6 06 2004

     Well, I’ve run into my first ever true bout of financial troubles, and I’m feeling a little bad about it. I’ve been hit with several bills at once, and suddenly it’s a bit overwhelming. I had to borrow from the parents, which is something I’ve always dreaded. It’s not a matter of having to owe them but of being a leeching son.

     I’ve avoided borrowing sums of money from my parents greater than $20 at any time because I figured I’ve received enough from them in my lifetime. Christmas gifts alone add up to an amount I’m definitely not proud of. What have I given to them? My love and being the best son I can be, that’s for sure. But I haven’t found a better way to pay them back (and maybe there isn’t one). Still, I feel like a bit of a bum.

     My dad made the point that, yes, I’m in school, and I’m not staying at home, so the borrowed money is very little compared to what they’d be paying to support me there. My dad’s already making loan payments that I can’t make, and I feel horrible about that as well. Money’s nothing to get super-stressed about, but it’s something that requires responsibility. I told Dad I’d pay him back, and he was like, “Yeah yeah.” I know what that means. He knows I can pay him back, and I know that about him. He doesn’t doubt my financial ability (stupid paycheck coming a month after I start working). He just doesn’t want me to pay him back. He loves me, and is giving me money not wanting to be paid back.

     That’s why I don’t get these prissy college kids who don’t work, who take tons of money from their parents with little thanks, and who have no set standards gradewise for keeping their tuition paid. Daddy just wants them to finish college so they can get a “real” job. Who knows? Maybe they’ll go and fuck that up, too! These people have no skills and bitch about school like it’s the end of the world.

     Maybe a taste of 40 hours a week could help them? If it was such a shock for me, I can’t imagine how they’ll feel when they won’t be able to take leisurely lunchs, midday naps and “exercise breaks”. Working, period, could be a pain for them, too.

     What kind of job can they get with their mass communications or sports medecine degrees? Probably a decent one if they hadn’t jacked off all six years of school. Now they’re working for good old pop because the fact that Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Mark McGuire, and Mr. T were all in their fraternity didn’t help them succeed at all. “But Delta Iota Kappa promised me a good job!”

     I can’t say there’s much more for me to bitch about on this topic right now. (“Thank God!” you say.) I’m just flabbergasted at the fact that people think college is a joke, homework always sucks, and binge drinking is an intramural sport. If they’d wise up, maybe they’d see that there’s an unfathomable number of things to get out of school that have nothing to do with classes whcih could benefit their entire life and make them more marketable/likeable.

     Oof. One final word on that: I rant a lot, and I’ll tend to put it foremost because it’s on my mind. Ignore if you like, since it’s more a matter of my opinion and mental health. ;D Now on to more pertinent personal reflection. We all love the juicy stuff, right?

     I ran into my kickass house fellow Curtis from my most recent stay at the wonderful UW housing. My buddy (also from my floor last year) and I hung with him and his friend. We got food and sat on a little benchy area facing the street and listening to a very good four piece band.

     As we were eating, we people-watched, which is a great hobby when you’re on State. We saw four girls walk by on the other side of the street and they stopped and looked around. They saw us (three guys, one gal) and come across the street. They were cute and seemed nice.

     They stopped right in front of us, still standing in the street, and one of them asked if one of us would like to take off our shirt for a scavenger hunt they were doing. The girl who asked was pretty much looking at me. They needed a picture with me to prove it had happened, too. I, being the smart man I am, said, “Hah, well, I’m not sure you’d want to see me with my shirt off!”

     I was smiling, and thought I was lightening up the situation at the time, maybe being funny. In hindsight, it was light enough, and I was just being insecure. I keep thinking to myself, Smooth move, dumbass. The girls were super-nice, and I was just putting myself down. The same girl tried to loosen me up as I was considering. “You have a really cute, smile,” she said, smiling herself.

     “Alright,” I said, “I’ll do it.” I took my shirt off and all the girls “woo!”ed at me. The first girl put her arm around me, and they took a picture. They then needed someone else to have whipped cream sprayed on their arm and licked off by one of them. My buddy BJ obliged, and they snapped a shot of that, too.

     After the girls thanked us and walked away, I cynically told my friends, “She was really buttering me up, telling me I had a cute smile.” Why did I think that? The girls seemed around freshman age, and it wasn’t improbable that the girl who asked me might have been attracted to me. Maybe I have a self-confidence issue… no, scratch that. I definitely have one. I didn’t realize that as much until now. I’m fairly in shape, but my body doesn’t necessarily show it, and sometimes I worry about what people will think. Whenever I hear people say, “You have to have confidence,” I assume that any guy with “confidence” is probably more than a little cocky. Now I think I’m getting a better idea of what they mean.

     I should be introducing myself to girls, not letting my friend do it. I should be proud of myself, regardless of what people say. I should take compliments which rarely come from members of the opposite sex and thank them, instead of thinking the worst about them.

     This is something I think of as a fairly valuable lesson, and I plan on meditating on it when I leave for Wyoming. I think a lot of good could come from it, and it might help me make the best of this lazy summer.

     Speaking of: I’m heading to Wyoming from the eleventh to the twentieth, so hold the parties ’till I get back. I’m going with a class for field work, and we’ll be heading to the whole eastern part of Wyoming and much of the Black Hills. On the way back, we’ll be hitting up some of the Badlands as well as the illustrious Wall Drug. I plan on having a blast with all eight people going, and I know we’ll  hit up every tourist trap on the way. The campgrounds we’ll be staying at are Bearlodge, Curtis Gulch and Hanah in the Black Hills.

Till next time, keep your stick on the ice.




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