Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Resistance Is Futile?

Remember that time we cut off the cable? I felt so proud and liberated and frugal. And then we moved into Mom's place for those seven months and she paid for the cable.

But we got used to it again. And to reward ourselves for all that tough livin' and long commutin' from Mom's we went ahead and got ourselves cable again when we moved back up to Salt Lake City.

I love it so much. I hate it so much.

I mean, I could watch FBI shows and forensics shows and Dateline ID shows into the wee hours, until my head falls off and I have to pick it up and carry it under my arm to bed. And that damn Teen Moms show on MTV. I love it. You know the couple that put their baby up for adoption? Kaitlyn, I think, and Tyler? Dear god I love those two crazy kids.

But really I hate the cable. It's a life stealer, man. Like Facebook. Just too much bullshit crowding into my brain, competing for space. And it's expensive as hell.

But I love the cable!

You see how weak I am? It's why I wish Serge hated the cable. That would be enough for me to cancel it. But he likes shit TV as much as the next person and so my cancelling the cable (again) would be an unwelcome advance into frugal waters.

I've mellowed a bit since last year's love affair with Dave Ramsey. I've mellowed on the outside, I mean, but on the inside I still long to cut costs and save save SAVE!

But when I was all militant about money Serge and I argued so much more. I let all the budgeting bullshit slide and there are less money battles to be sure, and also less savings.

I have this vision of my family living in a home in the Pennsylvania countryside. Look! There I am planting a garden in the large backyard instead of watching Forensic Files! There I am lovingly crafting a dinner that doesn't involve cardboard containers and the microwave. Or sacks of burritos from the nearest fast food joint. In fact, my making dinner is a novelty itself as I work from one until ten every damn day. But look! Look at the healthy hue on my normally sallow cheeks! Is that a flower in my luxurious hair? A bounce in my generally draggy step.

But anyway.

I'm typing this from my couch while I watch cable and wait for my stupid Lean Cuisine pizza to heat up.

Reader Comments (10)

I like your mingling of responsibility with adventure. Talking about your hopes and dreams seems to set things in motion, and sometimes simply allows you time to decide what you really want or need. I do this quite a bit an find it relaxing to just explore my options. At least you seem to stick with the farmhouse in Pensy. I tend to change up my dreams weekly which for many is annoying. As for you, it's all plausible and possible. You've made major moves before. No biggie. And it's not like you are thinking McMansions... I don't think you are dreaming beyond your ability to make it happen, but are perfectly realistic. From what you have written, you are not deeply in dept, you both have similar styles and appreciation of the simple things/ lifestyle, and you both have the means to make it happen. Keep your options open and enjoy your sweet family as you obviously do...things are going to work out.
Here's a little sompin on that to offer you another perspective:

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergina

Yeah...Lean Cuisine. We live on that stuff. Love it.

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

ahh!! Kaitlyn and Tyler! i just want to send them money and put them through college and help them buy a house. my husband and i are trying to decide whether to get rid of cable as well. it's a hard decision when it seems like it should be a no-brainer.

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergillian

Eh, I actually live in the Pennsylvania countryside (outer Philly burbs) and while I do belong to a CSA (rather than actually growing my own vegetables), we totally have cable and eat out of boxes and so on.

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

did you enjoy your pizza? just wonder :) relax Monica, everything in proper time...

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteranajo

So, there is this Dave Ramsay message board on Babycenter. It's not for the faint of heart. What it is for is people to beat you up and help you stay focused if you would like to spend less. Here is the link:

I don't post there but I read it when I feel the sad tide of weakness in my veins. Before you call me crazy I can tell you it has saved me £1000s. There are some frightening ladies there, posting away and guiding us backsliders onto the path of financial righteousness. :D

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

So my girls - J is 6 and niece S is 18 ate bowls of Cocoa Puffs and biscuits for dinner last night. I didn't even have it in me to order a pizza and chop lettuce! We are AT&T Uverse addicts. And when my world falls out from under me and I can no longer afford food I will cancel my cell phone and the Netflix (streaming TV shows by the SEASON and crap straight to DVD movies at my fingertips 24/7!!) but the last thing I will give up is my Uverse TV with the DVR. Teen Mom, Survivor, The Good Wife...DVR oh how I love thee. Maybe when you do make it to the Pennsylvania countryside you can forgo the cable then? Maybe? Oh, and hubby just got one of the DVD burning programs...and my sister and b-i-l are Blu Ray people! So DVD's! Anytime!

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrsK

I love Katelyn and Tyler so damn much too - I can't even begin to imagine how sad I will be if they break up and THAT may be the saddest sentence I have typed today...

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSJ

I understand. I have cyclically fallen in and out of mad love with Dave Ramsey for about five years now, but never, NEVER have I been able to turn the cable off. I cut back on the options, but I've never been able to let it go completely.

And girl, Dateline ID, Dateline We, DAteline whoever. I love em all. Check out "On the Case with Paula Zahn."

You're welcome.

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie

OH! Although, I did go without cable for a week when I moved into my new place and Comcast is evil. But anyway, I survived on Netflix streaming on my iphone, and internet tv (neighbor's wifi).

If you wanna try it.

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie

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