I Bought An Exercise Bike

I’ve been feeling gloomy.

So, being the self-sufficient woman that I am, I decided to self-medicate with food. Because–what else is there to do? We’re in a bloody pandemic.

Like my use of the word bloody? Turned British there for a moment. I’m back now.

My coworkers were complaining about Starbucks. The caffeine haven for the masses. The temple to which all office workers flock. The straw that stirs the white-collar’s drink.

Basically, providing free coffee to an office of picky women is akin to sticking your finger in a light socket. I’ve heard story after story of the horrors it entails: women stating that their drink was wrong and requesting that you drive three miles back to Starbucks to correct it, or outraged that the free package of madeleine cookies they requested was missing from the order, and how could this be.

It’s absolutely greedy and ridiculous. I wholeheartedly agreed with my coworkers that the attitude of these women was wrong.

Then, a tiny voice inside me said: a dragon drink sounds really good right about now. . . I could use a treat.

So, whilst complaining about the organization and the gluttonous monsters it breeds within society, I made a plan to zip by Starbucks after work.

Because that’s what hypocrites do.

Then, another thought popped to mind: Or I could get an Oreo Cookie Shake and fries. . .

Soon, I found myself veering left, down the street, and entering the parking lot of my neighborhood Carl’s Jr. I didn’t go straight to the drive-through. Instead, I pulled into a spot to very prudently search my car for a coupon. Took me a few minutes, then I was telling the bored voice on the other end of the speaker what my heart so greatly desired.

There were two cars ahead of me. Three minutes passed. Soon, I was boxed into the drive-through, unable to back out. Five minutes passed. Seven minutes.

It was ten minutes before I finally made it to the window to pay. I was quite irritated, to say the least. The thought of jumping the curb and abandoning the line came to me a few times.

But then, I had my treat. Everything was right in the world. The sky was clear. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping.

. . . and my shake was half melted.

I tried to remind myself that I should see the shake as half frozen. That this was a treat and, thus, I should be enjoying myself.

. . . then I realized I completely forgot to use the coupon I so carefully hunted for. In fact, I was sitting on it.

I was in a fog of irritation. Grumpily scarfing greasy fries and guzzling fatty shake soup. I stomped home, flopped onto the couch and felt fat. I was mad at myself. If I had just gone to Starbucks, I would’ve gotten a fruit tea. None of this sugar and lard. Carbs and calories and processed milk and grease.

And if I would’ve gone to Starbucks, I could’ve used a gift card, which basically means no money spent from my pocket. Not only did I spend money, I spent extra because I forgot to use the dang coupon!!

I was in a rage. Hating myself. Hating life. Hating money. Hating the need to budget. Hating fatty foods and slow fast food workers and long drive-through lines. . .

So I bought an exercise bike.

Spent one hundred and thirty dollars.

And of course I needed to buy a scale to weigh my progress.

Twenty dollars.

I spent one hundred and fifty eight dollars.

Eight dollars was spent on the fries and the shake. It would’ve been less—if I’d used the coupon.

It would’ve been one hundred and fifty eight dollars less. . .

if I had only stuck to the original plan and gone to Starbucks.

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