Sunday, February 1, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday I was feeling pretty good about things.

Today? It's a different story.

One of my friends celebrated his birthday today. Well, he doesn't really "celebrate" it; he's like me -- he prefers the more low-key approach that happens when you're ... ahem, a certain age. Still, my feeling is that while you may not want to celebrate your birthday, I'd like to celebrate the blessing of you in my life, so I managed to talk him into having lunch with me today.

I figured we'd go to lunch, have a sandwich, maybe a little dessert. At the most, 30 bucks. I could swing that.

But no. We went to an overpriced Belgian cafe downtown. They even charged for the ^%$*&!@ mayo for the fries! (I kid you not.) With the tip (only 15 percent; I was too outraged by the cost of the mayo to give a full 20), the bill came to $51.

Fifty-one dollars. For two ham and cheese sandwiches -- pardon, I mean croque monsieurs -- fries, and small salads. And even though I was doing some mental calculating as we ordered, I still suffered sticker shock when the check came.

The good thing is that at least my friend had fun. And so did I, sticker shock aside. However, I have a tendency to permit my generosity to friends to lead me to the poor house, and that's irresponsible. As a result of today's actions, I will not be able to buy any groceries this week unless I hit the savings since I don't get paid this week.