Monday, January 28, 2008

Didn't It Used to Cost More?

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.


Amanda Castleman said...

I'm hesitant to talk grooming, as those conversations have been a wee bit tense of late.

But I must ask: Am I a freak for shaving in the shower? Is this some vestigial hick swim-team habit that's shunned throughout modern America?

Anne-Marie Weeden said...

What was the 64 cents for? Is that a tax thing?

I shave my legs in the shower. You should do a poll and find out if A and I are freak or unique.

Marie Javins said...

Anne-Marie, we have a totally stupid system here where the tax is added AFTER the price, so nothing is ever as it seems. It is annoying as you must calculate the real cost of everything as you go, and the cost varies by state and municipality. Say I'm in New York--the sales tax is higher than in Jersey City. But even within New Jersey, some areas are special economic zones with lower tax and than others. So something in New York State costs an additional 4 percent. But in New York City, it's an additional 8.375 percent. But in New Jersey, it's 7 percent, except where I live, it's only 3.5 percent.

So is it cheaper to just go to buy stuff in New Jersey and then drive back to New York? No, cuz then you have to pay a toll to get back to New York.

It's all really annoying and just something people accept and don't think twice about. It's like tipping--no one questions it or seems to notice that in other countries, service charges and taxes are built into the cost so that what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

Marie Javins said...

Freak or unique? Probably normal. But ever few weeks, I have those hard to reach places to deal with that involve complex acrobatics.

detroit dog said...

Shower-shaver here! Sometimes sitting in the shower, though.

When I lived in NY ten years ago, the cost was $15 (Park Slope), and $6 for an eyebrow wax. Here in Detroit, it's $35 - $50 for a lower leg wax, and $10 - $15 for the eyebrows. But these services are not yet taxed in Michigan.

Amanda Castleman said...

You know, maybe I need to rethink the shower shaving. Because I've been cutting myself and tracking blood around the house lately.

"Why all of a sudden?" I whined.

"Because you replaced that razor old enough for daycare," my fella responded.

Oh. Erm. Yes. That.

I can't work the bath mojo at home, though, despite having a big clawfoot tub. It's strictly a hotel thing...

Maybe because I want to get my sale's tax worth.

Ax (unique and shower-chic like AMW)

Sara Kocher said...

Shave in the shower, haven't had my legs waxed in years because it's at least $25 for lower leg here in L.A. and therefore not worth it to me.

But I did finally discover a razor that doesn't cut me, after years of constantly recreating the Psycho bloody shower drain scene. It's the Gillette Mach 3 Turbo. Sounds like a sports car, so it's obviously a man's razor, not a girly pink one. And all of a sudden, no more blood. Ever.

I used to think it's was just my incompetence with the razor that was causing the problem. Turns out that it's because, for razors, "made-for-a-woman's-body" equals "crappy."

Marie Javins said...

Bravo, Sara. I'll try a men's razor next time.

Yasir Khan said...

ladies... you take our shirts, pants, shorts, names, ahem... jobs, and now razors????

is there no end to this madness?

Marie Javins said...

You are such a stirrer, Yasir.

Anonymous said...

There is an excellent cold wax called Moujan. It just takes the commitment to wash out all of the cloth for re-use. It also takes a lot to psych yourself up to inflict pain on your own legs.