Hello, peeps. Hope your week is going well and you are doing swell. I have a brand new dear debt letter from Mel at brokeGIRLrich. She writes about stuff like how to survive becoming an adult, paying off $30,000 in student debt, working in the arts, and developing a retirement plan that doesn’t involve a cardboard box under an overpass. You can catch her on Twitter @brokeGIRLrich
Dear Pete ,
It’s been a while since we’ve talked. I don’t miss you though. I saw you the other day when I was in West Elm. I went in to do a mystery shop – you know, one of those skills I picked up so I’d be able to leave you quicker – where I was supposed to pretend to buy a piece of furniture I actually needed. My email with instructions said to think of something you actually plan to replace and pretend to shop for it – fair enough, because I actually do need a couch. I’d never ever heard of West Elm before, but the second I stepped inside, it was clearly a happy place. Our kind of place, Pete, the sort where I could feel the magical side of our relationship coming back to life. I walked around looking at the gorgeous furniture that was all so ridiculously far out of my price range and I found not one, but two sofas I would’ve loved to buy. In the middle of the mystery shop, the guy helping me had to go take a phone call and as I sat down on the couch to wait for him, I swear you were sitting next to me.
We both liked that couch. Besides, for a really good couch $1,100 isn’t unreasonable right? Couches last a long time. At least, that’s what you were trying to tell me. The retail associate returned, I finished my mystery shop and then I… lingered. I thought about my fabulously low balance on my credit card. Seriously, it’s got like a tank of gas and a few groceries on it right now, that leaves like… $9,900 of credit still on it. The couch wouldn’t even make a dent in that. I heard you whisper all those things in my ear.
And then I ran for the door. I’m sure I looked really odd to all the poised folks with their respectable, non-entertainment based earnings, but I booked it. Because I wanted to buy everything in there, from the couch I actually needed to the candles that smelled great to the clever drawer handles that just looked so cool. Finally outside the store, I remember standing there thinking “what the… just happened?” And then I realized how easy it would be for us to get back together. I didn’t see today coming – I’d actually thought today was a great day. I was still side-hustling even when I didn’t really need to! But there you were lurking with all your charm and barely hidden danger and appeal.
Well backsliding has never worked out well in any of my other relationships and I’m not giving you the chance either Pete. We had some good times – not gonna lie, our trip to Peru was unforgettable, and actually worth the extra 6 months of headaches to pay off, so you did teach me that some things are worth doing, but you also taught me a lot of unpleasant lessons too. Like that gross ball of stress in my stomach when I HATED my job for a year and a half but couldn’t just quit because I needed to have a new one lined up with a certain salary level to be able to pay all my bills. Or all the times I would get snippy with my boyfriend (that’s right Pete, there was always someone else) about how much we were spending and that we were eating out too often – I was a 27-year-old shrew, who wants to be that?? Oh, and those good things I wanted to do, like invest in my dad’s cool invention or buy stocks or maybe even own a home? Well thanks for putting the kibosh on all those things.
But mostly you taught me that this will never happen again. We’re through forever Pete. And the couch I buy is going to be reasonably priced and paid for in cash. So suck it.
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