Treat Yo Self

When I was younger, I got it in my head that when I received that precious first pay cheque from my new, shiny, corporate job, I would go out and buy myself a pair of classic, black Louboutin court shoes.

The fact that I have flat feet which feet burn with the intensity of a thousand suns whenever I wear ANY type of heel (even kitten) was besides the point.

It was the principle.

In reality, when that first wad of adult money hit my account, I had just come to the end of a 4 month stint working a shitty call centre job in a vain attempt to scrape together the first half of my half of my rental deposit. The shiny pay cheque covered the rest.

And some pots and pans.

And gold cutlery (this is a judgement free zone).

What followed this bold foray into adulthood (new job, new city, new flat, same boyfriend), was a few months of diligent (read: insane) saving out of an irrational, unfounded fear of losing my shiny new job before my probation period was up.

I saved so much, in fact, that I actually started short changing myself each month.

Having come from a relatively poor family, I have always possessed a rather feast or famine attitude when it comes to money.

I am neither comfortable having it, nor comfortable lacking it, I perpetually swing between extreme saving and extreme spending (aided and abetted not in the least by my anxiety disorder which has decided it is soothed by new shoes).

Thus, naturally, what followed the Great Saving Epoch of 2018, was the golden age of “treat yo self” (2018-present).

I.

Spent.

Money.

If I were to draw what happened over the proceeding 2 years, it would look something like the all-time stock chart for NASDAQ: AMD.

If we are to continue with the same metaphor; I am consequently experiencing the 2008 recession.

Now, I am aware that it is definitely not trendy to admit this, particularly during the rise of “the new face of financial power” (aka Gen Z), and especially during the fall of economic security (COVID-19), but I refuse to believe I am the only one out there with this problem.

In the age of the photoshop, I am showing somethin’ natural like ass with some stretchmarks and admitting to the internet that I AM BAD WITH MONEY.

Bear with me people, there is a point to all this.

So, what did I do to try and turn this ship around?

I backed it up, and reversed it into a little thing called Minimalism.

Now friends, not to burst your bubble, but the journey to a more minimalist life is not at all what these glossy YouTubers would have you think.

It isn’t linear, and it sure ain’t pretty.

And everyone I was watching had already climbed the mountain and tobogganed down the other side.

I started last summer and I AM STILL IN THE THICCC OF IT (with three or more C’s).

I find new homes for things, I make a little money, I breathe a sign of relief and then I hit up the Everlane sale like I’m Bill Gates on acid, taking myself back to square one.

CONSUMERISM. Noun. The buying and using of goods and services; the belief that it is good for a society or an individual person to buy and use a large quantity of goods and services.

My name is OverpackedandUnderpaid and I’m a recovering consumerist.

That is to say, I may be a good writer but I’m a shitty accountant.

Unless you’re Enron, in which case hmu.

Really, the point of all this is to say that none of us are perfect and in fact a lot of us do have some pretty insurmountable flaws.

Even that hot, popular instagrammer that you just wasted your whole morning feeling jealous over might have a closet foot fetish or an addiction to buying creepy china dolls…not that I’m drawing a parallel…between this, or…you get my jist.

I think the important thing is to A) admit you have a problem B) get off your ass and try and do something about it and C) treat your self with a lil slice of loving compassion pie, because, as Ru would say, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?

Cheers to all you perfect, crazy, flawed, lovely human beings out there.

L

P.S. Apologies if this post was somewhat senti…I’m gonna relinquish any responsibility and blame it on the current global climate…

P.P.S. Might actually have something to do with the fact I haven’t left my house for anything but the necessary grocery shop for the last 2 (or more, who the fuck knows what day it is at this point) weeks and have been subsisting solely on crisps and chocolate digestives.

P.P.P.S. #STAYATHOME #SAVELIVES

#consumerism #money #milennial #spending #minimalism #shopping #adulting

2020

So you know when you’ve turned 25, saved a few thousand towards a house deposit, found a career you actually enjoy and taken up an interesting hobby/side hustle that “pays you to have fun”.

Yeah me neither.

And what better time to to confront your insecurities than during house arrest amidst the #coronacrisis?

In the name of self reflection and personal improvement, let’s all spend gift of time that has been so kindly “bestowed” upon us having a tea party with our failures…I imagine mine will go something like this:

“Hi lack of emergency savings fund, so nice of you to join us! Would you like a side of overpriced organic spelt pasta from an obscure online health food store with that Sainsbury’s own passata” (thank you to the genius who stocked up on sauce but no dry food before the crisis…oh wait that was me).

“Or how about some toilet roll to wipe your bum with after that post-meal poo…oh hang on…thanks to the hoarder brigade you’ll just have to make do with this leaf from my exotic house plant that by some stroke of fate I’ve heretofore managed to keep alive.”

Nothing like a good panic to highlight those areas of #adulting you haven’t quite got to grips with yet.

Who knows, maybe I’ll get enough my shit together to document my attempt to “fill in the gaps” this time…

Let me know in the comments how you’re all coping (or not if the case may be)…

P.S. I wouldn’t say humour was necessarily a therapist-approved coping mechanism during dark times, but hey…we all have our vices and this is first and foremost a humour blog.

