Live Like No One Else So Later You Can Afford To Live Like No One Else!
by Jessica de la Davies
At least that’s what Fox’s financial guru, Dave Ramsay, is always advising us to do. I like Dave Ramsay. He knows how to make a recession fun. He’s got Americans lined up to cut up their credit cards in new and dramatic fashions like chopping them in the kitchen with their new “Chop Chopper”-only $19.95 plus $5.95 for shipping and handling. Thanks to Dave, we’re now hanging up on our debt collectors in record numbers. “Why do you need credit?” questions Dave. “Live like no one else so later you can afford to live like no one else,” is Dave’s motto. I like it!
Most of my friends are talking about the recession in terms of gas prices and what kind of vacation they can’t afford to take this year. Some of them are turning to “at home” vacations. These are vacations where you don’t leave home with or without “IT”!
I personally like the concept. No more packing all my clothing into my wallet to avoid the airlines’ charging me extra if I want to take a suitcase with some clothes to wear with me to Belize. No more waiting in line in my bare feet only to have my underwire push up bra set off the alarm at the security gate. No more cavity searches for pipe bombs done behind a sheet that some random passenger is holding up at my request while an enormous sweaty woman with bad breath molests me.
“Just when was the last time an American thirty-something woman set off a bomb on an airplane?” I ask, as sweaty woman tells me to bend over.
“Oh we don’t do profiling, Ma’am,” she replies, snapping off her rubber gloves and waving me toward the gate, where a hostile looking flight attendant is waiting to cram me into my seat.
This whole at home vacation thing is sounding pretty good. I Google “at home vacation ideas” and come up with some interesting options. I choose the “Make Your At Home Vacation Like A Cruise” option. First, I rename my home the “Freebies By The Sea” ship. My kitchen is stocked with prepared meals from the grocery store and is now “The Grand Dining Room.” I rent some movies from Blockbuster and turn my living room into “The Show Lounge” and decide to make it non-smoking. I buy a deck of cards and scatter them around my bedroom to create the “Shipboard Casino Royale.” I drag my mattress into my walk-in closet and tape “Cabin 9067” onto the outside of the closet door to simulate a real cabin cruise ship experience.
I decide to splurge and buy a baby pool for the backyard and a few bottles of wine.
The first day of my “cruise”, I put on my bikini and head over to the pool to work on my tan. While I’m lying in the backyard, I notice a few weeds in the grass. I decide that I’ll go ahead and pull them. Four hours later, I’m fertilizing the yard and clipping the hedges. Later that evening, I head into “The Grand Dining Room” aka my kitchen and reorganized the pantry while drinking a glass of wine. I opened a can of Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup and pop it into the microwave. When I make my way into “The Show Lounge” to watch one of my rental movies, I noticed that there are cobwebs on my TV so I get out my Swiffer. I Swiffer the TV, mop all the floors and moisturize my leather sofa, loveseat and recliner. Then, I head into “Cabin 9067” aka my closet and fall right to sleep next to my shoe rack.
The second day, I decide that “Freebies By The Sea” is in port and I am going on a shore excursion to do some sightseeing. I walk around the block and check out my neighbors’ houses. Mrs. Hendricks is standing in her front yard, watering her lawn and she asks me if I would mind helping her move a dresser from her garage into her guest bedroom. I help her and have to cut my shore excursion short as I have pulled my back out. I head back to “Freebies By The Sea” and soak my aching back in the baby pool. I wake up 6 hours later only to realize that I have not applied sunscreen-I’m burned.
On the third day of my at home vacation, my cousin calls and asks if I can watch her 4 year old son, Clive, for a few hours as she is going to get her hair done. My cousin arrives 10 minutes later and unloads Clive, a laundry basket of toys and a McDonald’s Happy Meal. During the next 7 hours, I become an expert on Clive. For example, Clive can run his dump truck into the base of my coffee table 83 times in just one hour. He also enjoys throwing handfuls of dirt into the toilet bowl and flushing the dirt to “make it disappear.” Clive can also blow into his McDonald’s Happy Meal cola drink through his straw to make bubbles to “decorate the kitchen table.” He has a pretty good vocabulary but he does not seem to understand four basic words: Do not do that. The plumbing bill from the dirt in the toilet set me back $225.
When the plumber leaves, I crawl back into my closet-I mean cabin and put my head down on top of my Jimmy Choos. Somehow this at home vacation just isn’t as relaxing as I thought it would be.
So on my fourth day aboard the “Freebies By The Sea” I call Delta and book a flight to Cancun for a week. I pack up my wallet with everything it can carry, pull 3 dresses on over two swimsuits so I will have something to wear on my trip and head for the airport. I am not wearing a bra. The booking agent stares at me silently as I tape my credit card back together with duct tape at the counter. He hands me my ticket and points toward the security check point. I take off my shoes and get in line.
I feel hopeful. Maybe with a little luck, I’ll have just enough room on my credit card for a Pina Colada…or two!