Live Below the Line: Days 1-3

Day 1
April 28th was not only the first day of the Live Below the Line challenge, but also my first day of jury duty. It’s okay to be jealous. I had to report to the City County Building in downtown Indianapolis by 8:00 am. To prepare for what could be a long day ahead, I had 3 eggs for breakfast and packed a backpack with a spoon, my jar of peanut butter, my box of raisins, and a book.

When I arrived, soaked from the downpour and a jerk who had sped through a red light and splashed me, I had to go through security. After x-raying my bag, the security officer said I couldn’t have a metal spoon since apparently utensils were prohibited. Okay, I can see the reason behind not allowing knives and forks, but spoons?! He said I either had to put it back in my car or through it away. I didn’t have enough time to go back to where I had parked, so I sadly threw it away. With it went my dignified way of eating peanut butter.

So far, living below the line was pretty rough.

Jury duty wasn’t actually that bad. It involved a lot of sitting, waiting, and chowing on raisins when I eventually got hungry. I did get to go in a courtroom for an attempted murder case (by shotgun) and participate in voir dire, where the attorneys for Indiana and the defendant (who had made the poor choice of defending himself) interview the jurors to make their selections. I was far enough down the list that they found enough reasonable people before they got to me, but the judge was cool and I was happy to experience part of the process.

After that, I had to wait around some more in case another courtroom needed me. I was craving some peanut butter and went on an expedition to find a non-threatening utensil. Luckily, I got a spork from the small deli in the building and could finally eat my peanut butter!

I was dismissed from jury duty by early afternoon. Later that evening for dinner, I had spaghetti, tomato sauce and broccoli. I also noticed that 1/3 of my raisins and 1/4 of my peanut butter were already gone. Not a good start for rationing…

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Live Below the Line food Instagram.

Day 2
Realizing I’d need to balance out the consumption of my food items, I had a sort of carbonara for breakfast with spaghetti, two eggs, and a little bit of tomato sauce. I had a smaller amount of peanut butter and raisins for lunch. Around then, a headache started setting in. Hopefully it was just caffeine withdrawal – since I usually have about four cups of coffee everyday – and not something else.

That evening, my boyfriend and some friends and I met up at a great burger and beer restaurant. I had to awkwardly refuse any drinks or food from the waiter other than water while my friends tried to share their food with me. It was kind of them, but I had to explain that I couldn’t accept handouts.

Later, some of us went to a comedy club for open mic night. The tickets were free but the place has a two drink minimum. I was torn between missing out on the fun and truly living below the line, but rationalized it was okay if I didn’t consume anything there. Luckily my friends shared two buckets of beer, which was enough to cover the two drinks I didn’t have.

After the show, I was starving for dinner and had spaghetti, sauce and broccoli when I got home.

Day 3
I started the day with two eggs for breakfast. My lunch was again peanut butter and raisins.

This day was my boyfriend and my third anniversary! We would typically go out to dinner to celebrate, but I wanted to stick to the challenge. I offered to make him a steak dinner, which he was pretty excited about since we had recently gotten a cast iron skillet for that very purpose. Before we went shopping, we went on a nice half-hour walk together, though I started feeling kind of lightheaded.

Shopping for his dinner items was surprisingly not that tempting since I felt detached from all the food I couldn’t afford. A good example is the Pub Cheese we bought. If you’re not familiar, it’s a delicious spreadable cheese. It cost $8.49 – more than I could afford in a whole week! It’s a pretty infrequent treat for us usually, but really put things in perspective while living below the line.

We had fun cooking together, though I didn’t share in a single bite. Luckily he respected my dedication to the challenge and didn’t feel too guilty about enjoying his spectacular meal. While he dined on steak, salad, Pub Cheese and fresh broccoli, I had spaghetti with tomato sauce. I still have about half the box of spaghetti left, but not very much frozen broccoli.

Continue reading about days 4 and 5.

In the meantime, how is Live Below the Line Week going for you? Comment below!

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