This morning I discovered that I had no milk in the house, so I decided to treat myself to breakfast at a local diner. I got there early enough that it was not yet crowded, but I was sitting next to two older ladies, and I listened to bits of their conversation as I ate and read my newspaper.
They were talking about typical old lady things-- their illnesses, their friends' illnesses, their families. At one point, they were talking about whether they had family in certain parts of Italy, and I thought, yeah, these are two old-school Brooklynites. Then, as one lady pulled out a circular with coupons for the nearby supermarket, the other lady complained that although there were always coupons for cereal, she could never find coupons for her favorite cereal, Post something-or-other. The Old Lady #1 then said "You know, there's that coupons.com site, have you tried that?" and Old Lady #2 replied that she would have to give that a try, and then proceeded to rave about buying shoes at zappos.com ("you know, Zap-, Zappo, Zapatos, yeah, zapatos.com, they have everything...") and the rest of the conversation was about all their favorite shopping websites.
So much for old-school Brooklyn!
Later, two guys sat down on the other side of me, both of whom had a junkie-ish aspect about them-- you know, you see two people who seem to have nothing in common other than that they must get high together, they look kind of droopy eyed and talk too loud in hoarse voices... anyway, one of them was going on and on about some friend of his who was always stealing his money, blatantly taking $100 bills out of his wallet, or stealing the change he'd left on a bar when no one else could have done it. Tales of petty theft among friends is probably another good sign of a junkie.
While listening to all this, I was reading the Times, where I discovered that Americans spent more than $8.5 billion on infomercial products last year, and that 36% of the readers of Parenting Magazine believe that if mothers were paid a salary, it should be equal to whatever Bill Gates makes. The runner-up answers were:
I also caught up on this week's TimeOut New York magazine, which presented an interesting article about whether eyelash extensions are worth the $300-550 you'll pay for them. Depending on the technique, and how carefully you take care of them, they'll last anywhere from a week to over a month. I had never even heard of eyelash extensions when I wrote my post about beauty and money yesterday, so here is what they are, for those who are equally ignorant of this innovation: unlike false eyelashes that are applied in one big strip, these are individual silk or synthetic strands of hairs that are glued onto your natural lashes in a process that takes 60-90 minutes. You can get brown or black lashes, or even red, blue and purple ones if you want. Here's some comments about caring for them:
"Maintenance wasn't difficult until I went to Maui where I swam in the ocean and drove with the top down-- not recommended."
"One constant problem was that the lashes picked up all sorts of detritus-- little fuzzies from my sweater or from cotton balls."
I think I can add eyelash extensions to my list of expensive things I won't be buying.
As for my own morning's expenses:
2 fried eggs, toast, homefries, and coffee: $4.40 plus $1.00 tip