close to the bone

We had a brief reprieve financially recently, with the arrival of our fairly small (as it should be) income tax return as well as some found money in the form of my dependent care reimbursement account from last year, which was not as empty as I thought it was. I tried to do the smart thing with the (really, very small) chunk of money and sent half to a credit card and half to savings; both are always nagging at me that they aren’t adequately taken care of – credit card balances too high and savings’ not high enough. But what it really bought me was a tiny bit of breathing room, which was much needed. Between the long, depressing winter and the long, depressing financial problems, I find myself more and more obsessed with death lately – not wanting it by any means, but the fear of it arriving too soon before I’ve been able to do something I want to do besides pay bills and worry about money. It’s hard to find any time to do anything else when worry consumes you. It’s hard to devote time to extracurricular pursuits when you feel like you should be working a 2nd job to bring in more money. Alas, even the meager wages I brought home slaving away in retail for several years are now out of my grasp, since being pregnant four years ago caused my back condition (spondylolisthesis, if you are a googler) to go from a grade 1 to a grade 2, so standing on my feet for hours and hours is basically never going to happen again unless I get a Dr. House-style Vicodin habit. Which would make selling people wedding china or watches or purses pretty difficult. Or maybe not, who knows. Maybe I could get fucked up every day and go work somewhere like Hot Topic, yo, and try to convince the patrons I am not an out-of-touch old lady with stretch marks and surgery scars so plentiful that my body resembles a road map. That probably wouldn’t work.

The breathing room is only mental, however, as I’ve kept the financial reality as close to the bone as I can so I didn’t spend what came in. But at least there is a little for emergencies. And I’ve got a birthday party to plan for a boy that will soon be turning four and who has expectations of having a big party at Memphis Kiddie Park with all his friends from school invited. Given the weather in May, an outdoor party with no covering overhead is simply not happening, and especially not at $15 a head. Not to mention which, it’s going to be an ugly surprise to my son that the very many rich kids he goes to school with have no interest in coming to his birthday party, just as their snobby parents have not responded at all to my notes or verbal suggestions that we get together for a playdate. Not to mention which, I will shortly have to explain to him that his best friend at school is probably moving away because his Dad did not get his pro sports contract renewed here. Oy.

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