I am an eternal optimist with an unwavering belief in the best parts of myself. I hold dear my sense of humor, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and outgoing personality. It is this version of me who opens email invites to networking nights, workshops, parties, and more and clicks the YES button to RSVP for activities a week or more in advance. There is just one little problem whenever I do this.
Whenever I make plans for my future self I’m usually doing it when my current self is laying in the bed that I’ve refused to leave all day, debating whether to watch one more episode of Property Brothers or shower. For some reason I optimistically believe that seven days later I’ll not only want to get out of bed and shower, I’ll also have the motivation to tame my edges, apply makeup, put on heels, and leave my apartment. Future me should have a chat with current me and let her know that we’re the same person.
Alas, being a recluse starts to wear on my wellbeing. I can’t figure out whether or not I’m an extroverted introvert or an introverted extrovert but either way I need in person human interaction to retain my humanity. And while I could always just invite friends to chill at my place, that requires me to clean (unless the world’s best ex-roommate is coming over because she is no longer a guest) which takes more effort than showering and edge control. Even though I know socializing is good for my mental health, it’s usually not enough to get me to ditch the sweatpants.
The one thing that keeps my bed from batting 1.000 is free shit. Free gets me up from my post General Hospital nap, washes my ass, and irons my clothes. Free gets me to go outside in Chicago after September and before June. Free is my raison d’être. So without further ado this is what free got me to do this week.
There was a time when I would not allow living things (besides people) into my residence. Why? Because there was a 100% chance that they would die there. When I was ten my older brother’s pet snake had babies and he let me keep them. They ate mealworms which my mother faithfully took me to the pet store to buy each week. I’d get home, drop a few worms in the cage and stored the rest for tomorrow’s feeding which I’d usually forget to do until the next time my mother said it was time to go to the pet store. The worms turned to bugs, the snakes starved to death and I have not had a pet since. We’re not going to get into how many times I forgot to feed the neighbor’s cat when he paid me to sit for it while he was out of town. The cat lived…I think. But all of that to say that I don’t remember to feed breathing beings so plants never stood a chance with me. Years ago a new friend gifted me a plant for my housewarming and I managed to kill it. Twice. When I moved into my current home hours of trolling Apartment Therapy for decorating ideas made me once again lose all self awareness and think that I could add greenery to my decor for pops of color. After buying out the nursery the only plants left standing are a fiddle leaf fig tree (and she was touch and go for a while) and a small succulent. Everything else is like Keisha and the Dudda-Man. Dead. However, the fact that my tree sprouted 8 whole new leaves this past summer gave me hope that other plants could also survive living with me. So when So-Fi decided a great way to build community amongst its members was to host a terrarium workshop I signed up. I have to hand it to So-Fi, because they know the power that my bed holds over me. Although the event was free, it required a $40 deposit, refundable only after my Black ass shows up.
Show up I did. I ate crackers and cheese, drank cranberry juice, played with dirt and rocks and made myself a damn fine terrarium of diverse succulents (if I do say so myself). Alas when I decided to save on transportation costs and ride my bike to the event I forgot to consider how I was going to get my creation home. It turns out the basket attached to Cherry’s handlebars is not the best transportation method for an open glass container filled with loose dirt and rocks.
And another one bites the dust.
It turns out that one community event isn’t enough for SoFi. The night after the terrarium workshop they hosted a community dinner. When you get an invitation to a free four course meal (with $50 refundable deposit of course) you do not say no. I do not care how warm that down comforter is. It helped that the event was held at a restaurant a short walk from my building. Although I think they put actual flower petals in the salad and the chicken could have used more seasoning it was worth leaving the house. I sat with two other upstate New York transplants to Chicago and one of Governor Rauner’s top aides. I had such a good time I even got home a few minutes late for the new episode of Are You The One?
The Little Things
Once again this week there was free bread from Jimmy John’s. I called for two loaves and was given three, wrapped in what appeared to be a large clear trash bag, which it turns out has kept the bread fresh for days after it would have gone stale with previous packaging. Mystery shopping yielded another large Papa John’s pizza. This time I tried a new topping and I must say I was pleased with the result. Okay, now it’s your turn. Hit the comments and brag about your latest freebies. What’s getting you out of bed? Inquiring minds want to know.
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