We Can’t Even Afford Boxed Wine

Last November I received an early Christmas present. And I want you to know that I’m currently fighting the urge to chase the rabbit trail topic that is “the Holidays” …even though that rabbit happens to be a big, fluffy, white one that I’m very attracted to.  I’m doing this for you, because I realize it would offend some of your minds if I talked about how my tree is already up.  Or how I might have hypothetically busted out my Christmasy music mix.  Or about how I’m currently wearing my plaid Christmas morning PJs while drinking hot chocolate and eating pancakes. So I’m not going to bring any of that up.

Being the top notch person that I am, I have opted out of bashing the former employer who screwed me over last holiday season.  Oh, you didn’t hear about that? Well, that’s probably because I’m so top notchy. However, it just so happens that the leaves aren’t the only things changing their colors around here.

Dear Nancy Drew,

If you weren’t able to crack that code, it means, precisely, that I will now be busting out the former employer who screwed me over.

Love, Blunt.

I wrote a heartwarming tale about how this crushing experience kick-started my freelance writing career [and this blog] in the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul book- Count Your Blessings, which will be released November 3rd.  When I receive my copies, I will post the PDF for you along with the others on my Words by Brit freelance writing website if you’d like to read it.

But I know you won’t.

So I’m gonna talk about it now.


Let’s just say when you work for a quasi-local bank that has a BIG RED sign and rhymes with ShmAMCORE, and you are one of the top performers in your department, and you’ve gotten Employee of the Month 6 times in a year and a half, and you just got a promotion, and you’ve had no write-ups or warnings whatsoever…. it comes as a bit of a shock to be let go like a cheating housewife with poorly highlighted hair.  The feelings of mere shock and paranoia can often lead to depression.

I’m not saying that’s what happened.  I’m not one to succumb to depression.

All I’m saying is that I spent a few months locked in my room with the blinds shut, listening to Joni Mitchell, watching Matthew McConaughey movies, and eating all the leftover holiday candy and pre-packaged food that I’d previously hidden from myself in attempt to get my body ready for summer.  That’s all.

I did receive occasional visits from the outside world. “The outside world,” however, consisted only of my six friends who were also axed on the same day.  They were the only ones able to appreciate the abyss of sadness that was my bedroom. We wallowed together. In sweatpants and silence. Every once in awhile a conversation would take place:

Unemployed friend: I need a glass of wine.

Unemployed Me: We can’t afford wine.

Unemployed friend: Not even the fake kind that isn’t even wine?

Unemployed Me: Not even that.  Or the kind in the box.


[in unison, as we looked at each other]:  SERIOUSLY?

Unemployed Me: Hey, did you eat all the Ferro Rochers!?

Unemployed Friend: Maybe. But there’s some Christmas tree Andes mints left.

Unemployed Me: Oh, awesome. Mints. Get out.

Something I noticed when going through this crisis, is that you’re not the only one who panics.  I think my mother might have been hospitalized for a short amount of time when she heard the news.  Then, of course, it didn’t take long [one month exactly] for my family to muster up some sort of inappropriate reaction to my lack of income.  Now is when I’d like to draw your attention to the picture above, where I am indeed sitting next to dish soap and holding individually wrapped toilet paper rolls with Christmas bows.


45 thoughts on “We Can’t Even Afford Boxed Wine

  1. OK, first, wow, I can’t believe that I am literally the first person to comment on one of your posts. Good timing for me. It’s an honor!

    Second, I need to go back and read your story from last year about getting let go. I’m not sure I was following your blog then and want to read what happened. Sounds sh*tty.

  2. Well. . .it looks like someone was trying to help! Thats nice. . . Try not to feel too bad, I’ve wrapped empty boxes and put them under the tree before. I was NOT going to NOT have a tree, but couldn’t afford any gifts, and the tree looked lonely. I think I might have wrapped a bar of soap or two. If I had known, I’d have sent them your way!

  3. I, for one, will never bank there in light of that story.

    Oh wait…

    Well, even if I knew where and what bank you were talking about, I especially wouldn’t bank there.

    (I’m not big on Christmas candy, but I admit that I stocked up on chocolate eyeballs today.)

  4. well u cant say that a gift of individually wrapped toilet rolls arent what you “just needed”. My mother has forever being the boring gift giver. She will observe your life, your habits and figure out exactly what you NEED and she will save that up for your birthday/christmas/wedding/barmitsfa/toothfairy experience.

    All my birthday’s consisted of all, some or one of the folowing: new pyjamas, new bed sheets, socks for school, school shoes, underwear and bras.

    name me one person who doesnt need toilet paper and i will give you a person that doesnt deserve that present! haha

  5. You gotta love family! You also have toilet bowl cleaner (for when you drink your depression away & have to puke, your toilet will be clean) and bleach wipes (to clean the cart handles at Dollar Tree, since when you don’t have a job, that’s the only place you can afford to shop). It’s the gift of a razor knife you have to watch out for.

  6. I give you a lot of credit for getting these businesses together. I think I would still be stuffing Andes Mints in my mouth and watching my backside continue to increase. Keep blogging. You’re too funny.

  7. I went through something similar. Right after I passed the bar exam I got my dream job and was happy and making great money – then got laid off 7 weeks later when they closed up their Illinois office and wouldn’t move me to Wisconsin. I went into a deep state of depression and drove everyone around me insane. Then I got my current job, which is the exact opposite of what I always thought I wanted to do, and it has turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise. Made me a new believer in “things happen for a reason.” On a purely selfish note, I’m happy you lost your job because I effing love you and your blog.

