I was looking at a fireworks display yesterday and all I could think was, Wow, fireworks are the perfect money-wasting metaphor. People are LITERALLY blowing up their cash for this fleeting enjoyment that LITERALLY disappears as smoke into the dark night.
The analogy is too perfect, really. Especially because I’m certain that not everyone who’s buying fireworks can actually afford them. I bet there’s a whole helluva lot of people with 10K+ in credit card debt out there scoopin’ up Screamin’ Meanies and Howler Fountains by the boatload. It makes me feel like writing a post on all the stupid shit that people spend money on even though they’re not saving any income, but I know this encroaches on dicey territory; I ain’t tryin’ to hate on nobody for having a little fun in this world.
Maybe someday I’ll evangelize about the stuff that people spend money on that makes my brain scream with the torrid pressure of a Roman Candle milliseconds from detonation—but not today. In honor of holiday, transparency, and laughter at my expense, we’ll be pickin’ on yours truly instead. As I’ve mentioned before, my natural tendency is to spend money. I’m highly impulsive and will do anything for a good time. It’s taken a lot of strength to extinguish smoldering spending urges, and I’m still not perfect. But I used to be way, way worse.
For your enjoyment, here are twenty of the most ridiculous things I’ve spent money on in my lifetime. Let’s get this party started in true Independence Day fashion:
1. Sequin American Flag thong bikini
I’ve placed a lot of orders at EverythingSequin.com, but none surprised me as much as my American Flag bikini. It was not advertised as a thong, but I wasn’t mad when I pulled it from the package to find that it was, indeed, sequined butt floss.
Alright you guys, I’m about to show you something that I AM NOT PROUD OF. But as your trusted financial advisor, it’s better that you see it from me before it’s leaked by the gremlins of the dark web. Haters gon hate, but LOOK WHO GOT THAT PAPER, B*TCHES.
2. Seahawks Poncho
I personally consider this Cabo purchase to be a wardrobe staple, but others might find it excessive. As you grind your way through this list, you will notice that there are several foundational themes: A) Mexican trinkets and B) Seahawks regalia.
3. Conjoined at the face troll doll
I spotted these cuties at an antique store, saw the price tag of $50, audibly scoffed, and left empty-handed. $50 friggin’ dollars!? Annnnnnd then I went back a week later because I couldn’t stop thinking about them/it sitting all alone in that cold store.
I mean, it’s really two trolls at $25 apiece. Not so bad???!!
4. Phish concert tickets…that were fake.
I once sent a Western Union (I know) to some Craigslist dude (I know) for Phish tickets (I know). It was a scam. There is absolutely nothing I can say to defend myself here, except — — — nope, there is nothing.
5. Hair wraps.
Big hair wrap gal growing up. Gimme a break, I was a Portland kid! AND JUST ADMIT IT, that shit looks insanely dope with a bowl cut.
6. 40 40s of Steel Reserve malt liquor
This is probs not the only time I’ve purchased 1,600 ounces of malt liquor nor is it the most alcohol I’ve ever purchased in one go, but it feels like a fitting representation of the effort and money I have poured into acquiring alcohol over the years. On this particular occasion, it was my best bud’s birthday and her team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, was in the Super Bowl. Our commitment to taping two forties of Steel(er) Reserve to every partygoer’s hands saw us frantically scouring dozens of San Francisco corner stores on the morning before The Big Dance.
7. Reno shot glasses
Reno is the hemorrhoid on America’s butthole and that is precisely why I love it. Over the course of a few years, I amassed a stunning collection of commemorative shot glasses from one of my all-time favorite towns.
Someday, I will laugh and laugh in the faces of all the haters because these will be collector’s items and I will be filthy rich!
8. Boat shoes
I fucking hate boat shoes. Why in the hell did I buy these?
9. Mercedes Salazar earrings
Ever since I read about this Colombian designer, I wanted a pair of her earrings. I eventually found a pair on sale and loved them dearly. The earrings were not a ridiculous purchase—I had wanted them for years—but gifting them to a stripper in New Orleans while black-out drunk was definitely fucking ridiculous. (She was nice?)
