I told someone not long ago that I’m glad to have recently traded my pretty decent poetry and scrambled emotions for pretty mediocre poetry and a decent life. Sometimes we’re just the more important piece in that puzzle. So, as a pallet cleanser for you and me, let’s take a taste of something that’s not poetry…
I was home schooled for a while, and then I got an undergraduate degree, and then I got a graduate degree. Apart from the debt I accumulated, I am an intelligent individual…or at least I am sometimes.
Today I was searching for apartments. Oh. My. Have I been searching for apartments. Let me just tell you that apartments are expensive if you live anywhere with lots of people. EXPENSIVE! And if you see a listing anywhere that is not expensive, it’s a lie. L-I-E. A lie to get you in the door where they can tell you that actually their rates are a little higher right now. It’s true. And there are application fees, administrative fees, pet rental fees, as well as your ordinary deposits and garage rental fees.
So here I was, lost in the maze of rental residences. And then, a light appeared. A beautiful apartment, not big, but close to my work and one of the cheapest I had seen yet. I rushed back to my parents’ basement (I know, shame and stereotype) where I’ve been for a few weeks while I look for an apartment. After running the figures with my mathematician father (who prefers to be called math-a-magician because he does math-a-magics) I found that the apartment was doable, but way, way too close for my budget. So I did what any perfectly sane, graduate-degreed adult living in her parents’ basement would do: I sulked.
I sulked and sat, and whined, and said “don’t you think?” to which he shrugged, and then I sighed. I was pitiful. After several hours I finally decided my performance was over and it was time to go to bed. And then I learned the magic of real math. While I sat on my bed I started thinking.
I looked at my pay stub, and I looked at the calendar. And then I looked at the pay stub again and looked at the calendar. I counted, and added, and subtracted, and almost got out the calculator. Instead, I switched out of that app and turned to my favorite contacts. I called my dad who was two floors up and going to sleep. And I calmly informed him that we’d have to look the numbers over again because I’d left out half my paycheck.
Take that, graduate degree.