Most people I know are struggling these days…some more than others. For my profession, we collectively hold our breath each year as we wait for the magical word “bonus” to appear somewhere in our checks. We beg, borrow, and not exactly steal, but max out all the credit cards we have. Some of us have two jobs or perhaps more. I have just finished reading The Hunger Games, so forgive me if I am looking for the thing I desperately need to parachute out of the sky and land by my feet. So far that approach has not worked.
I plan my strategy and figure out how I am going to beat the “man”, I mean survive and still have money left over. Tonight my husband and I had to go meet with our oldest daughter’s counselor because she will be in middle school next year and apparently we haven’t started thinking about college yet. Okay, it wasn’t like that exactly, but it was like meeting with Effie Trinket so she could see what my “tribute” had to offer. We scored a perfect 12. My daughter gets straight A’s and likes math and science. The counselors eyes light up as she mentions that AP classes can be taken and we can get ahead in college. Hold up. College? The last time I checked, she was 10 years old, not 17.
She looks at my daughter intently and asks her if she has thought about a career. I lean over and kiss my baby on the cheek and whisper “You can answer her, it’s okay.” The truth is, we have talked about that a little because they have career day and she got to dress up like a librarian, but that’s only because she has such a voracious appetite for books and she felt like she could pull that off. At this point, my poor child looks like she wants to hide under the table, but my husband starts talking and I whisper to her again “You love science…it’s okay to answer whatever you think.” My child bravely announces she would like to be a…forest ranger. What??? You have never said that before in your life. Ha. All I can think of is Smokey Bear saying “Only you can prevent wildfires.”
The next part makes me wish I had a flask hid about my person like Haymitch, and that I can openly drink in front of this lady, but I mean, she is a guidance counselor. She starts talking about college and asking if we have started saving yet. Bwa ha ha ha. She seems to remember I make no more than her. Probably less. My eyes kind of glaze over as she talks about the cost of college in a few years…and by a few, I mean I have at least 6 more years to save. I might save something in that time. Okay, so who am I kidding. I will not save any money if I stay in my current profession. Sigh. The whole thing leaves me feeling a bit dazed…and confused. Like this:
Every day I work so hard, bringin’ home my hard earned pay. That’s right Robert Plant. I do.
“There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.” ~Adlai E. Stevenson