My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

That Knot in My Stomach

2006-01-18
This one's for nimiiwin

Things I worry about:

MONEY: Basically, everything boils down to money. The fact that there is none. The fact that my paycheck covers child care expenses and the mortgage and that's about all. And I'm the one working full-time. The fact that between Dec 15 and Feb 1, my husband – an adjunct instructor for a state college – does not get paid. Because he signs a contract for every semester and one for the summer term. And only gets paid during those narrow windows of time. In a word, it sucks.

Groceries – why are things so expensive? Why? Why is a green pepper two dollars? Does that make any sense? No. We are not extravagant people. We don't buy convenience foods. We cook our meals from scratch using real things like fresh produce, beans, cheese, pasta, rice. Basic commodities that just should not cost so much. Why is EVERYTHING three dollars? I don't get it.

Why is the vacation industry contrived to punish families? When are the beach house rates the highest? When kids are out of school. When are they cheapest? When kids (and their teachers) are in school. This may be the last year we ever make it to the beach because Dusty starts kindergarten in the fall. My choices are a 3-day off-season rental in May – and taking Dusty out of school for three days that I doubt she'll miss - or a full week rental in-season that is so unbelievably costly, I might have to sell my uterus (which frankly, I don't really need anymore) to afford. There are no 3-day rentals in-season, which is what we can barely afford. In season? We can only afford something as far away from the beach as our own house. So, perhaps we'll just commute to the beach every day for a week.

I do understand that some of the thinking behind these prices is that you can afford this because you gather up 100 of your closest relatives or friends, split the costs, and cram them all into a 6-bedroom beach house. I don't have any friends or relatives that can: a) go on vacation when we can (or want to spend their vacation with us, or b) afford even what it would cost to split it 12,548 ways. What's a beach lover to do? Please, don't suggest camping. I'd rather perform psychic surgery on myself (removing said uterus) than spend a night in a tent. No, thank you. So, I ponder and consider the options. Any ideas? Ones that involve air conditioning and indoor plumbing? Oh, and electricity? I've think I've mentioned my love for electricity before.

JOB: God, I don't know. I like my job, most days. I don't talk about my job because that's not the purpose of this journal. Plus, I'd hate to get Dooced. But, here's what's happening in my world and why entries may be fewer and farther between than ever….for a while. My boss? He's resigning at the end of the month. Why? New president beginning Feb 1. This is the kind of thing that happens in the fund raising world all the time. There is a lot of confusion and jostling for position going on. Idiots are being revealed. Fingers are being pointed. Communication is worse than ever. It's, shall we just say, not a happy place.

Plus, I'm really fucking sick of sharing a building (I work with 6 others in a former branch bank building) with a person who cannot bring herself to bathe or wash her clothes or generally act like someone the general public should be around. Why she continues to be employed is beyond me. The office I work in has a big sign on the front that says "Welcome Center." I share the space with the marketing folks. Everyone from potential students and their parents to lost Harley enthusiasts searching for the Cigarette Warehouse Emporium or the Dollar Tree Store wander in at any moment. Very often, they meet Stinky. Stinky has, I think, at the very least, a substance abuse problem. But, her biggest problem, as far as I'm concerned, is the SMELL. I object strongly to sharing a bathroom with her and her baggies of toothpaste and the Scope that's "hidden" behind the toilet seat. HR knows about this. But, no one has forced her to change her sanitary habits. Or, lack thereof. How does she keep her job? Hello, AA? Can you, um, help me out here? Christ.

Never mind that performance review time is right around the corner and I don't know WHO will be doing mine? I can guarantee, with no boss, that it will be by someone who cannot fairly assess what I've done over the past year. Shit.

GETTING OLD: I will be forty this year. I went to my ob/gyn's office on Monday for an annual exam and pap smear and she gleefully handed me the form enabling me to make an appointment for my first mammogram. I shudder at the thought. I mentioned that Red had so sucked me dry that there were no breasts left (I've gone from a C cup to an A – I'm back to training bras!) and I hoped they'd find enough flesh to stick in the machine, that perhaps it wouldn't be easier for me to just lay face down on a normal x-ray machine bed instead. She said, "The number one reason people get breast enlargements is because of breast feeding." Thanks, that's really helpful. I suddenly noticed that her breasts were, I think, a tad bit more in my face than the last time we met. But, that was a year ago and I'm not certain. We also discussed birth control and she got me all excited about an IUD. She LOVES hers. It's good for 5 years. 5 YEARS! 5 years of not having to remember to take a pill every night! 5 years of one huge less thing to worry about! She'll have her people call my insurance company to see if it's covered. I very much doubt it. Very much. It costs $500. See Worry #1 (see, it all circles back to that). So, if insurance doesn't cover it, I'm relegated to pills. What do you want to bet they'd cover a vasectomy? Of course, if I sell my uterus, I don't have to worry about any of this anymore.

MY KIDS: A no-brainer. I worry all the time that one of them will get sick, that when they get sick it's something horrible, that when I put them to bed at night they won't ever wake up again. I seem to be surrounded by death these days, everything from an entire family we knew getting killed by "robbers" (jury's still out on that one) to Bambi's mother finally being shot by Him (the evil hunter), to my dad giving me the Joan Didion book about death for Xmas (yeah, thanks dad!), to my current issue of Brain, Child in which TWO different articles discuss the death of a child. I. Don't. Need. This.

Sigh. Time to go pick up my reasons for being and count my blessings. I'll worry more tomorrow.

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4:46 p.m. ::
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