Image credit: Chip Bok @ Bokbluster.com
Happy Independence Day!
Unfortunately for me, the only fireworks I’m seeing are going off in my bank account because of this upcoming surgery. I’ll update my numbers in the not too distant future. I hope my long weekend gets better, because it didn’t start off well yesterday.
Yesterday, I walked into one of my favorite tea shops, where there were two girls in their early 20’s (?) standing near the counter. “Oh, are you two in line?”, I said politely with a smile as I approached. “Oh no, ma’am! Go ahead!”, one of them replied.
Record scratch. What? ‘Ma’am?’, I think to myself. ‘Ma’am??!!’ My smile faded to a terse grimace that appeared to continue to pass for a smile. I’ve gotten very sensitive to being called ma’am over the past two years. Not that it happens all the time, but it’s a stab to the heart when it does. No one did that to me before I moved here. Why is that? There are two reasons that I can think of.
One is that, in the time since I’ve moved here, I have
been cursed with, developed two laugh lines on the sides of my mouth (one of which is long and deep) that age me about 10 years. Thanks for that, stress. Wish I could afford to do something about them, but I can’t, except stress out about how old they make me look. Anyone else seeing a bad cycle developing?
The second reason is that this took place in a college town that also has a high school nearby, so there are a lot of young people in their teens and early twenties about. If you fall out of that range, you’re one of “the olds”. It takes armor plated self-esteem to see so many young women around with perfect shapes and flawless skin and not feel a little insecure. It never bothered me until after I moved here. Reality check, I guess.
Unlike Gwenyth Paltrow and Madonna who are under some serious illusions that they still look like 20 somethings, I need to face the facts. I’m getting old. I know it, but I still don’t like it. It reminds me that time is passing me by. I’m marked as an outsider. I spent a lot of years in college and graduate school and always felt like I fit in in college town environments, but not anymore, I suppose. Perhaps the students think I’m someone’s mom. (No offense to moms. I have one! :heart: )
Yeah. That about sums it up.
The next blow….
I got home after my depressing experience in the college town. One of my three roommates informed me that the rent in our place will be going up starting next month.
I knew it had to happen sometime soon because it’s been about a year now, but still. So how much higher? $25/mo $50/mo? No. Rent will be going up somewhere between $250 – $333 per month for EACH of us.
Damn! I’m currently paying $500 for my little room (squeaky twin bed included), which as I talked about here is waaay below market rate. It is a steal for this region. Now with the rent going up to $750 – $833, it will be at about market rate. It had to happen eventually…
This is what I want to say to my landlord…
“I am trying to save the world right now. Ok, just my world, but still. This will slow down my ability to destroy debt and save money. Tell the truth. You don’t really need to raise the rent that much do you? Don’t make me get out my lasso!”
Moving isn’t an option because 1) I won’t find much better at the same rent level. 2) Moving is expensive. 3) I have a surgery to prepare and pay for.
As much as I would love, really really love, to have my own place, it just isn’t financially feasible in this area; not if I want to get out of debt before I retire. It’s a sacrifice that I have to keep making. I have little choice but to pay the rent increase. My number one priority is surviving this surgery with no complications and healing properly. I can’t handle any other instability at the same time.
You know, I’ve noticed that my right eye starts twitching when I get stressed. I thought that was a joke for sitcoms and cartoons. No, it’s real!! I’ve started taking breaks or finding distractions when it happens, but I need to do more. I’m not going to let my worries take me down.
I’ve been considering making some changes in my budget to help make things easier in the short term. I’ll write about that later.
Until then, if you are in the U.S., enjoy the Fourth of July holiday weekend. I hope the skies are clear where you are to enjoy the fireworks. Flaws and all, we live in a great country.It’s good to take time to remember that.
Oh, and if you don’t know who Mr. Bill or Wonder Woman are…sigh… you’re just… too young. Google them!