One year ago exactly, I moved to New York City to do what many hopeful college graduates set out to do—take on the Big A (that’s Apple, not the other Big A—the ones we frequently meet out in Murray Hill on any given weekend). 365 days later, the Big A has kicked my Big A all around town. I’ve just recently joined the majority of journalist, writers, bloggers and media moguls in this city by getting accepted into the pink slip club. That’s right, we’re talking unemployment folks. Going on my second week of hanging out with Oprah, Ellen and the ladies of the View…I’ve decided to compile a little pros and cons list (a Venn Diagram may follow) of the perks of unemployment. Listen up.
- You can sleep in, catch up on every talk show from the hours of 9-5, go to yoga, whatever the eff you want basically. It’s like being a stay at home mom, minus the annoying kids.
- If you have a roommate and don’t like them, you will undoubtedly piss them off by sleeping in, walking around in your pajamas all day and gluing yourself to the couch and remote while they go to work all day. It’s just science.
- You will never, ever need to do laundry. Why? Because the only things you will be wearing are the same pair of sweat pants and the same sorority bar crawl shirt for weeks at a time. Clothes don’t get dirty just from Facebooking.
- Along with saving money on laundry, you’ll save it on make up too-because you definitely won’t be wearing any. Mascara? No. Under eye concealer? Don’t need it. There’s no need to be pretty when you sit in your apartment all day. You aren’t going any where, so sit tight and get your ugly on.
- The best diet is the recession diet. Being unemployed makes you calculate every single dollar you spend….in my cupboard right this moment is a box of Honey Nut Cheerios and String Cheese, I kid you not. The best part is, you won’t even be hungry, because you are using ZERO energy in a given day-unless you count changing the channel as a workout. Food is overrated, stick to a liquid diet and reap the benefits of unemployment.
- On liquid diets, you’ll discover a whole new type of bottom shelf liquor. A few weeks ago, friends and I were out for another friend’s birthday at a BYOB in Hell’s Kitchen. We brought our favorite dirt cheap wine of choice, Gato Negro (that’s black cat for all you Spanish majors). So anywho, we are chatting it up, waiting to pop open the Negro when the waiter comes over and literally laughs in our face as he opens our wine. “I cook with this,” he says. We laugh awkwardly not knowing what exactly he is talking about until he goes back into the kitchen and pulls out his own bottle of Gato Negro, screaming to the entire restaurant “See! I told you, I cook with this stuff!” Well kind sir, Thank you for announcing to everyone that we are a.) poor and b.) are basically drinking vegetable oil. Lucky for me, my friends and I share a divine love for the Gato and did not let this fact deter us in our mission to get drunk. And we only spent $5 so SHOVE IT.
- You know it will get to the lowest point, when you start a blog, pretending that others really care what you are doing in your very free time.
- Many people will tell you when you get the boot from your job that this is the time, especially if you are a New Yorker, to take advantage of all the fun things you’ve always wanted to do in NYC. One problem—they all require MONEY—something you are not getting in copious amounts anymore. People will wonder why you aren’t out museum hopping, climbing Rockefeller and skipping through the West Village. These are the same people that think you are lucky for having this once in a lifetime opportunity to “recharge and rejuvenate.” There are about two things you can do for free in New York—go to Yoga to the People and lay in Central Park. And go to the Met, because who wouldn’t want to the museum in the middle of day when 7 field trips are taking place at the same time. That sounds like my idea of F-U-N.
- Unless you are avidly applying for jobs every day, you will soon wonder where all your friends went. It will seem like you’ve been transported to a remote island with no form of communication. That’s because, when you work you are simultaneously Twittering, AIMing, Gchatting and any other form of digital communication. Most communication happens between the hours of 9-5 and if you aren’t in the employment club, you better start sending smoke signals.
- Your “To Do” list will start getting pretty pathetic, just so it looks like you have something to do every day. First, they will be big things like filing for unemployment, following up on a lead, etc. But after a week your list will have things on it like, “go running” or “drink seven glasses of water today” or “blink.” It’s a sad day when your life comes down to drinking water and blinking, trust me.
- You will start to lack entertainment so much sometimes, you will want either a dog or a child. And children, if you’re doing it the old fashioned American way, take nine months to get here, so instead you will find yourself perusing adoption centers for dogs. You may even submit an application for a few pups, only to get rejected when the adoption center realizes you have no source of income and are totally ill equipped to take care of yourself, let alone another living being.
- As they say—when it rains, it pours. People don’t just lose their job and that’s it. Something always follows. An aunt dies, you get evicted, your cat runs away—there is a never ending list. Me? I got called for jury duty in not one, but TWO states. They called me for duty in Delaware, where my license is registered and a week later called me in New York, where I’m registered to vote. The sick thing is I’m considering doing both, because really, what else have I got to do.