Friday, June 22, 2007


Over the past few months our incoming wealth has suddenly tripled (Jennifer got a job), making us lower middle class at least. This undeserved influx has brought with it diverse yuppification temptations much of which we have inexplicably been able to withstand despite our best efforts to quietly concede.

Take for example our aborted attempt to move to Park Slope, Brooklyn, (one of the newest hot neighborhoods in the city, next to Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, etc.) into an enormous two bedroom apartment with a grandmotherly, gardening, landlord. With our current lease rapidly expiring, the rabid dogs next door barking furiously and Jennifer’s tedious hour-long commute sapping our energy resistance was low. After sniffing the air a few times, Jennifer and I silently agreed to ignore the crummy kitchen and stained bathroom saying such sweet nothings as “We can get Harlan to put carpet over those crappy tiles.” After commenting verbosely on the spacious and quiet aspects of the rooms and neighbors, I scribbled out a non-refundable $50 credit check. “We’re interested,” we said – which was understood as “we’ll take it!”

On our victorious ride home we happily mused on the endless possibilities in our future home among upper-crust black folks on the edge of hipster-land where lemonade is served with fresh basil and Haitians go to Harvard. Then we stepped into our old apartment and realized we were sacrificing shiny hardwood floors under 12-foot ceilings surrounded by carefully decorated walls, the Saturday greenmarket down the street, the coinless laundry and library less than a block away and a 24 hour “super”market just a few steps farther.

Jennifer went back to the “new place” to give our “new” landlord copies of our driver’s licenses and to see it again – but she already knew she was no longer excited about moving. A day later she called our new grandmother and told her our current landlord had offered us a great deal on a two-bedroom in our own building when we told him we were thinking of moving (which is true, and we will move into that great deal when it opens up). So we were staying in our student loan financed apartment, and it only cost us $50.

Then we decided since we were staying we should get a car so we can go to Brooklyn and Flushing whenever our heartless little schedules desire. And that we should get it right now because we have a trip planned to Pennsylvania as the end of the month and renting a car costs hundreds of dollars. So I bought a Dodge Neon (hiding from Jennifer that Dodge is little more than a Chevrolet derivative) on E-Bay for $1,595. Thirty minutes later rejoicing in our two-door low-gas-using victory Jennifer called Kevin and Valerie and asked them what kind of insurance we should get for our new wheels. Valerie said, “Oh, were you guys looking for a car, cause we’re selling ours.” And I said, “Oh, No!” in falling tones full of dread, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Denying my Mennonite sensibilities I reneged on my contract with Jose the Neon-seller. I told him to keep the $200 down payment (which made him reasonably happy) and we decided to wait until Kev and Val were ready to sell us their car (for much cheaper) in the fall (they said they’ll loan us to us when if we want it for a weekend before then). So far in order to stay in our apartment and remain without a car we spent only $250.

Pretty good deal considering we are lower middle class now (although we still have 17 times as much debt as we have savings). The $1800 I spent for the half a class I didn’t attend a few weeks ago makes me feel even better about that too.


Blogger Meredith said...

Isn't it great to lose some money and then be able to say, "Oh, well, there is more where that came from"?

5:38 AM  

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