Barely making ends meet?

Generally, I stay positive from day-to-day, with permission for an occasional pity party, but today things have gotten to me.  The economic news is bleak and though I do not usually subscribe to the mass hypnosis of the media on the state of the economy, now that I need a dental crown and my car is in the shop, I am finding it hard to keep myself from crying.

Fortunately, I have a job.  I am not in love with this job, and I am grossly underpaid, but it’s a job just the same.  Nearly 10% of the population would trade places with me in a New York minute, so I keep the belly-aching inside my head.  Still, it’s challenging to get fired up enough to shower, dress, and drive to the store where I work.  Since it’s retail, I have the “pleasure” of dealing with the public-the joy of which has been experienced by my fellow public servant, Jet Blue flight attendant, Steven Slater.  For the record, I was a stewardess for United Airlines, back in the day when the traveling public dressed in their Sunday finest, and being a “stew” was considered a glamorous job .  A little part of me applauded Mr. Slater for his actions, knowing only too well that after years of being abused, like the elephant who has been tortured for decades and finally snaps and says…ENOUGH…Steve exited with great aplomb.

But, I digress.  My fractured bicuspid needs a crown to the tune of $1475.  Speechless, I told the office manager that it was only one tooth that needed capping, to which she offered me a paltry 10% discount.  Thanks lady, but I don’t have dental insurance, nor do I have $1400 sitting around.  I, like so many of my fellow Americans, live paycheck to paycheck.

My beloved 2002 PT Cruiser, with 118,000 miles, all put on the odometer by me, said she’d had enough of the relentless and brutal heat of Phoenix summers, and just would not start, as if  saying…I need a vacation!  She was towed off like a sick person in an ambulance to the “hospital” for tests.  Right now, I await for results of her “illness,” with my fingers crossed that it’s something simple.  I live paycheck to paycheck.

At the moment I am also waiting for my Dad to die.  That may sound cold and callous to some of you reading this, but he has been dying for over a year…maybe even longer than that.  He has lost over 50 pounds, comes and goes mentally, gets skin tears that bleed nearly every day, and has a deep wound on his left foot that will never heal.  Add to that the catheter he’s worn for over 4 years, the recurring prostate cancer, even though his prostate was removed in 1996, increasing pain levels, and heart issues…there is just no way around the fact that he would NOT want to be living like this…if he were aware!  It is excruciating for me and my family and probably not a picnic for him.

My house is still my house.  I so appreciate that fact.  I was one of the fortunate ones who actually succeeded in modifying the loan.  Not something I was thrilled to do at my age, but it was the only wise decision I could make at that moment.  It does not help the fact that I owe $125,000 MORE than the house is worth by today’s market values.  I remain one of the original owners in my neighborhood.

So after writing all of this, I guess I’ll just allow myself a short pity party this afternoon before I go pick up my car.  By the way…it was the battery!