically, I guarantee you it would become a regular habit for me.
I find that, for humans, deviation from routine often spells the downfall of things like New Year’s resolutions, savings goals, debt repayment, diets, and homemade lunches. It’s far too easy to let ourselves fall into thinking it’s a one-time thing, when it’s really a twice a week thing, or a daily thing… As I came down from my egg salad high, I reflected on how unhealthy, expensive, and pointless it would be to buy my lunch every day. Despite the fact that I’m already bought into frugality, a jolting reminder isn’t bad from time to time.
Needless to say, I shan’t be repeating this mistake again.
If the egg salad transgression wasn’t enough this week, on Monday I was pulled over by the police! While driving the Frugalwoods-mobile! Again, perhaps not a big deal to some, but frugal weirdos don’t get pulled over. Why? Because tickets are expensive!
Not to toot our own horn, but neither Mr. FW nor I have ever received a ticket of any type for a moving violation. It’s a point of pride for us both. So, more than anything, I was bummed I’d have to surrender my perfect driving record while letting Mr. FW reign supreme.
But no! This was no moving violation, folks. This was an idiocy violation. The police officer pointed at my vehicle inspection sticker and said, “ma’am, your vehicle inspection sticker is 7 months overdue.” I gulped. Vehicle inspection sticker? Did I get Frugalwoods-mobile inspected? I had a vague recollection of me in a garage receiving a sticker, but was it here in Cambridge? Back in Washington, DC? Clearly I had no clue.
This interaction was the culmination of just about everything I fear in this world: confrontation, disorganization (on my part! the horror), disobeying authority (through neglect!), and the potential for a monetary fine! Not to mention I was going to be late to my yoga shift. I hate being late! Throw in some spiders and it would’ve been my perfect storm of terror.
Since I truly didn’t realize that Frugalwoods-mobile was derelict in her inspections and, I imagine because I was extremely polite (and very confused) and my license yielded a perfect driving record, I was released with only a warning and no fine. However, I was chastised and reprimanded, which if you know me, is punishment enough.
The cop warned me to take the car in post haste, which I did. Reason #230,495 why our mechanic down the street is the absolute bomb (in a good way). I rolled in there with my illegally expired inspection tag and they didn’t bat an eye. They inspected the ‘mobile and found that all she needed in order to pass were new wiper blades, which they sold to me for the same price as I could get on Amazon. Those guys are amazing.
All’s well now with both my lunch and Frugalwoods-mobile, but it’s been an un-frugal few days around here. I plan on walking everywhere all weekend and avoiding anything resembling egg salad.