Thursday, September 20, 2012

Deep thoughts from Open House

Chuck and I went to Junior's kindergarten Open House this week.

I'm still depressed about it—but the triggers aren't the usual suspects. Sure I'm a little saddened as the reality sinks in of how fast it really does go (Junior's legs look like giraffe legs. I get his shoes and Chuck's shoes confused).

The triggers are the economy and, well, shit, the economy.

As the teacher prattled on about tests, scores, reading, math and homework, all I could think was,

Crap. What if the economy is still terrible when Junior graduates? What if he doesn't excel at anything in particular and ends up with a useless Liberal Arts degree, like every other poor fool who goes to college without knowing what to major in? Worse, what if he decides to be an English major? And he has $120,000 in college debt and the only job he can find is at the local copy shop? What if he's like my brother, who is almost 30 and doesn't have health insurance because his job keeps his hours just under the state requirement to offer insurance? What if Junior's student loans are so high he can't afford rent and has to live with me and Chuck? What if it just doesn't get better? And look, this teacher is worried about the alphabet?? Who the fuck cares about Dick and Jane! Families can't feed their children! Dick and Jane have to split a hotdog every night. They whimper in their beds. Spot is licking the kitchen floor for crumbs. Crumbs! Let's keep our focus!

When the teacher finished, I all but scraped myself off the floor. The economy hits home with me. Chuck's been laid off twice. Our house in Mulletville is on the market for thousands and thousands—and thousands—less than what we bought it for. My brother is scared to get sick. I've been bringing our extras from dinner down to one of our neighbors because I know they don't have enough money for groceries.

Everyone seems to be struggling. Well, not everyone

but I sure as fuck don't want to talk politics.

Love those kindergarten open houses. Can't wait to see what I glean from the parent teacher conference. Maybe I should pop a Xanax first.   

On a totally unrelated note, I owe efoods a review of some freeze-dried food they sent me.

I know it doesn't sound particularly appealing, but this stuff is delicious. In fact, we are saving the last two packages for a later date. They were that good. And we have time. The food doesn't expire until 2027, which, curiously, is right about the time Junior will graduate from college.

I guess I know what I'll be serving on his first night back home with us.

Review to come!


Leanne said...

I hear you. My oldest is just leaving home for college and I'm trying to help her get a degree which will help her get a JOB. And now, what would that be, I ask you? Yeah, no idea here either. And in Canada we supposedly have a strong economy compared to Europe and the USA. But at least we all have health care. Heaven help the rest of the world, is all I say. Sigh.

Patty Woodland said...

Ain't nothing you can do to change it so relax before you give yourself a heart attack. Take it one day at a time as they say ... My mother always told me that it all works out for the best and while it might not seem so in the immediate when I looked back she was right. Not that I would have ever told her that . . .

S said...

As a fellow CT resident, I can say that, yeah, the economy sucks (big "duh" on my part) and it's no fun to be living in one of the most expensive states in the union during such awful times. That said, Patty's got a point. You can't change what's going on on a national level, and there's little use worrying in what something might be like decades from now.

What you can do, if it really does give you that much anxiety, is control your own finances and work on saving, even if it's a little bit here and a little bit there. And guide Junior to the best of your ability and help him discover what he loves best so that he can change the world doing something he truly loves once college is over.

(Wow, end Little Mary Sunshine quotes. Maybe someone put Xanax in my cup this morning.)

Keely said...

Wow, I hadn't even thought of that part. I'm just having anxiety over whether my kid turns out to be the glue sniffer.

Well, crap.

LazyBones said...

Yep. I worry about this a lot. Less about when my kids grow up, than if we can maintain (our tenuous grasp on middle-class-dom) until then.

I recently read this apocalyptic-scary analysis about how the economy is in a death spiral. Their advice was: buy gold. I was like: bitch, I can barely buy groceries!

But then again, my parents raised me in near-poverty, with lots of love, and it all worked out just fine. So I try -really hard- to go the hell back to sleep when I wake up at 2am worrying like a mofo about all this.

The Kind Of Post — except the part where I don't "kind of" have 3 kids

I've been thinking about going back to work full-time instead of cobbling together my income with 7+ freelance jobs, part-time work...