£2.70 for a decaf skinny extra hot tall white caffe mocha hold the cream. The man at Starbucks – his nostrils flare – but he doesn’t bat an eyelid because he is used to my coffee requirements by now. But the thing is, neither do I. Not so much as a flicker.
If I added up how much I spend on breakfast, lunch, walkers crisps and minstrels from the vending machine, hell if I were to calculate the amount I spend on percy pigs weekly it would likely plug our national debt.
It hit me how much I fritter on stuff I don’t actually need (de-caf coffee – the point?) just yesterday when I was talking to a friend and was rhapsodizing about an amazing body moisturiser I’ve recently discovered. She asked how much it cost. £18 I said. She laughed and told me that was expensive. It’s hardly Creme de Mer I thought, but then it hit me. She was right. £18 for moisturiser is crazy. £2.70 for a coffee that doesn’t taste of coffee is crazy. Keeping M&S afloat however – not crazy. A world without percy pigs and cotton m&s boyfriend pants is a far more troubling vision than the one painted by Cormac McCarthy in The Road.
In the light of this rude but timely financial awakening, I am making it a point to notice the price of things (haven’t yet got to the point of stopping actually buying things – let’s not get ahead of ourselves with the crazy talk. One thing at a time. It’s like AA – it will be a 12 step process and only by the twelfth will I actually be able to keep walking on by the pink gelatinous farmyard animals.)
Starbucks are evil. I know this (I think), you don’t need to get your guardian reading knickers in a twist. My excuse is that ever since John lost his car key and we’ve had to share one set, he has to drop said set with me in the morning so I can pick up the bean from the childminder later, which means rendezvous-ing at starbucks outside London Bridge of a morning. It’s very romantic and actually charts on my ‘things I’m going to miss’ list. We have so little quality time, those car key swopping moments are up there with steak night wednesdays as my most treasured moments of the week – that and x factor. I’m waiting for Dani to sit too close to one of the stage lights and melt.
I have just done a quick sum and realised that I’m spending approximately £1000 a year on starbucks, percy pigs and Walkers crisps. I wish now I’d saved that money and could use it to fund an extra month in India. Or to buy poker chips in Vegas or, and now I am squealing and clapping my hands at the thought, an au pair to come with us. A cheap au pair, not from Sweden, and definitely not attractive. Huh, I sigh at the realisation that’s not going to happen now because I frittered the money on sugar hits and making the shareholders of big corporations happy. I’m so depressed at my shortsightedness that I need a packet of percy pigs just to get over it.