P.P.S. On a side note I wanted to give myself shout out for the slick way in which I have casually revived my defunct blog from 2015…lets see if any of you OG readers are still out there…

L x

Mind The Gap…

Can we first spare a moment of silence for the man, the legend….50 Cent. The G that got rich and didn’t die trying, and recently managed to bankrupt himself in a coke storm of (borrowed) cars, gold chains and hoes.

If theres one thing that Mr Cent has taught me, its that even if you go from rags to riches on the back of successful r&b/rap songs that fetishise childhood pastimes and birthday parties, you can loose it all in a second thanks to an un-strategically placed dick.

Best give up now then.

Speaking of bankruptcy; I have recently moved to London.

I’m starting to think that when Kate Moss said “get the London look” she was actually referring to the unwashed, unshaven, fag toting, Sainsbury’s basic beer drinking mess I’m going to become if I leave the house one more time before I move out of this bloody city.

I went to use the tube the other day from Holborn to Oxford Circus and had to hand over £2.30, my firstborn child, my university degree and the clothes off my back.

Turned out it wasn’t even working, there was a tube strike on so I walked it.

I don’t know how people do it. If I stayed any longer I’d have to start letting my London Bridge down if you know what I mean.

Hint hint, nudge nudge.

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When I first got my swanky London summer job, with its decent pay at fancy establishment, I had visions of rocking up in a bedazzled black cab in head to to Chanel a la Posh Spice.

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Instead I have been reduced to hiding out on my duvet bunker and hoping for my bank to have a computer glitch and accidentally forget to “autosave” my overdraft…like those times you spend a week of all nighters at the library and and wake up to find that your essay has disappeared in a poof of smoke.

Cash donations are welcome.

Designer shoes even more so.

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HOW DO YOU PEOPLE DO IT?

P.S. London move is (thankfully) a temporary situation. T-14 days till I move to Mississippi…posts to come.

I’m a Blogger Get Me Outta Here…

We’re surrounded by bugs.

No not the the sickness kind (for once can you believe haven’t gotten ill this whole holiday *touches all the wood* not that kind of wood you filthy beggars).

CREEPY CRAWLIES.

Now when you consider the occupational hazards of working in the South or France I bet you wouldn’t think twice about being terrorised by six legged creatures.

We sat down to have dinner with one of the families staying here and very soon the menu changed form a respectable barbecue to Croquets a la (giant fucking) Beetle, Burger aux Moths and Gnat Sausages. YUM.

Every time a beetle hit a plate or bowl it made a loud chinking sound.

*Shudders*

And at 2am, with empty bellies since lunch time and tipsy guests who didn’t much care about our bug companions, we had to dig in.

I still get flashbacks.

Where’s ant and dec?

This insect buffet was followed with a storm of flying ants that covered EVERYTHING with a thick coating.

Yes like the bible (but yo know…with ants).

No god was not trying to smite us.

We’re good girls.

I digress.

FLYING ANTS.

And no they were not all dead by morning like they were supposed to be, they decided to stick around for the weather. We tried hosing them off and away but for the following days their hatchlings kindly made an appearance too.

Such fun.

Not only did we have to deal with creatures of a six Keyes kind but also the winged kind.

BATS.

Where was the last time you saw a bat? Safe and sound behind a glass cage at tropical wings?

Have you ever had…say…100 of them flying at you?

Unbeknownst to us there was a little bat cave in the alcove of one of the cottages.

In order to get rid of them we had to light a barbecue and smoke them out.

(No bats were harmed in the making of this barbecue).

Well we expected one or two to fly off to safety. There was hundreds!

Duck and cover more like scream and run.

The group of us looked like the characters in the Sims when the house sets on fire, waving around panicking like twats without doing anything to help or moving out of the way.

This was followed by two separate pool cleaning incidents where we found mice in the pool filters.

Yes MICE.

Well I say we…Rachel found them. I ran away and refused to enter the danger zone.

Fuck THAT.

Thank god for science students.

*Dons full protective clothing like on a crime scene*.

Sunbathing anyone?

Sun, sweat and tears…

For any of you lovely readers that haven’t read my biking post…I am currently living in the middle of bloody nowhere. Like Antarctica sort of no where.

Well maybe not Antarctica…France actually…but house-in-the-middle-of-a-field-with-no-neighbours kind of nowhere.

It’s remote okay.

We woke up one morning and Rachel decided that she’d come down with a severe case of sun stroke (nausea, sickness, dizziness the lot). Our employers wouldn’t drive her and so we had to make a medical pilgrimage to the nearest pharmacy.

Two miles they said.

You’ll be there in no time they said.

It took us two and a half bloody hours to reach the little town.

After the last incident we decided to abandon the bikes and proceed bravely on by foot.

We started off trudging along quite happily with our two maps that joined in the middle.

And then the midday sun hit.

It was so hot.

So hot.

