Bloomie’s Burnout

11Feb08

Ooooooh the Bloomie’s Bill came today. *groan*

$1400. Amex and Citicard bills notwithstanding.

*wince*

Living in this city can really play tricks on your wallet. It’s not like I didn’t know the Bill was coming. That shopping “spree” at Searle is imprinted in my mind (but I do have a lovely Marc Jacobs dress hanging in my closet). I also remember that impromptu Wednesday night dinner at Nobu (those fig martinis! Unforgettable!). And the Iisli sample sale (you didn’t expect me to miss it, did you?). The next bill will also be problematic. There are the Cure concert tickets (they’re getting old — it’s once in a lifetime!). There are the plane tix (Tampa, Vail, San Fran — a girl’s gotta rest and … see college friends.). Oh, and the cruise to Mexico …

Self-indulgence and frivolity aside, however, daily yuppie life in NY can involve a certain amount of built-in extravagance; routine expenses just get away from you. Going out takes a toll. Between drinks, cover charges, cabs, tickets, dinner, etc. a night could easily cost $200. Maintenance costs — manis, pedis, haircuts and color, massages, facials, waxing — vary person to person, month to month, but still add up. Laundry is a big deal; whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you, the cost is about the same ($25-$30). Dry cleaning can easily run $50/week. Then there’s Hilda, the cleaning lady, who doesn’t come clean my apartment (yet), but who I am constantly tempted to call for relief.

Food is the biggest problem, since eating out or ordering takeout is only marginally more expensive than cooking in (in some cases, it’s even cheaper). In addition, it is far easier to find gourmet goodies and whole foods than it is to find cheaper, but much less desirable, alternatives (someone save me from my $7 Michel Cluizel chocolate bar habit). Stephanie Rosenbloom distilled the issue in her article, “Tightening the Alligator Belt,” which outlines the kinds of corners New Yorkers are likely to cut during the impending recession. Unfortunately, Stephanie didn’t really get into the nitty-gritty. So I ask you, New York, besides the obvious (don’t go within 40 ft. of Bloomie’s/Searle/Bendel/Intermix/Bergdorf, no more vacations, stay out of five-star restaurants, start liking dive bars … a lot, fewer salon services), what do we do?

No, really … what should I do?

As of right now, I’ve replaced my morning Starbucks with a protein bar and a glass of unsweetened soy milk. I wash my clothes at my father’s house. I’ve replaced lunches with leftover dinners. When I’m not eating dinner out, I eat Pintaile’s original pizza (whole grain crust, organic everything, $15 for a large pie), Chinese food, Muscle Milk, or some eclectic combination of the above, plus maybe some nuts, cheese, and raw veggies. When I do eat out, I go with a man who will pay for me (an all-too-infrequent occurrence these days) or I go to regular neighborhood joints. I do all that, but somehow I don’t feel like it’s enough. And boy is that alligator belt getting tight.

It is just SO unfortunate that I can’t cancel any of those vacations. I know you feel bad for me. Don’t be too upset. I’ll be OK.

This is what I’m going to do: I resolve that from now until June 4th, I will abide by the following guidelines, provided that I am in New York and that the guidelines do not interfere with any social commitments already entered into.

  1. I will not pay for my own sit-down dinner more than once/week.
  2. I will not buy Starbucks (or any other cafe-bought coffee beverage) more than once/week.
  3. I will not pay for a night out more than once/week.
  4. I will not buy one article of clothing or one pair of shoes.
  5. I will buy no make-up, other than maybe a new mascara. I will not buy said mascara at Sephora; I will buy it at Duane Reade.
  6. I will not take a cab more than twice/week, except in cases of duress.
  7. I will buy no more than two concert tickets (really want to see Feist and Tiger Army — it’s as if I’ve already committed to them).
  8. I will go back to Lindt and Ghirardelli; Michel can wait until I’m working full-time.
  9. I will not buy the mixed berries at Agata & Valentina ($11 a pop). Pears are also low on the glycemic index and don’t cost me my soul. Same goes for strawberries.
  10. My spring bag will not cost more than $100 (how am I going to do that?!? Especially since I’ve been daydreaming about a $655 cerulean Rebecca Minkoff … not that I could EVER afford THAT right now … I’m just sayin’).
  11. No massages, no facials.
  12. Mani/pedis will be the standard, $9/$15, Korean salon variety. None of that spa shit.

That’s enough! No more, no more! Let’s see if I can do it. T-115 days, starting NOW …

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3 Responses to “Bloomie’s Burnout”


  1. 1 V-Day Revisited « Queen Samantha’s Weblog
  2. 2 Back to Reality « Queen Samantha’s Weblog
  3. 3 Bloomie’s Burnout: An Update « Queen Samantha’s Weblog

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