Monday, May 18, 2009

Hungry, Broke and Ludacris

You hear a song on the radio, in the car, in a store, or on your ipod and suddenly you are taken back to a distinct time and place. You are no longer standing in frozen foods but in a darkened high school gym or in your bestest friends bedroom. The song/memory evocation is so strong it can bring up deep feelings, distinct smells and completely take you back in time, if only for a few moments. This week, in the days leading up to my birthday (and let's face it, because it's my blog) I'm doing a little trek down memory lane each time it will be accompanied with a song that brings it all back.

I would love it if you would share with me some memories you have and the songs that take you back too.

I had been married to H for about a year and we were living in what felt like the land of the lost, also known as the Mojave desert. Or as E liked to call it, 'my sandbox'. Having recently moved to SoCal herself we found that for the first time in many years we were only a few hours apart and could visit each other quite easily. For me, it was bliss. I had spent several years apart from my best friend between going to separate schools, traveling abroad and moving across the country. Now, living in the middle of nowhere, I needed her more than ever. We spent many weekends that year getting reacquainted over midnight drive-thrus to Jack in the Box for mozzarella sticks and drinking cheap wine.

One particular weekend I drove down to E's place in San Diego and we quickly realized that we were both flat broke. I'm talking mere pennies in the wallet broke. Having just moved across the country and me having been unemployed for a record eight months had broken us down a bit. Her apartment was almost free of food and I had brought down a few things from my place to tide us over. Still, between the two of us, I think we had less than two dollars to our names. We decided to that we could cobble together a pasta, artichoke heart, half a goat cheese pizza slice dinner (with some cheap wine we found in her cupboard) if we just bought ourselves a jar of pasta sauce. Off we went to Trader Joe's. As we stood in the pasta aisle of the store scanning the shelves for the cheapest bottle of sauce, E spent the last of her "real" money on her car payment via her cell phone. That payment made, at the last possible moment, made her officially flat broke. Altogether we had about two dollars in change. We grabbed a cheap jar of Trader Giotto's sauce and prayed tax wouldn't put us over our price limit.

Once we got home, made the pasta, reheated the pizza and threw the artichokes in the sauce for good measure we settled down on her couch to dissect the recent inexplicable popularity of Cameron Diaz's "butt-dance". The contents of the dinner didn't matter, we laughed and commiserated about how broke we both were individually and continued to drink our wine. Our friendship was moving into a new territory now that we were adults and we were continuing to find our way in our new lives. It was the perfect example of how you don't need money to be happy. Seven years later I still remember that weekend and it always makes me smile. Just recently E and I laughed over how broke we really were, how dire things had become for us and how at the time we felt so scared, but at least we had each other to make the other one laugh.

The song? The impossibly horrible, 'What's Your Fantasy' by Ludacris. Why? Because it was on all damn weekend no matter when we got in the car or where we went. It is laughably awful and each time I hear it I think of that weekend when E and I were so broke we almost couldn't afford a jar of spaghetti sauce between the two of us.

Over at 23andMe's pregnancy community I'm discussing pregnancy and allergies, "I am not allergic to anything. Scratch that. Sometimes clove buds make me hurl. However, during my second pregnancy... read more here."

I'm talking about my lack of a competitive nature and the 5k I'm training for at DC Metro Moms too. Read all about it!


  1. I just got a box of docs from my parents that contained info and bills from over a decade ago - when I was still single-

    it's incredible... I thought I had 'plenty' of $...
    and I didn't -
    I looked at the amount of $ I had in my bank acct...
    it's crazy- you're right-
    $ has nothing to do with happiness :)

  2. Anonymous2:35 PM

    "an' I wanna, move from the bed down tathe down tathe tathe flo!" Oh my goodness, I actually teared up reading this. That was such a terrifyingly nice time. I loved having you so close! Miss you now....

  3. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Great post! It made me think about my own "bestest friend", and our song that still brings me back to younger carefree days. As the quintessentail Jersey Girls that we were,we would drive aimlessly around town, chain smoking cigerettes one after the other, and blasting Bon Jovi's Never say goodbye. We would scream the lyrics like we were Jon Bon Jovi himself. Ahhh, good times. I think I am going to go call my besty right now!!
    Take care,

  4. What a great post-it's amazing how that music brings us back. I KNEW the song would be "what's your fantasy" though and started singing "I wanna, lick lick lick you from your head to your toes" before I even clicked to read the post!


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