Thursday, June 22, 2006


It occurred to me recently that not everyone is bohemian. I was chatting to my boss at the magazine about the best route to take from Pittsburgh to New York City. We bantered about turnpike vs route 80 for awhile and I realized with horror that my biggest motivation for taking 28 to 80 was the money I save in tolls that way. There I was in a cubicle telling my boss the best way to save $30.

The day before, I had proudly shown the designer my contraband postage pile. When I was at my other job organizing file drawers for the 77 year old lady, I came across piles and piles and piles of old envelopes from journal authors with return postage on them. My eyes lit up and I thought hungrily of all the submissions I could send with these gratis envelopes and stamps.

These are people with careers being uncomfortably reminded that grad students live on like $5 a month. I'm not whining to them every about being poor. I chose to go to grad school. Instead, I like living up to the challenge of finding ways to save money. I think it's exciting that I can eat a gourmet meal for free every day in the student union building after conferences let out. I love going to boring films hosted by the film society because they hand out free wine. I guess I just need to find other grad students for my frugal sharing sessions and avoid these conversations when speaking to people with paychecks.

I still think I'm allowed to be excited and share that the best thing about our new car is the wonderful gas mileage it gets and that we can put in the low grade fuel. The gas guzzling Maxima is nothing compared to the sleek efficiency of our silver Mazda 3.


Emily said...

ooh Mazda 3. Very nice : )

You've got to fill me in on this gourmet meal gig. Do you just wander in? Do thy set it up with a "take me" sign? In 50 days I'll be de-careered (yes!) and as of Aug 21 I'll be half a grad student (assistantship) and Sept 5 I'll be a whole poop grad student : )

Anonymous said...

To Much Info. / Touched, Moved, and Inspired, or what?? Frugality is a lesson that will serve you well - keep up the good work. Any way you can get to NYC is good.

Katy said...

i totally just wander in. the caterers are all students and usually in the process of throwing everything in the garbage. i just open my bag and insert sandwiches, pasta salad, juice, and other goodies from the trays on the serving tables. these are not people's half eaten meals, mind you. this is the unserved food.

good for you for getting funding for law school! you are awesome!

kk said...

Yes you have become a very frugal minded person. this is not a bad thing because i understand how your mind works. it is more of a mission for you. but even though i am on a fixed income i could send you care packages of food so you would not have to go to these places and consume the un-eaten food. then you would have more time to practice sitting up straight on your new bike.

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