Sunday, October 22, 2006

Making Money, Spending Money

My roommate was right. When I came home from South America, I was so unsettled. I felt like I had too many possessions, led a spoiled lifestyle, and had my priorities skewed (favoring designer jeans and champagne-fueled evenings over seeing the world and connecting with myself). Her response to my bitching about accompanying her to mani-pedis and sample sales in the Marina, "You'll get used to San Francisco soon enough again."

It's true. Working 4-5 nights at the New Restaurant, I'm pulling in enough cash to have paid off my credit card and I'm working enough hours to begin the cycle of thinking, "Oh, but I deserve this.."
1) expensive dinner out
2) gratuitous fashion accessory
3) other expensive dinner out
4) new sneakers
5) expensive haircut, shampoo, and over-tip

So many servers I know get caught up in that cycle of working their ASSES off all week and not doing anything during the days besides having coffee and reading the Times, maybe a walk in the park or some other sort of exercise if they're truly motivated individuals. Because I'd been so broke since returning from South America, I'd virtuously scorned all of the excesses that servers tend to indulge in on their days off. It's like we try to spend all of the cash we made during the week on our weekends; which, amazingly enough for me this week was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday--unheard of! I've actually been able to hang out with non-server friends.

Here's the low-down on all of the money I wasted, happily, this weekend:

Friday: thought about going shopping at H&M but was still feeling virtuous about not spending money (it was only Friday, after all), so I rode my townie bike down Market Street past One Post (the BART station where all of the bike messengers hang out) and had some messenger minutes with friends I don't often see. The day was glorious (as has been the whole weekend) and I pedaled around the Ferry Building (walking my bike through until I got thrown out by the security guard) and drank some juice on the dock overlooking the bay (the one not behind the Slanted Door, but one further north). 4pm, massage at the Mindful Body. I'd been a-hurtin' for weeks and hadn't had a massage in months, so I indulged. Beginning of my spending downward spiral.

After the massage, I hopped a cab (indulgence #2) to Edo, where the fantastic Roxy had squeezed me in for a cut (indulgences #3,4,5: cut, shampoo, styling products). My friend Emiley (the bartender at Treat Street, where I spent last Saturday night) had gotten a haircut there and highly recommended Roxy. Roxy worked magic on my unruly in-between length not-curly-not-straight hair (which one of the servers at the New Restaurant recently likened to a wig), and I strolled down to Mecca to catch the last of happy hour oysters (indulgences #6-20). A dozen oysters, a martini, and a glass of champagne later, I was busily texting everyone I knew to come down and join me. A friend arrived, and we tasted through several of Mecca's appetizers, opting out of the expensive entrees and saving our money for a bottle of Flowers red table wine. It wasn't the best choice to go from drinking a gin martini (me) and a glass of Syrah (him) to drinking a red wine blend that was mainly pinot noir--my error. I should have gone with my instinct and gotten the Red Car Syrah (friend of a friend Carroll Kemp just won a Food & Wine award for "Best Wine under $20" for that wine; funnily enough it was $35 on Mecca's wine list!) but I wanted to see what Flowers could do with their mixin'. A sweet, pretty, feminine wine (indulgence #21).

After dinner (where we had excellent service, even by Restaurant Girl's scrupulous standards) we headed up to North Beach for a Fernet and Cola (a disgusting drink that is popular in Argentina, and I don't know why I ordered it. Fernet should be sipped straight or shot directly after work, and after work only).

Saturday was a leisurely stroll through the park to the Upper Haight for breakfast at Squat & Gobble. Upper Haight street always makes me want to shop and yesterday was no exception. Over the course of the day (which included drinking tall beers on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park and a matinee of The Triplets of Belleville, one of my all-time favorite movies that was playing at the Red Vic) I accumulated some feminine undergarments, a skirt from the Adidas flagship store, a super-80s pair of sunglasses, and some leggings from American Apparel, cementing my status as scenester fashion victim (indulgences #22-30)

I managed to stay away from spending too much money Saturday night but it was only because I passed out and slept 12 hours...brought on by working 5 nights last week and the beer in the park. It's amazing what a difference that fifth night of restaurant work makes. It's the breaking point for me--give me a fifth night in a week and I'll refrain from all exercise (too tired; just trying to recover) and spend hundreds of dollars "treating myself" because I work so hard.

*Sigh.* The fun news is that wearing leggings makes me feel like I'm 13 years old again and I enjoy how awkward that is.

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