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I am...a New Yorker
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Monday, December 9, 2002
Po' (I cannot afford the 'or)
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The sidebar is to rich for my blood.

I am...living on $500 less a month than I did a year ago. Seemingly every day I notice another huge difference in my lifestyle. I was never one to drip in jewelry or designer duds or an Imelda Marcosesque shoe collection.

I could buy a book when I wanted, go to the movies every week, and eat out at a reasonable ($7-10) restaurant when the dining room is closed on Saturday and Sunday night. And I wasn?t a complete spendthrift, I?d eat out on Saturday and eat the leftovers for dinner on Sunday.

Nowadays, with the bad economy, fear and impending doom ? most of us are just happy to have any money coming in at all. Lately, I?m not too proud to smuggle food out after dinner on weeknights. Laundry? It dries perfectly fine in the cold air of my room?eventually.

Not helping this financial frustration, months ago I began noticing more and more people tooling around town with iPods. I?d wonder who has $300-500 in disposable income to listen to music for chrissakes. I?d ponder looking for a brick with which to bash their perfectly-coiffed, wee heads in. It is such a conspicuous display of wealth, they deserve it.

Needless to say, I have not been leaving the house much, particularly given the onset of the cold weather. I grew up in California, so anything below 40 and I start to question why the hell I moved here. There is this nagging worry that if I go outside, I might get hungry, thirsty, cold or have to pee and then I?ll need to break that last $20 bill I?ve been squirreling away all week.

A few weeks ago, I forgot my purse at Krispy Kreme, after splurging $1.50 on hot donuts. As I frantically walked back to Eighth Avenue, I wasn?t sure what I was most concerned about losing ? my passport or that $20 bill that was my only cushion between then and payday. Thank heaven for the extremely honest staff at Krispy Kreme, for even the $20 was there, not to mention my passport, ID, Palm and digital camera (the latter two purchased during a considerably different financial era).

[Next entry: "Back in Alphabet City"]
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