Saturday, May 23, 2009

how not to cope with unemployment

I went on a spending binge this week: $683.54 on credit. To put things in perspective, I have no income at the moment. My entire severance went into an RRSP back in December. Since my layoff, I've been living on my vacation pay payout, a non-registered mutual fund, income tax refund, and credit. My EI benefits will kick in next month; until then, things are pretty lean.

Why, then, am I spending like a drunken sailor in port?

I'm a gay man, so shopping is pleasurable. Groceries are a necessary purchase; many items were picked up at sale prices. The "personal care" category was high this week — I needed sunscreen, which isn't cheap. I broke my Ray-Ban Aviators, so I replaced them with a less-expensive house brand.

Justifying the rest of it becomes difficult. Could I have waited to buy the new Tori Amos CD? Probably not. But I also bought CDs by Alphabeat and P!nk, and the new Stevie Nicks concert DVD.

I washed my car twice — I'm convinced that maple sap is harmful to the finish.

I set up my balcony and bought some plants: one tall oleander and some herbs (cilantro and Italian parsley). At least I can eat the herbs.*

I ate fast food twice — a definite no-no. Chalk it up to emotional eating...

Where I fall down is my Sunday trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. I was with some monied gays; it was very hard to keep up. I should have stayed home... but at least I realized that the guy I had been going out on dates with (the most monied of the gays) was totally wrong for me. For $146, I got a great dinner, a lot of ice wine tasting, and insight. Valuable, valuable insight...

* never, EVER eat oleander. It is one of the most poisonous plants in the world.