  8. First of all…wow, that SUCKS. Major, major suckage. But totally an act of fate, otherwise you wouldn’t have been led to this blog/freelance writing and we’d never be friends, true?

    I asked my parents for practical Christmas stuff this year, considering Lasik surgery is ruining my life while also significantly improving it. I really hope they don’t give me toilet paper, though.

  9. I’m not quite sure which employer you are talking about…. maybe if you made your clue a little clearer….
    I’m loving that you put this out there!
    As a witness, it was, and still is, pure bogusness.

  10. See, if I got laid off, my mom would continue to give me things like hand-knit caps made in France. As if I ever needed such a thing.

    or….pastry cookbooks, as if I ever make hand-made pastries.

    it’s the thought that counts, right?

    Blunty, I’m a cynic. Situations like this are precicely why I shop ahead and have a box ‘o wine in my pantry…just in case. We’ve got Obama for another three years, after all. Ru roh.

    And dude, depression sucks, don’t it?? (seriously!)

  11. but let me just say this…you are on what I call a ‘wild woman journey’ with your artistry, and I truly believe that it always pays off in the long-run.

    I think it’s a GOOOOD THING.

    In a very NON-Martha kind of way. 😉

  12. Let’s be honest here: You’re way happier doing what you do now. It may be stressful at times, overwhelming at others, but you’re not the 9-5 job kind of person, so it’s way better for your morale in the end.

    If only you didn’t write so many dating articles, I could use you (and your blog) as a viable time waster at work. Instead, it’s delegated to at home on my own time (it’s much better on company time) viewing.

    Oh. And hi. I suppose I’m commenting on your blog again. I know you missed me.

  13. I noticed the gifts of toilet paper and cleaning products…wow that was so sweet of them and all I got was new car rims and a kick ass car stereo….hmmmmm box O wine mmmmm delish..perhaps some freeze dried apricots and grandmas fruitcake also….hope your xmas this year is exponentially better…..zman sends

  14. I am just wondering how one or two stories in Chicken soup for the Soul has you drowning in your own purchased toilet paper. They sell alot more books than I thought.

    I’ll write one when they do “chicken soup for the sarcastic soul”

  15. Wow, I know what my kids are getting for Christmas this year! Thanks. I am all about practicability. Toilet Paper=genius.

    I have to get over this compulsion to hug you every time I read a post by you…I know you would really appreciate it.


  16. It probably didn’t feel like it, but I think they did you a huge favor. Clearly you are writing and you’re fantastic at it. You have to be smart to be funny and you, lady, are obviously a genius.

  17. “a cheating housewife with poorly highlighted hair”. God, your metaphors are good.

    I’ve been without a real job for about a year now. My parents are beginning to send me Craigslist adds about egg donation.

  18. First of all, There is nothing wrong with wearing Christmas pjs all year long. And I may have already busted out my NSYNC christmas album on the 1st of October.. I mean… its a tradition alright?

    But toilet paper for a present? I can’t say in my current state of poredom that I wouldn’t be a little happy for that literally shitty present.

    I’m sorry about losing your job! I worked in the mortgage industry a couple years ago and was right there with ya.

  19. I need to get on your Christmas list. I recall a time not too long ago where toilet paper was a luxury and decent deodorant a fantasy.

    It’ll get better soon, Brit. At least, when you have no toilet paper and deodorant, people tend to not bother you with their petty thoughts. 🙂

  20. @ Bearman: pyjamas… what do you mean by what the hell are pyjamas!? its a set of pants or shorts u wear with a shirt/top to bed to sleep in.. arent u americans the ones that invented pyjama parties? 😛
    or does this mean that you dont even get the concept cause you sleepz nekkid!??

    oh by the way mine too! why does mine say “watch your mouth” when i post!? and it gets moderated!

  21. I’m wondering when our trust funds are going to presented to us? Pretty soon, I’m just SURE of it. I keep expecting my phone to ring with the news of some lump sum found in my name, but it hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps on Monday we’ll get those calls? Monday would be a swell day for that to become independently wealthy, dontchya think?

  22. Losing your job? Wow that sucks, especially if you were a high performer. My spider sense says that a weaker direct boss may have had something to do with that, though I can’t fully relate to the job loss/unemployment experience myself.

    Wait, scratch that, forgot that I am America’s most beloved unemployed dad.


    Carry on.

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  24. blunty – why dont you start up your own magazine (online)? sell advertising space that sorta thing? u seem to be pretty good with all website building mumbo jumbo…

  25. I’m lovin’ the toilet paper with the bows on it. I was laid off once, and I was pregnant to boot. I look back at it as an opportunity to spend time with my son. Everything has a reason.

  26. Boy this site is turning into an abusive relationship.

    You blog, I respond, you disappear.

    Then you say I am so sorry I have been busy and I will do better and I believe you so I comment again.

    Then you disappear.


  27. Dearest Star on Top of My Christmas Tree,

    Oh, how I have missed your blunt deliveries. One day, I hope to be the source of an unemployment tale so that I can be an unshowered writer such as yourself.

    And to sit in silence and sweatpants.

    Hope I find you wrapped up in a bow under my tree,


  28. ummm…. I was waiting for you to put that craphole of an experience up for us. At least with all of us, we had our own built in support group… with candy.

    one of the six

  29. Toilet paper is such a sentimental gift………and with a bow.
    At least it wasn’t wrapped in newspaper with the employment ads yellow highlighted.

    that would be worse than the bad highlights on the cheating housewife!

  30. Oh where oh where has my Blunt Delivery gone… Oh where oh where can she be…

    Just sending you a “hello” through my corny musical lyrics.

    I miss your daily updates, wanted to drop by and check in on you! Hope all is well!

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