Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Easy Come, Easy Go

Less than a month ago, my boss decided to give my coworkers and I a completely unexpected $750 bonus. As is usually the case in this scenario, I felt the virtual, electronically deposited wad of cash burning in my pocket. I resisted, however. My history with money isn't the greatest - there's a large mountain of debt that swallows my extra resources every month, I have an addiction to coffeeshops and CDs and shows and eating out (read: entertainment) that I just can't shake. I'm known to freak out about it on a regular basis. I've found it difficult to adjust to hanging out with people for whom money is no big deal. Money has been a HUGE deal for me, virtually since birth. Even gestures such as going to a friend's house for dinner sometimes end up feeling like I "owe", and I have trouble hosting and not feeling "owed". It's gotten better with time, but it's taken practice, deep breaths, release of control. I've decided not to let it get to me anymore. Virtually everyone has debt. In general this doesn't incapacitate them - it's merely a reality. A monthly payment. They still save for things, go on vacations, etc. So with this bonus, I decided to remove myself from incapacitation. I was going to SAVE my bonus. Then, with just a little more help, it would soon become enough money to put me on a plane to some other country that I've always wanted to go to.

And then it happened. That car accident I mentioned. $1000 deductible.

But that wasn't really the problem. I was lucky that there was an extra payday in July that I'd be able to use, albeit grudgingly, to pay for the repairs.

And then it happened. The jump off the pontoon boat into the lake. The completely non-buoyant eyeglasses that I'd neglected to take off sinking to the bottom of the lake, never to be seen again. The subsequent visit to Lenscrafters with a bill that nearly equalled my gross salary bonus.

It occurs to me that some people seem to ALWAYS have money, while others NEVER seem to. It occurs to me that I'm so, SO lucky that the car accident wasn't fatal or even harmful to any bodies, that I'm even able to have viable alternatives to paying for emergencies such as these. It occurs to me that I've already left the class that I grew up in, a luxury that most people do not experience. In that light, the tears on the pontoon boat seem a little silly. Too bad money isn't everything.

No comments: