Sunday, May 23, 2010

Miser Tea: Life Before Betsy

I spent two nights in the apartment before Betsy got here, and I was all set to live my own stingy life with two card tables, four folding chairs (think 90s church potluck), one sleeping bag, two mixing bowls, one butter knife, a full set of dishes (borrowed from my mom's friend), three boxes of store-brand pasta, some aluminum foil, a frying pan, and no shower curtain.

I stumbled around town in my little blue Oldsmobile and found a grocery store. I bought some hamburger helper and some ground beef (this would be easy and not too ambitious), some pancake mix (after all, the frying pan couldn't cook my spaghetti), orange juice concentrate, and a pitcher (I thought I was real smart getting a pitcher).

Back at the apartment, I realized I did not have a pot and could not cook my spaghetti. I did not have a saucepan and could not cook my hamburger helper. I did not have a spatula and could not make my pancakes. I was in a pickle.

I had to spite the system somehow without breaking down and spending money. I had two boxes of tea and no kettle. (nb: I didn't spend any money on the tea: one box was gift from my mom and the other a gift from my college roommate.) I filled my frying pan with water, turned on the gas stove, and waited for it to boil. I put my teacup in the kitchen sink and, when the water boiled, I poured it all over the kitchen sink. Fortunately, enough of it landed inside my teacup, so I added my teabag and enjoyed a cup of spiteful tea.

This is a compilation of a couple e-mails I sent to Betsy before she arrived:

I'm at the apartment... some things we could use if you have them:

pot (for spaghetti)
pan with lid (for ramen noodles and other such things)
ice cube tray
trash bins
shower curtain

I took a shower this morning and we could get along without a shower curtain if we really wanted to because if you turn the showerhead toward the wall, it doesn't spill that much on the floor. We'll be fine as long as we don't let our mothers know. Or we could just buy a shower curtain. I've got a full set of dishes, a frying pan, some towels and dish rags, some dish soap, a pitcher, two card tables, four folding chairs.. I went to the grocery store this evening and was too stingy to spend $1 on a trash bin. They had some pots at the grocery store, but they were all state-of-the-art and $99 so I was like... I will boil water on my frying pan before I spend $99 on a pot. We don't have any hand soap in the bathroom. I've just been coming around to the kitchen and using dish soap.

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