I fashioned my top into a kind of crop top (which some lorry drivers on the main road apparently found extremely amusing…and some old grandmas not so much) and tried not to let my legs fall off in long black leggings.

Why I chose to wear them on a long walk in August is beyond me.

In the heat we made it as far as the main road that lead into the town.

Then the heavens opened.

So there we were…two sad looking, sweat-drenched Brits walking along in a tropical rainstorm with abso-bloody-lutely no clue where we were going.

We arrived at the pharmacy looking like a pair of drowned rats.

Thankfully the pharmacist didn’t bat an eyelid so we could be on our way with the medicine and make the long trek home.

This return trip involved many an expletive and laments about a) the lack of a car b) the lack of someone who can drive a car and c) whether we should have carried on walking to the nearest airport and then on to home (screw the luggage and the fact that the closest airport was an hour by car WE CAN DO IT).

We finally made it home by around 4pm absolutely knackered, and drugged Rachel up.

She was fine by morning, and lived to see another day in France.

Oh Rachel the things I do for you.

Moral of the story: don’t apply for summer jobs in remote locations.

In fact don’t apply for summer jobs abroad at all.

Why oh why can I be a normal teenager spend my summer channel surfing on the sofa?

Tour de France…

On our Tuesday off we decided we would make like the French and go for a bike ride through the sunflower fields.

We’d have the wind in our hair and and a baguette in our baskets.

A soundtrack of French music would be playing softly in the background.

French boys would wave from their balconies and throw us roses.

Too far?

A girl can dream ok.

Suffice to say, it didn’t quite happen that way.

The first problem being my bike was far too big; the second that we had abso-fucking-lutely no idea where we were going.

Being 5’1″ it’s not always easy finding bikes that fit me comfortably.

This one happened to be at least two whole sizes too big.

I had to jump to get on it, and fall off to get off it. I was doubled over forwards trying to reach the handlebars and the bike seat was wedged WAY too far where the sun don’t shine.

Despite this I tried to suck it up and make do.

Mistake!

I have never been more uncomfortable in my whole life.

This combined with my sorely lacking fitness levels meant I came off feeling like I’d been put through a spin cycle.

EVERYTHING hurt.

And we had a very pronounced case of “the bit”

Oh yes the dreaded “bit”.

Where that very bony part of your undercarriage meets the bike seat…

…and hurts like a MOTHERFUCKER.

I was walking sideways for three days.

And not in a good way…if you know what I mean.

Not only was I performing some kind of advanced yoga move on top of a two wheeled death trap but MY GOD it was hotter than summer in July.

Well it was summer in July….but….you know.

It was fucking hot!

If you happened to be in a remote area in the south of France on Tuesday and saw a small blonde girl horizontal on a blue bike and absolutely drenched with sweat.

That would be me.

I really hoping google maps wasn’t taking pictures that day.

And you think after all this effort we reached our destination?

NOPE.

Having been given no less than THREE sets of different directions we ended up even more in the middle of fucking nowhere when we started.

Who’s idea was this again?

Rachel I’m looking at you.

*Lies down in the recovery position*.

Voyage-ing…

Since we arrived in the land of sunshine and cigarettes we (we being me and Rachel, my parter in crime for the duration of this working holiday) have been on a couple of trips into civilisation.

First came Cognac for the Blues Festival.

Well I say Blues Festival.

We didn’t actually have tickets.

Instead of seeing once-semi-famous-blues-bands “rock out” to some old tunes on stage we saw post middle age men in biker gear drinking beer and having impromptu “jam sessions” in bars.

Basically the same thing right?

Cognac itself was a quiet sleepy little town with not a lot to offer.

Well, except Cognac, but we didn’t drink any of that either.

Just as we were about to give up and sit down to eat our home made French baguettes (more like a soggy school lunch sandwich but you know, when in Rome….or…errr, France), we were surrounded by a marching band and serenaded with WHAM!’s ‘Careless Whisper’.

20 good looking French boys blowing their trumpets for us?

Don’t mind if we do.

Next came La Rochelle, a gorgeous port town where we behaved like sensible adults, dining in a French bistro, spending all of our weeks wages on clothes and jewellery (Rachel) and riding on a Ferris wheel.

Even though it tipped it down with rain when we decided to have a sit down by the river, we never wanted to leave.

Finally we had a trip to Saintes to celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th of July.

I treated myself to a candy floss bigger than the size of my whole upper body #health, and was banned by Rachel from going on the French themed merry-go-round because I was too old and it would be too embarrasing.

*Sulk*

I was very disappointed I didn’t get a ride on a giant cock.

Cock as in cockerel you filthy people.

The animal, not the….

My god.

*Tuts*.

Just before the fireworks started, we heeded warnings about the idiots with deck chairs who found themselves nice comfy spots an hour before the display only to find that their view was obstructed by trees.

We sat down all smug a few minutes early on a comfy little grass verge with beautiful views over the river and a clear view of the sky.

Well, so we thought.

Guess which twats couldn’t see the fireworks.

These ones.

Yes, we had to get up and run, and ended up in a giant crowd on tip toes trying to peer over some very tall persons shoulders.

Such fun.