Wednesday, August 12, 2009


If you know me or have been following my blog, you know I like to travel and eat out (often). I use room service. I buy books in hardcover. I pay to have my nails done because they look nice and my eyebrows waxed because I cannot stand to pluck them myself. I love my shoes and handbags and shop at Lord and Taylor—although rarely pay full price for anything there. Still, by many people's accounts, I am a snob. Extravagant. A spendthrift.

Have a seat.

Years ago a colleague of mine reported that his vehicle set afire. He returned to his Jeep after being out to find the fire department dousing what remained of it. I know. How freaky is that? But God help me, after ascertaining that no one was in the vehicle when it was ablaze, the first thought that crossed my mind was I wonder if he had a full tank of gas. That would really piss me off.


God, how I hate to part with money and get no enjoyment or use from it! If it makes my taste buds dance, or feels good against my skin, looks pretty on my finger, I’ll spend the money gladly. (As long as the ring isn’t overpriced, being sold for three times its value at a suburban housewife jewelry party.) I’ll open my wallet because I will enjoy that meal, and I’ll wear that sweater and ring. I know that typically a tank of gas is useful, as it gets me around in my car, but it is especially painful for me to leave chunks of money at the pump. This, therefore, would qualify as one of my cheap pockets. Overpriced jewelry is another, I guess. But now I’m getting ahead of myself.

“Cheap pockets,” as Liz and Jimmy (sister and brother-in-law) call them, are those things for which we have trouble parting with money. For my brother-in-law it is ice. He hates to pay for ice, and he’s frankly somewhat obsessed with it—from making it in unconventional containers to packing coolers with it. I believe he knows precisely how many minutes it takes to chill a can of beer and a bottle of beer in a well-packed and well-iced cooler (they have different chilling times, he will tell you), which includes a combination of large blocks of ice (frozen in Rubbermaid containers) and cubes. If he can help it, he will never pay for those cubes. Even though it’s a pretty good bargain at less than 2 bucks for 10 pounds, he chooses to make trays of ice, even little Dixie cups of it, to complement the larger blocks of ice. He won’t pay for ice but has electric scissors.

Notice I did not make any claims that cheap pockets or spending patterns are logical.


Jim said...

"Rubbermaid" containers! What do you think I'm made of money? It's best to use old cottage cheese or large yogurt (light vanilla works best)containers with lids.

Tam said...

Hilarious post, J, and equally funny response, Jim. I love the "cheap pockets" term; I'm so stealing it.

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