Pasta, again. I've come to hate fucking pasta. But it's cheap. When it's on sale, you can pick up four boxes of something or other for a buck. Throw a little jarred sauce on it, sprinkle a little parmesan, and you've got another meal. Tonight, my 7-year old is staying with me, and she opted for chicken noodle soup--her favourite. She'd live on it. Luckily, her dad fixes elaborate meals at his house, so a couple of meals a week of chicken broth won't do lasting damage.
But today, I'm really feeling it over the damn bills. Too many bills, not enough paycheck. I've already talked to the phone company--I have until Wednesday to pay them what I owe them. Next, I'll talk to NYSEG, and TWC, and the hospital, and my car insurance company.
I am extraordinarily lucky. I know that. I have an assistant professor's salary--but academia is not where you go to get rich. With two advanced degrees, I should be able to get a better paying job, but that would mean moving away from this small town where my daughters live, and I'm not willing to desert them. So, I'm stuck.
Most days, I blow it off. Tell myself, "it's only money." But today I feel badly. My oldest daughter asked for her allowance, and I had to tell her Id used it to buy groceries. I'd pay her on payday. She was gracious about it, but what kind of parent uses their 13-year old's money?
I love my life. I really do. I have amazing children. I have a roof over my house, a car, good friends. I laugh often and much. But I didn't expect to be 42 and living this close to the edge. I have no margins. I am fortunate enough to have friends who are willing to loan me money, but I wonder sometimes when I'll ever be in a position to pay them back.
It's only money. Why, tonight, does it feel like it's part of my identity?