For the first time in my life, I’m doing pretty well professionally. I’m making good money at my day job and I was commissioned to write a script. So I actually have disposable income that doesn’t require credit card interest to pay off. My girlfriend used to have a great-paying job teaching private school in the Pacific Palisades. Between her salary, occasional tutoring jobs, and the summer writing workshops she taught for rich kids, she pulled down a decent living. Last year for my birthday, she got me a fancy new iPod. Unfortunately for me, she decided to go back to school to get her MFA in Dramatic Writing. Now her only income is from those occasional tutoring jobs. On a good week, she can make literally hundreds of dollars. This year for my birthday, I got a handjob. My day job elected to give us two weeks off around Christmas. Using some of my discretionary income, I proposed going away to Japan. I’ve always wanted to visit Tokyo – I love Japanese food, ninjas, Godzilla attacks and their illustrious tentacle porn industry. Before grad school started up, the girlfriend tentatively agreed to a budget for Japan. If we could do the whole thing for $1500, she was in.

Once grad school started and financial reality set in, her budget kept dropping. She was down to $1000, then $500. Then she just couldn’t do it. Fuck it, I don’t need to visit the foreign country I’ve wanted to see ever since masturbating to Lin Minmei in ROBOTECH when I was twelve. The important thing over Christmas break was to spend time with the woman I love. How about we just go on a cruise around New Year’s? She was fine with it. Then we started pricing cruises out. She gave me a budget of $350 to work with. Then $300. I don’t mind paying for some of her trip, but the only place you’re going to cruise for $300 is West Hollywood. So instead for New Year’s, we’re going to stay in and do something romantic (i.e. cheap). Thank god threesomes are free.

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