After two and a half vodka sodas at a friend of a friend’s “End of Summer / End of Chub Rub” party, a 102 lb. woman in a cowl neck sweater—we’ll call her Claire—told me she and her husband were “saving for a mortgage.” It was confusing on a lot of levels.

Like all of us I’m sure, my understanding of a mortgage is that it’s essentially the emergency abortion fund my friends and I set up at 13. It’s just something that happens to girls a little older than me that I shouldn’t worry about too much yet, but ultimately it’s a sound investment in my future.

But with Claire’s tone, I grew confused—the panic fund you create after drinking Smirnoff Ice at an eighth grade lock-in and watching Dirty Dancing is, by definition, a back-up plan. “Saving for” implies a goal.

So, I pressed:

Claire: “Well, we’re hoping to land somewhere in Westchester.”

Ok so, perhaps a mortgage is one of those daily helicopter rentals that travel short distances to make you feel fancy for small spurts of time when you’re hungover and have forgotten about your debt, your fear of heights, and that last time that helicopter ate your attention-seeking hat.

Me: “Ah, that makes sense. Seems like a pretty nice trip!”

Claire, who cooks Buffalo Chicken Dip for her husband’s Superbowl Party every year: “Yeah, the commute isn’t bad. Plus, the taxes are surprisingly reasonable!”

Weird, would guess it’s just standard sales tax for the helicopter ride? Oh, but maybe there are special attention-seeking taxes involved? Like when you’re waiting in line to meet Lisa Rinna and have to slip a homeless guy a $20 to scare off the better-dressed girls in front of you?

Me, who routinely gums mozzarella from the bottom of my toaster oven on Sunday mornings: “Oh wow! Like, less than other ways to travel?”

Claire, who had 14 bridesmaids, each of whom routinely eats half of their late night Chicken Fajita wrap treat and puts the other half in the fridge: “Wait, what?”

Me, a person who thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press before starting my vows: “What did you say?”

Claire, who maybe rides horses: “The property taxes.”

Ok so, I’m off track. Property taxes. We all know property taxes are when you have to buy your friend a breakfast burrito if you pass out on their couch watching Cher videos. I can do this. I will win this conversation and be respected by fucking Judy over there who just got “XYLOPHONE” in Boggle like a goddamn Commander’s Wife.

Me: “Oh, yeah. Interesting. I remember the weekend of the Glee series finale. I’m so glad I saved up—I didn’t leave my friend’s couch for 72 hours.”

Claire, who smells like elderflower and took ballet until her boobs got too big: “Sorry—I don’t think I can hear you! My ears are still ringing from double Soul Cycle today I think.”

Ok, we’re getting somewhere. I know this. I can keep going.

Me, who broke an ankle in 7th grade trying to learn Missy Elliot choreography: “Yea, you really have to do the double Seamless. Burritos and then that Daisy Sour Cream from the bodega. You know—by the really cheap Brie? And the butter from 1996? Make sure you specify the Daisy because it actually has a longer expiration date which is really important when buying Bodega Sour Cream on Seamless at 7:45am. Also, you’re going to want to ask for some poppers and Bud Light Limes. Especially if you care to be invited back. I mean, otherwise, you’d just be a rude person.”

Claire, who is now thinking about curling up in bed and going to sleep without masturbating or crying: “I still can’t hear you! But I think you said brie? I’m lactose intolerant and I actually abide by it because I’m better than you.”

Ok, I have to call this. They have pigs in a blanket over there and the bartender seems tragic in a really fun way.

Me, now drunk: “So, when are you having your abortion?”

Claire, still sober: “My what?”

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