When Incentives Collide

21 Nov

The heat went out while we slept our little lives away on Sunday night. When we got up at 6:30 on Monday morning, the temperature was 50 degrees. Awesome. Thank god for the little bit of leftover quinoa bake from Saturday. It was a welcome relief to eat something warm instead of a bowl of cold cereal. I felt transported back to our cabin from four years ago when we’d dive into the down comforter like a hell hound was on our heels.

We(read: Denny) got the pilot light fired up on the heater, to no avail. The landlord said it took some time to kick back on if the pilot light went off. It had warmed up to a balmy 55 degrees by 6:15pm. My bright idea was to warm the house up with baking. The warm oven could radiate heat while making some delicious banana bread or cookies, brownies, any variety of sinful baked goodness.

Or, you know, run away. This was a perfect night to get the hell out of dodge and into a wonderful eating out situation. If not for having to admit it to our friends in this blog, we might have. I ended up making a tilapia black bean skillet with kale, as fast as I could, and washing dishes in near boiling water in order to keep my hands flexible enough to handle a fork. I think we’re hitting an excellent turning point, actually. We’ve gained some momentum from a few days of keeping ourselves in check, so it’s easier to keep rolling.

We did use one of our loopholes in the rules, and to be brutally, and shamefacedly honest, I did some self-bargaining Monday night. We still hadn’t turned in our keys from our old place 7 miles away, down a stupidly busy and traffic-light swamped road. The dudes have a new tenant moving in who didn’t want outstanding keys floating around in the hands of freaks such as myself, so we had to come up with an incentive to drag our asses over there. Denny and I suck at leaving the house once we’ve gotten home. Luckily, Denny had a $5 Starbucks gift card that he had from his office. So the trip across town turned into “Let’s take a really extended drive to a Starbucks and use that gift card.”

Not breaking the rules: Using a gift card to buy coffee.

Breaking the rules: Megan throwing it to the wind at the last second and getting a small sugar-laden Pumpkin Spice Latte instead of decaf with hazelnut syrup.

Result of breaking the rules: $2.35 spent on coffee.

Justification of breaking the rules in my sick little head as it made it’s split second change of mind: 2/3 of that coffee was paid for by someone else’s gift card, right? It was just the leftover. Denny can’t get a coffee without me. I need one too, and it needs to be awesome, or I’ll die!!!

It was liberating.

Yikes. This spiral of delirious addiction is why we can’t have one meal out a week. So much for using an incentive to get our asses across town without screwing up other goals.

I hate rules.



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