Wednesday, January 20, 2016

In Which I Vow to Never Spend Money Again

Last time, on The Pretty Vintage Girl, our redheaded heroine bravely faced a broken furnace, a broken dryer, incompetent repairmen, freezing temperatures, and vowed to escape to Mexico and sunshine.

Did she come back?

Is she still freezing?

Does she have a way to do her laundry?

Has her January gotten even worse?


In short, Mexico was lovely and warm.  The three of us drank a lot, ate a lot, and walked a lot, so I'm pretty sure that all balanced out.  Really.

We explored all over the resort, tried as many drinks as possible, and managed to fit in some time on the beach.

We had a regrettably long layover in Atlanta and got home late Monday night.

On Tuesday, after work, Mark and I went to go pick up Thunder.  On the way, I bought a new washer and dryer.

This is notable because it's the first time I've ever bought a brand new major appliance.  Between renting and inheriting friends' used washers and dryers, the need for buying my own had never come up.  There was a brief period when I was married when I had to go to the laundromat because either a washer or dryer broke and we somehow didn't have the money to buy new ones, in spite of having two decent incomes.  But then friends moved and gave us their old set, so that was the end of that.

And, just in case I didn't feel like enough of an adult, we bought a brand new mattress this week.  Because why not.  And because the one we have (which my friend Katie so kindly gave us for free after my old one was rendered completely unusable) is getting increasingly uncomfortable.  I think this new one is going to be the nicest mattress either of us has ever owned, and I'm pretty excited about it being delivered tonight.

I also spent some money recently on improving my winter wardrobe, as I was getting tired of pants, T-shirts, and cardigans.  Most things I own are much more warm-weather appropriate, as I have an innate fondness for sundresses and rompers, and none of those work well when it's snowing.

In related news, I'm never spending money again.  It's been an incredibly expensive January.  And, while I don't regret any of our purchases, I do need some time for the bank account to recover.  Now, if the rest of my life and apartment would just cooperate with that, I'd greatly appreciate it.

It's all been extremely exciting and terrifying, which I suppose accurately sums up being an adult.  You make choices and weigh decisions and hope you made the right choice, whether it be about a washer and dryer, a job, or a person.  You might not know for a week, a month, a year, or a decade if it was the right one or not.

I like to think I've made a lot of good decisions in the past year and a half (hopefully enough to balance out the bad ones).  I chose to leave a terribly unhealthy relationship, wherein I made some very bad decisions indeed.  I chose to instead be with someone who I've always loved in some strange way from the moment I met him, regardless of how little sense it made.  I chose to take a job with a small business I believed in over a "safer" corporate position like my parents would have preferred.  I chose to go on vacation to Mexico with two of my best friends.  I chose to be more honest about my life and who I am.  I chose to join a gym and start doing yoga regularly.  And I chose to spend a lot of money on new and much-needed stuff this month.

I could be wrong about any of the above decisions.  I hope I'm not, but only time with tell.

And even though this year has been stressful and expensive and the first month is only just past halfway over, I still wouldn't change anything (except for my rental company).  So I think that's a sign that I'm doing at least something right.

But really.  I'm not spending any more money.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year, New... Everything?

So, 2016 started out great.  I worked a gorgeous New Year's Eve wedding at the History Museum, kissed the love of my life at midnight for the second year in a row, and had a really lovely and lazy first two days of the year.  I actually had the thought driving around on Sunday that it had been a wonderful two days.  I joined a gym (more on that later), I relaxed, I had dinner with my parents.  I read and knit and watched Netflix.

Clearly, I jinxed myself.  Because then January 3rd came. And everything fell apart.  Literally.

It was Sunday night, and Mark and I were sitting on the couch watching Netflix after dinner when he asks why it's so cold in the apartment.  Not-so-surprising answer?  Because the furnace isn't working.  It kicks on but the gas never lights.  So we break out all the space heaters and blankets for the night.

We also discovered that my upstairs neighbors' tub is leaking, both into my bathroom and into the basement.

On top of that, here's some more backstory: my dishwasher crapped out a while ago, possibly thanks to a minor mouse problem.  This hasn't really bothered me, because I hand wash most dishes unless I've done a full day of baking.  But the rental company scheduled the new dishwasher to be put in on Monday.  "First thing in the morning." Ha. Ha. Ha.

So on Monday morning I call and tell the constantly-beleaguered maintenance request woman that a) I have no heat and b) the upstairs neighbors' tub is leaking.  Then I put on my Eeyore onesie and sit by one of the space heaters to wait for my new dishwasher to arrive.

And I wait.

And wait.

And then I get annoyed with waiting, because it is now noon, three hours after a repairman was supposed to be here.  I've gotten no calls about him arriving.  So I get dressed and leave to start running the errands I need to do.

And as soon as I get to my first stop, the repairman calls to say he's on the way with my dishwasher.

Of course.

Long story short, Monday version: this guy spends four hours trying unsuccessfully to fix the furnace, does not install dishwasher, does not look at leak.

Long story short, Tuesday version: repairman returns, "fixes" furnace, installs dishwasher and leaves a note saying it doesn't work and someone will be back tomorrow, does not look at leak. Furnace works until 5:30, when it stops working again.

(In the meantime on Monday, my dryer breaks.  Unfortunately, that's all on me.  Mark attempts to fix it but is, thus far, unsuccessful.)

Moving forward to this morning.

I call the rental company again to tell them the furnace is still broken and that I'm now on my third day of no heat. They finally do the smart thing and arrange for an actual furnace repairman to come out (which won't, of course, happen until tomorrow morning).  Meanwhile, a second repairman comes to look at the dishwasher and informs me that it does work, but the first repairman just didn't know how to turn it on.

I'm just... done.  I'm done.  I'm ready for my vacation this weekend.  I'm ready to not worry about what all is broken in my apartment and when it will all be fixed and when I need to buy a new dryer.  I'm ready to be somewhere warm for a few days.

Those short first blissful two days of 2016 seem like a long time ago, as everything has gone downhill from there.  I'm trying to be my usual positive self, but right now I'm just frustrated.  I'm frustrated with my rental company, with the apparently incompetent repairmen they send out, and with appliances in general.

(We actually got to the point last night of wondering what I'd done to deserve this.  And then we stopped wondering that, because the list would be appallingly long.)

In other, un-appliance-related news, Mark is convinced that it's my New Year's resolution to get in shape.

Except he's wrong.  Really.  Totally.  It has nothing to do with being a New Year's resolution. He doesn't believe me, and I guess I can't blame him, seeing as how it all started right around New Year's.  I joined a gym on January 2nd.  I started doing yoga.  I went back to pole class for the first time in ages last night.

The evidence is pretty damning, really.  I admit it.

But it wasn't a New Year's resolution.  It's just me being finally fed up with feeling fat and out-of-shape and missing the way I used to feel and look, and missing being able to do cool things like flip upside down on a pole.  And after the craziness of December, I actually have time to do things like go to the gym, go to pole class, and do yoga.

Plus, I'm 30 (almost 31), and my ex-husband told me a few years ago that I was past my prime.  And I really, really love proving him wrong as much as humanly possible.

So yes.  It's the beginning of January and I'm starting to exercise.  Judge me if you will.  But if all goes well, I'll totally be able to kick your ass in a few months.  If I don't freeze to death from a broken furnace first.

So there.