I know that somewhere at some point I catalogued the many perfectly mundane things that people do that I haven’t. I can’t remember everything, but do know that yoga, getting a spa treatment/massage, changing a diaper, sleeping in a tent, hailing a cab (I have done it once, maybe twice, both in 2000) and getting a manicure had to have been mentioned.
I’m a big diy’er when it comes to beauty. Even though I know you can pay someone like $10 for a manicure, the price of a crappy lunch salad, I’d still rather just do my own nails. How hard is it to clip, file and paint?
But I’ve been wanting one of those insane manicures like I know they do in NYC at Sakura (and probably oodles of places—that’s the one I always hear about). I could probably justify the $70+ cost if I considered it a birthday (a mere 15 days away) present to myself.
I like this black-and-gold effect, but I could do it myself.
This East London salon has a whole style called Aztec, which is fun but too busy for me.
There's always those nail print things, but I can't see how they would last very long.
My favorite accidental discovery was this white, green and black geometric approach I saw in a Glamour left at the gym. I'd prefer a kitten over a puppy, though.
Thankfully, I don’t have a job where anyone gives a shit about weirdly colored nails—or fashion in general. Heels and tailored clothing are not in my daily life. I could totally just wear jeans and tennis shoes, exept that I don't wear jeans or tennis shoes. Also, what do you call tennis shoes? Sneakers? I got made fun of recently for calling sporty shoes tennis shoes. Also, pants or slacks?
Back to felines, these cat head lipsticks are also totally unnecessary and a little scary, hence another good buy-it-for-yourself gift.
Strange thing about birthdays, passing of time and making small steps payoff…is to actually see if you’ve made any progress. While looking for the post containing the above mentioned list of never-dones, I instead found this post from five years ago about many things including starting Spanish lessons and opening a savings account. I did both. Sadly, I can still only converse in the most rudimentary fashion, certainly an advanced student but in no way fluent.
I’m kind of shocked at my savings success, though. I started putting away a few hundred dollars from each paycheck, which meant more in 2006 when I was getting 5% interest on a savings account (it’s barely 1% at this point) and last month realized that I could now pay off my entire student loan debt if I wanted. But I’m not going to. I have semi-serious fears that I won’t live to retirement age, so while being very practical and frugal I would prefer to have more money now than sock it away and die before I can spend any of it. I used to be more about planning, future, waiting and so on, but I’m afraid that I’m old enough that the future is now and I’d better get anything done that I’ve wanted to do for the past 20 years and figured would just transpire naturally. It doesn’t. No one's knocking on my door.
I could even afford a down payment on a small one-bedroom co-op in Park Slope, though I don’t know if I would be able to swing the monthly mortgage/maintenance. Plus, I don’t want to live in a small one-bedroom co-op in Park Slope. For contrast, I convinced James to look at a few houses in Ditmas Park, which is more in central Brooklyn with fewer amenities like bars, restaurants, boutiques and good school districts (I only care about the first two) but with a Google map commute time that’s exactly the same—34 minutes—as where we are now. The magic of express trains. But these house are huge, like five bedrooms huge with full basements, yard, garages and so on. Space that the non-poor, walk-up families who live in my buiding and leave their shit in the hallway in front of my door and inflate pools in front of my ground floor windows would kill for, but only Carroll Gardens will do. I just don’t know. I kind of went nuts for the ‘60s wallpaper in the wood-shingled (not paneled) basement bar/rec room of one home (camera phone pic without flash is pretty sad). But I know you don’t make big, expensive decisions based on kitsch. Or maybe you do.
I could also afford to work part-time for quite a while attempting to drum up paying freelance writing work on the side, though no one seems to pay anything reasonable for writing anymore (thanks, blogs). Or if I weren’t so security-minded—it’s not as if I have children or a mortgage—I could lose the full-time job altogether. But I would never do that.
Whatever I do, it’s good that James doesn’t read this or he’d make me kick in more for rent/utilities. I do pay 40% of the rent, plus much of the groceries, meals out, vacations, etc., for what it’s worth. My life is only mildly subsidized. I get driven insane when I see married women (ok, I’m really just thinking of one–and I'm not married) talking about their incomes like it’s pure spending money because the husband pays for everything.