Lost Slots

Worry is weird – obviously we’re not starving, and we have enough equity in our home to take out a home equity loan to add a bathroom for Gerry. Gotta love the equity.*

BUT, we’ve worked for 20 years to GET that equity – and we realize that the way things are going we may be eating in to that equity in a very large way in the next few years [months?]

As my mother would say, “That’s why we earn it…” But is it? So that a healthcare CEO can earn 419 times more than the woman who cleans the toilets?

I can’t help but feel there is something to this beyond helping the insurance company execs become as rich as humanly possible. Or would that be as rich as inhumanely possible.

I think it’s all part of a plot to keep the middle class down (man!) Or, more realistically, to destroy the middle class and create a new lower-lower middle class of folks so broke and poor due to health care costs (biggest reason for personal bankruptcy! Oh, I forgot, we can’t really declare personal bankruptcy anymore – dang) Then we can finally compete with China to make those 2¢ American Flags the rich folks’ kids will put on their bikes on July 4th.

We are the face of the race to last place

Actually, I’m not sure if I’m such a conspiracy theorist – or maybe I am – hmmm, what’s your theory on that… But I do think there are powerful entities working to retain the status quo, and the status quo is – quite literally – killing us.

Just keep repeating to yourself, “We’re the wealthiest nation in the world, we’re better than this.”

Because we are.

Then sit yourself down and tell yourself, “I’m the most powerful person in this country, I have a vote.”

Because you do.

When I was so sick 4 years ago we rang up a butt load of medical & non-medical expenses (we didn’t have insurance, and although my doctor treated me for free, she couldn’t get my drugs or xrays, etc. for free.)

But we got through by taking out loans and living very frugally. When we sold our house in NJ this past year we made enough on it to pay off the loans we’d taken out at that time. Yay. Nothing like a fresh start, huh?

So it seemed like some kind of poetic injustice to have this hit us just when we felt a bit free and clear.

Lesson: Perhaps we’re not meant to be free and clear.

Better Lesson: This wouldn’t be an issue if we lived in almost any other industrialized nation.

Perhaps no one is EVER really free and clear, and this is the impetus we need to keep us striving…? It’s a theory.

George Bernard Shaw felt that a person’s unhappiness was in direct proportion to how much they had above or below their needs. The very rich and the very poor are both unhappy – only those who have what they need (and not too much more or too little) are truly happy. I tend to agree with that.

I just received an advertisement in the mail asking, “When was the last time YOU had a lifestyle makeover?” Every time I take off my friggin’ bra at the end of the day it’s a “Lifestyle makeover.” Every DAY is a lifestyle makeover.

With the sales from the Red Carpet Convertible (and for income reasons we are considering them as pattern sales) we’ve socked enough away to just about cover the accommodations in Rochester for 6 weeks, the airfare for the kids and part of the airfare for Gerry’s mom to come out. There are still (always!) other expenses, which is why I continue to work so hard right now. Knit, knit, knit!

But I’ve cut down on my teaching, writing and designing SO much that it’s really scary at times. And sometimes shops help me out by cutting my teaching down for me – this evening I received a note that read,

“[We] thought that to pressure you this spring with your family issues was not a good idea. Therefore, we let your teaching assignment ride. We recently filled that time slot and that takes care of us for this calendar year.”

Hey – thanks for the heads up!

It was a surprise, to say the least. I guess it does make it easier when I don’t have to make those hard decisions like ‘Should I teach this Fall?’ myself. That IS a weight off my mind!

But this shop is an anomaly. Most shops are being great about waiting with me to see how things shake out. They’re being very kind about letting me cancel at the last minute if I need to – even though it does mean they might lose a ‘slot.’ Dang.

How will things shake out? Someone, tell me – make a decision for me – buy me a crystal ball, f’crissake.

To be honest, if we’re not approved for SSD, I have NO idea what we’ll do. Oh, who cares, I have 3 full cartons of Diet Coke left, and I’m wild with a chemical high! (Thanks Rob & Matt!)

But if SSD doesn’t come through we’ll apply again. And we’ll get through. We’ll borrow, we’ll find help [thank you, everyone!], I’ll work my butt off, I’ll write a best selling book about this and they’ll make a movie. Renée Zellweger will play me (she’d be able to gain the necessary weight.) Bob Hoskins can play Gerry.

– You had me at ‘I love beer!’

We’ll become rich, Gerry will be 100% better, and the kids will have no cavities.

But then the tension and stress from all that extra money will make us fuss & feud, and eventually our newfound wealth will cause a divorce.

So see how lucky we are now? And with our newly organized front porch, we’re living the high life (let me tell you!)

*The more I crunch the numbers, it seems that the ground floor bathroom is going to be a good thing to have someday if selling the house becomes a necessity. Not that it will. Or will it?

I’m still waiting for that crystal ball…

Speaking of deliveries, my Staples & Simon Delivers orders came in today – 1 day shipping! Both were great (with the minor problem of the worm in the ear of corn …) but everything else in the Simon delivery was wonderful and we will definitely be ordering again.

And it just feels GOOD to have the back to school stuff in a box waiting to be shoved into backpacks over Labor Day weekend!

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