Monday, November 12, 2007

entertaining is more expensive than travelling!

I have spent so much money in the last six days.

My younger cousin is visiting me with her best friend. Though there is a seven-year age difference between us, this cousin and I were particularly close growing up as her mother used to babysit me several days a week. I moved away when she was about six, and in the last few years have been trying to rebuild that relationship as an "older sister" role, especially since they've had some family problems. I'm also trying to encourage her to stay in school and pick a career that will take her wherever she wants to go, instead of following the footsteps of the rest of my family, living within two miles of where they were raised and settling for whatever job has a "help wanted" sign out front. (It still startles me to realize that I am the very first person on my mother's side of the family to earn a bachelor's degree, and my sister and I are the only ones out of our generation to go to college).

Anyway, I've been having fun showing them New York and what the city has to offer, but my wallet is pretty much screaming in pain at this point. (And these are just MY expenses...they pay for themselves for almost all meals, and have treated me to one for having them).

Things I normally would not have paid for over the past week:
  • Dinner out every night, including a $45 per person evening at Lucky Cheng's, and several other meals out
  • Tickets to a show (which I've already seen, and for cheaper, but I wanted to see their reactions)
  • Hookah bars every other night
  • Snacks, including bottled water and lots of tea (it's been so cold!)
  • Top of the Rock tickets (my treat for all three of us)
  • Shopping (which is what they've spent 90% of their money on)
  • Ice skating (I really need to just invest in my own pair of skates--I could go for free in Bryant Park a few times and get my money's worth in a month)
  • A cord for my handheld showerhead (which I broke, and which didn't fix the problem, so I'll still be having to buy an entire handheld showerhead kit)
Things which I don't mind having paid for over the last week
  • Everything but the showerhead stuff
It's funny though--their trip has been infinitely more expensive than traveling to see my family. Still, it's worth it--the girls are having a blast and they seem to be making the connection--without my saying anything--that going to school and picking a job with sustainability means that they can do whatever they want, move wherever they want...take charge of their own lives.

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