then again, maybe not
Closed for business

July 07, 2006

The value of things

The whole flood situation has meant I've spent more time than usual talking to my mother. Though, now that Atlantic City casinos are going to reopen, she may have less free time. She loves the slots. 'Cause you can drink and smoke in the morning, and you're not alone. I hope to grow up just like her. But taller.

We were talking about replacing shit in my place, and I was telling her that I'm making a budget of what I can afford to spend, before I get all shopping happy. See? I'm very financially responsible for someone with so many shoes. Shut up. I am!

Anyway, it got me thinking about the value of things, and money. I spent most of my childhood (and college to a lesser extent) as the poor kid. Not because I was poor, but because those around me were kind of rich. Now, I think the reasons my mom spent such a significant part of her single-mom salary on private school tuition are complicated. She's well-educated, and wanted to make sure it was as easy as possible for me to be the same. Don't parents want their kids to have more than they did? But, of course, there's more to a private school education than just good teachers and books. It's a different world. If I'd gone to the public elementary and high schools in my neighborhood, there still would have been good books and teachers. But there wouldn't have been handbells and a May Queen, and Viking Day and the Eagles orthopedic surgeon. And I certainly wouldn't get to learn about broadcasting because Dave's dad was general manager at a TV station, and go to Baltimore to go sailing on the Van Dykes' boat. Private school was a an education in a world that's not like mine.

There were certainly times when that was difficult. I'm sure it hurt my mom when all of her hard work and good salary weren't enough for me because I didn't understand. And, I imagine, someone with a less down-to-earth, no bullshit mother might have gotten a bit obsessed with the "finer things", but fortunately my mother would have none of that shit from me. I always knew the difference between what we need and what we want. And eventually I learned to value what I had, rather than covet what others did. And to this day, when I think about the privilege of buying a new sofa because mine got trashed, or going out to a dinner I can only kind of afford because the food is amazing, or having TiVo because I convince myself it's efficient, I always think about how lucky I am. Sure, I'm underpaid, but who isn't. But I can work where I do, and make a living supporting a cause that matters to me. That's certainly more important than having a fancy car (or a car at all in my case), or more expensive shoes. I guess my point is I appreciate the things I have or can get. Every day in little ways. Even when it ends in a hangover, or an inability to stop watching old episodes of Buffy, or embarrassment in an elevator because I realize I've been singing Tina Turner out loud with my iPod.

Wow, thanks...

Shit, you people are so fucking supportive. Cut it out, you're scaring me. I'm mostly finished going through everything at my place, and it's going well. I did take apart my computer and examine the guts, things look ok. I think the mysterious noise was from it being moved rather than any actual water damage. I've got a real post coming soon. Wait for it...

July 05, 2006

This mess we're in…

This post is dedicated to Marg, who not only agreed to sleep in my recently flooded, and new carpet smelly apartment over the 4th of July, but also kept my spirits up with days and days of Sex and the City dvds, and dramatic readings of titles of the zillion books I own. Thanks!

And this post is anti-dedicated (or something), to all of my bullshit "friends" who could only manage to be supportive for 5 days. Shit heads.

Thanks everyone here who sent their thoughts. I appreciate it. So, here's the update.

I'm back in my place, with a lot less damage than I feared, but plenty more than I can afford. I'll need a new sofa, desk and bookcase (or two). Other smaller things, curtains, cooking magazines, and almost all of my sheets and towels are also casualties. All in all, I think I got pretty lucky. My computer is still something of a question. It works, but is making a new, not at all comforting, noise. We'll see.

The thing that really freaks me out is it just keeps raining. We can't seem to go more than a day or two without a serious thunderstorm. I have very little confidence that my building did anything to protect my apartment in the future, so I'm scared it's only a matter of time before it floods again. So, while I'm working on getting things organized, sorting out the big mess, nothing else goes back on the floor until this shit stops.

Anyone know a place to buy good but cheap furniture?

Update: As I'm writing this, insane deluge outside. Needless to say, I'm a little distracted right now, so I'll only be posting occasionally for a while. And? Flash flood watch until tomorrow morning. This seems familiar somehow.