Being freelance for so many years made me super-cautious with money. Why drop off laundry when I could do it myself? Why go for a manicure when I own a perfectly good nail file? Why pay a contractor thousands of dollars to repair something when Home Depot is open and I have this-here Internet thingy?
I'm still cheap even though I have a job now. I always visit the woman handing out free samples in front of the pretzel shop on my way home from the PATH. My first choice in dining is still the Cuban restaurant with its $6 roasted chicken, plantains, rice and beans (especially on ropa vieja night). Though there is a new food truck in town, this one selling Indian food for $6.99, and that could test my allegiance.
But I'm not just cheap--I am also lazy. Lazy Marie sometimes trumps Cheap Marie. Lazy Marie pays someone to file and paint her nails. Lazy Marie drops off her sheets and towels at the laundromat (but usually pays for this in fabric-softener allergies as well as in money). Lazy Marie grabs a salad at BASIC on the way home from work even though all she needs to buy are the greens to make goat cheese and walnut salad.
Tonight, I had an internal battle as I left the office. My legs were approaching honorary wookie status. Would Cheap Marie find the inner patience to shave them in the morning? Or would Lazy Marie just go to a salon where a smiling young woman would speak a foreign language while ripping the wookie-hair out by the roots, using hot wax and strips of cloth?
I agonized. Spend or save? Cheap or lazy? It's not that hard to find time to take a bath rather than a shower.
Lazy Marie won. Half-leg wax. Ripped wookie hair glued to strips. Stinging calves. Smiling, happy woman asking questions I don't understand while I give her answers she doesn't understand.
Cheap Marie quivered as she approached the cashier.
Oh. And then all the Maries got together and had a good laugh at herself.