if i don't get some sleep, and i mean RIGHT now...
see, today be international talk like a pirate day. no place, on no calendar, does it say, international play christmas music day! IT DOES NOT SAY THAT. so why is that radio blarin' out w/ greensleeves? not a man here knows.
my day started off badly, and before i even got up.
also, i'm a tad on a rage overflow from yesterday afternoon. my father's mother telephoned. now, in case the fact that i refer to her as "my father's mother" wasn't clue enough, i really, severely, extremely, DISlike this woman. once? she said she would help my parents out financially on the condition that they sent her a monthly budget statement. once? they had to cut a visit short when she and her husband got peeved after we insisted that he go outside to smoke, on account of my asthma. this past month? she invited herself up to chicago to see my father and brother, partly because she wants to see her son, but mostly because she wants to see her son w/out her daughter-in-law. none of us really like her, but michael at least knows how to keep his mouth shut under duress. unlike the rest of us, who suffer fools only with great blazing rows.
yesterday's call came w/ warnings. she talks to dad about once a week now, or at least that's the impression i get. every week, it's some new tidbit of What's Wrong with Elaine coming down the pipe from chicago. anyhow, we got warning that she, elaine, was going to call on yesterday, sunday afternoon, for the purpose of speaking w/ carolyn about her impending college experience. specifically, we all knew, about her impending college expenses. i think that woman's brain is constantly filled w/ dollar signs. it's like she can't think of any better way to offer assistance, and her offers always come w/ Strings. plus, she hardly ever bothers following through on any offers she makes. she once offered me a monthly college expences allowance, which i gladly accepted, thinking perhaps she'd finally decided to try being truly nice for once. i winged my thank you letter straight off. never heard another word about it. that was about the moment when i decided i was done w/ that woman. if i never heard another word about her or from her, i would be perfectly content to leave it like that. too bad yesterday occured.
when the phone rang, i knew it was bad business. it's like in horror movies, when the phone rings, and super-high-pitched violins kick into gear, and you just know: DANGER. it was like that. only w/out the violins, thank god. anyhow, i answered it, coz carolyn had, only moments before, gone outside to take some pictures and relax before her impending Conversation.
"hello, it's your grandma beckett."
[holy shit.] "hi grandma, it's meredeth, how are you?"
"i'm good, i'm good, how are you?"
[nervous!] "i'm fine, let me get carolyn for you."
"alright, dear. now, after i'm done talking with her, i'd like to speak to you."
i hand the phone to carolyn, who grimaces, and i run away. i go down to the basement to talk to my mother, who's doing this sewing project for church, and tell her today's Good News. she laughs at me. 5 minutes pass, and i go back upstairs to see carolyn w/ that grin on her face that says "lord, if i am not allowed to STAB this woman, quite soon, straight through the head..." and then it's my turn.
"your father tells me you're thinking of going back to college this winter. now, i'm prepared to make you an offer." [i'm not kidding, she said it just like that. i had visions of the godfather playing through my head. it's only by some godly miracle that i didn't recite some lines.]
"i'll match dollar for dollar whatever you save towards college."
[what am i, some kind of charity drive?] "oh. that sounds good."
"do you have a savings account?"
"...do you have a checkings account?"
[your tone indicates that you think my lack of savings account to be a serious personality flaw, attributable only to an abundance of drug use or some such thing.] "yes."
[perhaps taken aback by my threatening tone of voice,] "alright. well, after you decided, you know, whatever amount is what you've saved, you'll send me a copy of your statement and i'll match that amount."
... ... ... ...
because she doesn't trust me to just say, i've saved x amount.
the conversation continued:
"and something else i wanted to talk to you about."
[here it comes] "mm?"
"you may find out that college expenses mean you need to work full-time."
"you're 24 now, and you're parents are supporting you."
... ... ... ...
now, let's stop there before i pick up the phone and kick her around for that little statement. a) i am TWENTY THREE. i'm one of only 6 grandchildren you have, could you please be bothered to remember how old i am? b) yes, i still live w/ my parents, but that does not mean that i don't help them out w/ groceries, gas, etc, just as they help me out with those same things, not to mention the fact that i have my own bills to pay. does she think that i don't already know my own situation? does she perhaps think i'm some kind of lazy freeloader? does she think that going to college full time AND working full time is even humanly possible? i do need sleep you know. i would like to get good grades you know. bitch.
so i said, yeah, sure, whatever, sounds great, coz i'm not above taking your money and running, you cheapskate lying bitch, and we hung up. fool.
so there i was, on the one hand, tattered-but-still-breathing principles on the other. and then my mother solves the whole problem!
"or you could cash those savings bonds she sent you and start a savings account w/ those. then send her that statement, and she'll pay you twice."
i love you, mom.
so it turns out i have about $350 in savings bonds, sent to me by that same father's mother, circa 1997. most of them? don't reach full maturity until 2028 or beyond. did she really think they were going to be useful in paying for anything i might need to pay for before such time as i was able to pay for it myself? who cares, coz now she's gonna actually be useful, whether she wants to be or not. cash the bonds, start a savings account [which doubles as overdraft protection, i might add], and then she pays me again. plus i can save another $400 just like i was planning on doing before she ever stuck her nose into any of this, so that's $800 x 2, 75% of which will come directly from my grandmother.
aren't relatives nice?