I’m never giving myself afternoon free time again.
It all started as a normal day at the office. I sat at my cubicle scrolling through emails while wondering why people felt the need to ask me questions that made no sense at all. My office is located on the site of the actual factory that produces our product and is thus 50 minutes away from civilization. This creates the need to carpool with people in order to not go bankrupt from gas money alone. My carpool buddy wasn’t feeling good though. She had contracted the same illness that had been going around the office for a few weeks and was sick to her stomach. After it was determined she really was sick, our boss gave her permission to go home and me permission to drive her and then work from home. Score.
I have recently moved into a new loft downtown that was renovated from an old building just before I moved in. Being newly done and the complex being behind on construction, I’ve been living without Internet at my place for a few weeks. In search of Internet, I decided to go to the local Barnes and Noble café section to fire up the emails and continue to answer stupid emails with stupid responses. That way I could at the same time read through a stack of magazines and explore the other wonders Barnes and Noble has to offer all while enjoying an almond croissant and coffee.
It was perfect. A completely perfect work experience.
Around 1 p.m., the emails slowed and I hadn’t received one in around an hour. So I thought to myself, “I could just walk over to Dillard’s for a bit, come back and nothing will be missed.” So I did. First, I came to the shoe section. Beautiful, black Steve Madden work pumps on sale? Don’t mind if I do. After all, I did really need some and that sale was ridiculous. Afterwards, I wondered over to the Dior perfume section where I was met by Ellie. Ellie is a stylish, middle aged woman who works the Dior makeup counter.
“Would you like a makeover?” she asked with a pleasant smile. I was already feeling classy and upscale shopping midday at Dillard’s with the rest of the wealthy, non-working high society women. Combine that with the fact that I’m female and genetically evolved to answer “yes” to that question, of course I was down for a makeover. Ellie then proceeded to bring out my best self with some very expensive makeup. She spent a good thirty minutes going to work on me, even going so far as to massage lotion on my hands and give me a neck massage. After looking at myself in the mirror at the time and hard work she spent making me my best self, I couldn’t walk away empty handed.
“I’d love to buy the foundation!” I told her. That was $65 worth of makeup I didn’t need, but it sure was light and glowy and was a spray foundation which was cool. I then walked out of Dillard’s feeling much more confident than my bank account was feeling.
Back at the Barnes and Noble café, I fired the clunky ole HP back up to see I had a measly 2 emails that required about 5 minutes of time to take care of. I then proceeded to flip back through the magazines but was soon feeling restless. The day was mine. I was free of the cubicle.
That’s when I saw the car dealership across the street. Parked right out front was that shiny, beautiful piece of engineering that is the Cadillac ATS. Now, I’ve been halfheartedly paying attention to cars because in the next 12 to 18 months, I’ll need to consider buying one. My favorite has easily been the Cadillac ATS. Small and pretty yet surprisingly powerful with a look that commands attention and respect. So far, I’d only looked from afar, but today was different. Today, I was going to test drive it. The sensible voice inside of me protested. “But your car works fine! You don’t want a car payment (mine is paid off). You have student loans! The sales people are pushy!” the inner voice screamed. But then I heard the voice of my dad who always said in situations of fun and spontaneity, “There is the ‘yes’ box and the ‘no’ box. I always like to check the ‘yes’ box.”
That was all it took. Off to test drive that shiny black Cadillac ATS 2.0 liter turbo. And it didn’t disappoint. Not even a little. That powerful little turbo was perfect from its sunroof to fully loaded features and plush Cadillac seats. Combine that with the generous trade in offer on my car and reasonable financing and you are now reading an article written by the new proud owner of a Cadillac ATS.
The moral of this story? I can’t allow myself to have afternoon free time anymore. That same free time I used to use to nap in college I now used to purchase items I didn’t technically need. In college, I had no money so I pretty much spent my free time sitting around the TV with friends drinking cheap alcohol and binging Netflix. But now I make just enough money to convince myself that these purchases and outings are deserved and that I’m able to afford them when actually I don’t and I can’t. I am obviously not responsible enough to allow myself free time in the real world. .