Wednesday, March 25, 2009

heigh ho

I'm back at work today, clearly as industrious as ever. If I told you that spring break made work seem better or more rewarding, I would be lying; all it did was emphasize how much I dearly love not working. But this is getting awfully close to a whine, and that's far too self indulgent for someone who has just done a fat lot of not much for a week and a half.

I had the good fortune to spend a few days of my vacation with one of my college roommates. She lives in Morganton, NC, a teensy town about an hour from Asheville. Bizarrely, I've since stumbled on a whole slew of folks who've had their own Morganton experiences. Small effing world.

Anyway, whenever I'm in a place like Morganton where the cost of living is low, I feel compelled to compare prices. I fear that this generally puts me in a bad light, and I end up sounding like some incredulous, tightfisted Yankee that David Sedaris might write about. "You paid how much for your house? For a whole house?! Ha! That wouldn't get you a cardboard box and a shared pickle jar where I'm from! " or "You paid what in taxes? For a whole year?! I could find that in my couch cushions!" or "Dinner for two for twenty dollars! I've had bagels that were more expensive! Cripes, you people have it made!"

Of course, I've made certain trades for high mortgages and expensive dinners. For example, smoking in public establishments is not allowed here. I can dine at any of fifteen nearby Thai restaurants. Shade-grown, organic, free-trade coffee is widely available. Bars are open on Sundays. And, perhaps best of all, I seldom worry about running into people I don't want to see. After spending a few days in Morganton, I realize that these luxuries are worth the price. And so, here I sit, trying to look busy, so I can afford the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed.

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