10. Pacific Northwest Artisanally Crafted Seahawks Onsie
Long before you could get a store-bought fleece onsie for your team, a very nice mom named April in Tacoma, Washington, custom-made these for me and my sis. I had met her son at a tailgate and he was wearing one; I held a knife to his throat and demanded his mom make me one too.
J/K I paid her $100 + material costs.
11. Neon wiener dog sign
My San Francisco roommate and I were eyein’ this puppy for months. It was hanging in a store by our apartment and wasn’t for sale. But for the right price, it became ours. #woof
In doing the proper due diligence for this riveting piece of journalism, I asked my longtime roommate if I was forgetting anything. Brittany’s response: Sometimes the ridiculousness comes not necessarily in what you bought but in the fact that you bought it over things you may have actually needed. And it’s true. We didn’t have furniture or heat in the winter, but I had quite the holiday nutcracker collection.
12. Marilyn Manson contact lens
In college, we had an “M”-themed party and naturally, I wanted to go as Marilyn Manson.
I dragged my poor friends around the garment district of LA for an entire day searching for a damn white eye contact lens—the defining element of this costume. (This was before the days of ordering any/everything online.) I was in the pissiest mood ever ‘cause I couldn’t find one, and clearly this was VERY VERY important. Finally, I found it, and that P.O.S. was $30 bucks! I was college broke and not going to cave but my friends were like ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME AFTER ALL THAT?!?! and each donated $5 to the cause.
Thank you, babes. Someday, I will repay you with heaps of freaky, unsafe, head shop contact lenses.
13. Petrified bugs and bat
My friends and I were pretty sloshed one Easter when we stumbled across a street fair vendor selling petrified bug swag. We bought bug keychains, best friends scorpion pendants, a beetle in a computer mouse, and Barry the Bat.
14. Custom fitted toe rings
At the Bonnaroo music festival, you could find this crew getting their feet sanitized, caressed, and adorned with designer toe tiaras for a nominal fee—totally worth it because I demand only the finest of jewels on my skanky-ass festival feet.
15. Assorted beards
Sure, “costumes” could be a category of its own on this list, but some of the stupidest (/smartest?) money I’ve spent within the costume subdivision is on assorted beards, mustaches, and most importantly, glue-on eyebrows. Here are some favorites:
16. Novelty photos
If you hit me with even a moderately comprehensible pitch while I’m drinking on a beach, I’m probably going to buy whatever you’re selling—whether it’s henna tattoos or miniature pipes shaped like penises or Mexican braids or guitarrons. A victim, once again:
UPDATE (9/8/2017) Lisbon, Portugal:
A victim of a boardwalk novelty photo pitch, yet again:
17. Personal beer bongs
During senior year of college we may have gone six-girls-to-one-bathroom, but at least we each had our own personal beer bong mounted on the wall in the living room. (Actually saved money cuz it doubled as décor.)
18. Thirteen Pete Carroll costumes
For my sister’s 30th birthday, we went to New Orleans—it was Halloween AND the Seahawks were playing the Saints. Maddy’s 30th birthday wish was to have all of her friends dress up like Pete Carroll. We proceeded to purchase wigs (Colonel Sanders, FYI), headsets, bubble yum, and navy blue long sleeves for all of her friends. (Everyone was in charge of their own front-pleated khakis and white Nike Air Monarchs.)
19. Santa head maracas
These bad boys only cost me about 10,000 Colombian pesos (~$3) and have recouped their value in belly laughs about 10x over, but they’re still ridiculous.
Another spring break / Mexico “purchase.” I put “purchase” in “quotation marks” because we haggled the price to the motherfartin’ floor by throwing in a quick flash of ~8 bare American girl chi-chis.
So there you have it folks, 20 tiny little reasons why I’m the world’s biggest asshole and am in no place to judge anyone’s spending peccadillos. I hope you enjoyed it and more importantly, I hope you enjoy your holiday fireworks. But after the holiday, let’s get back to bein’ Dumpster Doggies, mmmkay?
If you’re peepin’ this on the Fourth and want to feel a little bit better about being American right now, I suggest reading this.
Stay tuned for a contest giveaway this Wednesday, where I’ll ask you to tell me the stupidest sh*t you’ve ever purchased! Your turn! Look back, dig deep (or just look in your junk closet), and get those creative juices flowing!