Carl’s Column

Carl Tuleus | Contributing Writer | Oct. 30, 2019

Photo Courtesy Jessica Gratigny | Asst. Photographer

I couldn’t help but wonder, was I spending too much time at Starbucks or too much money? Honestly, why is it so hard to be economical and not feel like you’re Oliver Twist. I’m asking myself; do I need a better meal plan or a better me plan.  

What I’ve learned so far from being in America, other than that you love Chick-fil-a, is that y’all love fees. It is as if I am in one of Oprah’s TV shows, but instead of cars, it’s fees.

“You get a fee! And you get a fee!”. If I want to withdraw money – a fee! If I want to transfer money – fee! I’m starting to feel like you can’t even die here without paying a fee, and actually you can’t. 

According to the Tax Foundation, “Falling below the national average, the standard cost for funeral expenses in Georgia is $6,925, while medical costs associated with dying are usually around $12,250.” 

Still, what will they bury me in when there won’t be any trees left to make my casket out of after the climate change killed nature; sorry, didn’t mean to get that deep. 

One of the most frustrating extra costs, speaking of spending money, is how you don’t put the tax on the price tags. For a shopaholic as myself, this is the best sales trick I have ever encountered, or the worst might be a better wording. 

I did find heaven on earth though to get an outlet for my addiction: The Salvation Army. I mean the secondhand store they have down East Hancock Street. 

I’m telling you, I will be going to one of those anonymous-meetings and saying “Hey, my name is Carl and I’m a shopaholic,” while wearing a fine pair of Ralph Lauren pants and a polo shirt. I thought Macklemore was exaggerating, but literally all the clothes at the Salvation Army’s secondhand store are 99 cents (they’re having a sale). So, if you see me in a yellow Tommy Hilfiger sweater, knowing it was only 99 cents. Literally Oliver Twisting it up. 

 It’s surprising though, how you don’t realize the costs of going to college. Not only the tuition and fees; but all the hygiene stuff for example. Like the ridiculous amount of toilet paper we are using per week. Not forgetting that you live with three other people, but the stress-stomach from all the midterm angst. 

Tears don’t dry on their own Amy (Winehouse, not Lynn) and neither does our behinds. What I do though, is that I collect as much toilet paper from any of the public toilets that I can and bring it back to my room. Because somewhere down the line you probably paid a “toilet fee” to GC, and this is my only little GC gives. 

Your European Southern belle.