The cat/no cat debate came to a swift end today when I crunched some numbers and came to the depressing realization that I can't actually, well, afford a cat. If you think that's bad, here's what's worse: according to my calculations I also can't afford the modest and non-cat-having lifestyle that I currently enjoy. Ba dum bum! Yes, even though I am currently employed (in a job that I despise with the burning fire of a thousand suns) the P&L of my life is stacking up more and more in the losing column. You see, when I first moved to our fair (and hellishly expensive) city, it was with the anticipation of earning roughly 35% more a year than I do now. But we all know how that turned out. You know it's bad when a teacher's salary is now but an out of reach dream. Anyway, as you might imagine, that 35% amounts to a pretty sizable difference when it comes to things like paying rent and student loans and the $14 farmer's market cheese I accidentally bought out of politeness today.
(I did not even want to go to the stupid farmer's market, you see, because I already had to stay late at my stupid job but my boss had insisted like twenty times over the last week that I must go to the farmer's market after work on Thursday. I considered not going and just telling her I went, but I was worried that it would have been canceled or she would ask me a very specific question or something and then she would know I was lying to her, so blah, I went. After passing by tents selling apples and smelly soaps I spotted a cheese booth. Naturally, I made a beeline, and after sampling five or six different ones from the friendly cheese lady, I pointed decisively to a small wedge and said, "I'll have that one."
"That will be one million dollars, please," the no longer so friendly cheese lady said, with a gleam in her eye. And what was I going to say? Oh, I don't think the cheese that you and your husband slaved over for months is worth a million dollars? Do you happen to have any less extravagantly-priced cheeses for the budget-minded consumer? There was nothing to say, so instead I opened my wallet and gave her my last twenty.)
Even with my relatively "cheap" (ha!) apartment in a decidedly unswanky and inconveniently located part of town (complete with back alley views), and even battling the 9-5:30 or 6:00 grind of a job I hate, and even giving up my car, and shopping, and vacations (not that I'll get any paid time off until after I've worked there a full year), this is still going to be a losing venture. In the ongoing battle of Rachel v. Life, I think it's fair to say that I have encountered yet another setback. And this time I'm all out of ideas.