January is not only the month where gym membership sales go through the roof, but it’s also the hottest time for online dating and giving up alcohol.
That there is hard proof that January is The Worst. “Let’s go to the gym, then hang out with strangers while deadly sober.”
Truth is, I’ve spent the last couple of months drinking, nursing a hangover while buying things online and rinsing and repeating. And now the holidays are over, I feel both broke and fat — so much so, I briefly considered changing my voicemail to: “Thank you for calling Brokenfat and Associates, press one if you have a hangover, press two if you’re short on rent, press three if you’re concerned about a fat ass, and mash the whole keypad with your beer if you are hammered and thought this was a sex chatline.”
It was time to make some changes. So I joined the rest of the world in embracing January’s special brand of masochism and called a financial advisor. To his unending credit, he did not laugh in my face while looking at the numbers, but he did suggest I “try the bottom-shelf stuff” while out — and then followed that with “and maybe stop going out.” What did I expect? He’s gonna tell me I’m not spending enough money on beer and that I need to diversify that portfolio with wine and whiskey?
Then my friend sent me an article outlining the benefits of laying off the sauce for a couple of weeks. It mainly focused on the positive effects of giving your liver and kidneys a vacation. The list of benefits were like: more money, fewer empty calories, taut skin, sparkling eyes, shiny hair, better-stronger-faster, no longer spilling out of the bra and creating four boobs, only laundering like colors together, finishing “War and Peace,” taking Christmas decorations down before February…stuff like that.
OK, I didn’t read it very closely, but I got the gist and subsequently decided to stop drinking between MLK and Groundhog Day.
And then my life took a weird turn. Everyday, I would get up, feed the cat, feed the dog, make the coffee, hit the shower, comb the hair, go to work, work, drive home, feed the cat, feed the dog, make dinner, do the laundry, put on pajamas, watch detective shows and go to bed. Every. Single. Day.
I wasn’t spending time in the morning looking for stuff I’d drunkenly put in the wrong place the night before. I didn’t know what was going on with my friends. And since I had all this time to cook, I was eating oatmeal for breakfast and a hotdish for dinner.
I told myself, “This is fine. I’m doing OK. Let’s not concern ourselves with the hours ticking by, and that it’s easier to count the days I don’t drink than the ones I do. I’m going to lose 20 pounds in two weeks. And be rich.”
Then my ever-lovin’ scale announced, “Sorry, lady, you’re two pounds fatter.”
I decided that was probably Fitbit muscle; I’d started parking farther away, and using the upstairs bathroom at work.
Ever-lovin’ scale replied, “No. It’s the hotdish.”
At least my bank account tried to help. “You haven’t overdrafted this week…is that good?”
There’s a reason broke people drink.