Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Like the closest friend you hate but can't shake

Last night Josh asked if being poor would have been less of a big deal to me if Dani and Alex hadn't been my responsibility. I think so. You can totally be poor and be happy besides that. But it's outrageously scary to be in charge of other people and not feel like you have the means to take care of them. I don't understand how Aunt Elaine never seemed at all bothered by all the things that bothered us. The endless roaches. The small space. The needles in the hallways and stairwells of the building. The random trails of blood. Hearing people being abused throughout the night. That one light-switch that sometimes worked, sometimes didn't. The kitchen cabinets that always seemed like they'd fall off the wall. The way things beyond your control go wrong even when you're given an opportunity to pull yourself up.

At work, I found a way for this company, my company's client, to save over three million dollars a year. It was such a shock that I checked like four times, because surely there's no way the only person who could find this pocket of money would be me. I'm new! How did they not notice this before? I showed my manager, and he barely blinked. Like it was nothing. Which I guess it is, to a multi-million dollar company. How could they not care? I went home and cried in the shower. 15 year-old me could have really put even a tiny fraction of that money to very good use.

Sometimes Josh is convinced it bothers me that he's so well off. It doesn't. What bothers me is when it seems like he doesn't appreciate it. What bothers him is I can't stop counting how much everything costs, even though he also likes it and uses it. When we're food shopping and he looks at what we have and asks how much we're up to, he loves that I can glance and give him an amount that's within two dollars of the total.

I am just sad. And feel guilty. And really angry about that $3 million. And I hate having All the Feelings.


Kizz Robinson said...

I work as an assistant in finance and regularly move that kind of money around. I think crying in the shower is probably the best human response I can think of. It's baffling and sad.

Anonymous said...

Shameless is my favorite show. I've always thought it was quite realistic in its portrayal of the poor. You might as well get over what big business and the government do with their money--all it will do is make you angry and it's not like anybody can change things. Save yourself some grief and try not to let it upset you.