Monday, May 11, 2009

And we shall call it......OVERDRAFT

So last September I found myself dining with friends in celebration of my 27th year, and we came up with a glorious solution to a problem that affects all of us: in our group of a dozen or so girls, not one of us has an income that realistically supports reckless and frivolous monthly spending on luxurious items. 

Wouldn't it be great, we thought, if we could somehow pool our hard-earned money together into some kind of lottery, drawing one name per month - a lucky lady who would be the recipient of a windfall of cash. And thus, OVERDRAFT was born. 

Ironically enough, my husband actually came up with the name, because you see, the jackpot is essentially an interest free loan. There are twelve members and each one of us coughs up $50 per month (in the form of a post-dated cheque), so if you're an early winner you get the lump sum but have to continue paying each month even after your purchases have long been made. And if you're a late winner, you can look at it as saving $50 each month for a year and then blowing it all on yourself. And this, my friends, is the spirit of Overdraft: all purchases must be not only frivolous, but self-indulgent as well. We actually have an oath (it's laminated) (by Co-Founder Andrea) (who is an elementary school teacher) which states in part: "I will not purchase anything that benefits another human being." This is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the point is to treat yourself to a shopping spree without feeling the need to justify any purchases. Can you really afford this? Do you really need that? When it comes to Overdraft, those questions are obsolete.

Well guess what? Tonight was the 8th installment of our little enterprise, and it couldn't be going more swimmingly. We have really taken the idea and run with it. We have Co-Presidents, a Communications Department, a Creative Director (yours truly), a Food & Beverage Coordinator (because what is a girls' get together without wine and cheese?), and a Treasurer. The treasury is a key component of the game. The monies are collected and dispersed to the winner by the Treasurer, and stored in the "sacred clutch". The clutch must accompany the winner on all shopping excursions as she pays cold hard cash for the items she promises to cherish and covet. Some have purchased clothing. Some have purchased footwear. Some have purchased jewelry. All have purchased luxury.

We gather somewhere around the 15th of every month, at the home of the previous month's winner. It's kind of a "passing-of-the-torch" affair; the former winner displays her goods and presents receipts and then we choose a new winner by way of a reverse draw, and each person can only win once. The Creative Director (moi) designed name cards (also laminated) inspired by US one hundred dollar bills. The reverse draw is an excellent suspense-building procedure, as it ultimately comes down to two members, or rather, shareholders, who's names remain in the pot. There is total celebratory pandemonium when the winner is at last revealed with the final draw. The oath is recited and six hundred dollars are passed into the hands of a well-deserving friend.

There are many more rules and regulations that I won't get into here (for example, only 30% of the cash can be spent on "consumables" and "full-bum, run-of-the-mill granny panties are not an acceptable purchase and will not be tolerated by the Board of Directors." Afterall, that would defeat the purpose of Overdraft). But in truth, the best part of this entire enterprise is getting together with some of the greatest friends any girl could have, on schedule, once every month, and doing the things we do best: eating delicious food, sipping tasty wine, and enjoying each other's company. Oh, and spending money too, of course.


Pink said...

great post schaef!! captures the spirit of overdraft :-)

Meade Design Group said...

Happy Belated B-day Sarita!!!!!!!!!!!!

We totally need to do the Overdraft at the studio so we can willy nelly more.

Hoity Toity Baby said...

I absolutely ADORE this idea! I would love to steal it from you and start my own overdraft group!

Koo and Poppet said...

Hoity Toity,
It is seriously more fun than we could have ever foreseen! We're going into our second year....