Friday, January 26, 2007

never enough

even though today is friday--a night designated for partying--i decided to stay in THE ENTIRE DAY. well, i did go to the bank and the grocery store, but i returned home as fast as i could and put my pajamas back on, and settled in to begin working on a bunch of projects i should have started a long time ago.

i even let john borrow my car until tomorrow, so i'm REALLY not going anywhere. there is a lot of work i could get done: some changes i want to make to my blog, a sales-rewards system i should be figuring out for work (because it's supposed to launch on sunday), and blah blah other stuff, blah.

so far, i've taken a jacuzzi, watched a show about the mysteries of the bermuda triangle, and read a bunch of blogs.*

that was all really great.
but then the day took a turn for the worse.

it all started when i got a call from a maral volunteer, who wanted to know if i could donate some money. now, nine times out of ten if you call me and ask me for a donation (or to get me to pay a late bill...), you will have no luck because i won't have any money in my checking account.
today, i do have money in my checking account, so when he asked me if i would like to make a contribution, i said yes and got my debit card out of my wallet.

then he went on to tell me about a 'contribtution plan' of some sort that they were recommending people should sign up for.
in order to sign up for this plan, you have to donate SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS now, and another SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS would automatically be withdrawn from your account in six months, FOR A GRAND TOTAL OF TWELVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE YEAR.

let me just say that, when i pulled my debit card out of my wallet, i was thinking more along the lines of a TWENTY FIVE DOLLAR donation.

but, after his 'little request,' i seriously felt like any donation i could make was inadequate.
after he was finished explaining the 'contribution plan,' he asked so, is this something that works with your budget?
i think i laughed a little, and said sir, i'm really sorry, but that is so far outside of my budget that i just had a stroke thinking about it. he seemed a little miffed, which is why when he asked me exactly how much i could donate, i said fifty dollars instead of the twenty-five dollar amount that i originally had in mind. which was ridiculous, because fifty dollars is not really much closer to twelve hundred dollars than twenty-five dollars is. in the process of doing this i explained to the man that this cause is really important to me, and that i wished i could help more financially, but it just wasn't possible. i explained that i would be more than happy to volunteer some of my some time, if they had any need for that. and then he asked me if they could automatically withdraw another fifty dollars from my account in six months. i was so pissed, i couldn't even believe it. and then, in order to show this man how upset i was that he was asking me for more money when i'd just told him how broke i was, i told him yes.

seriously, people.
this has been a recurring problem in my life.
i have a really hard time telling people 'no.'
so, if you need something, just ask me. i'll probably do it. i just won't be happy about it.

anyway, what really made me mad about this exchange is that i really mean it when i say i would volunteer for this organization. my sister and my mom and i went with a bus caravan that they put together a few years ago, to D.C. for the march for women's lives. i have signed a million forms and petitions, signed up to volunteer twenty different times, and even called a few times during elections seasons to see if they needed help with anything--licking stamps, making calls, whatever.

they never wanted any help--just my money.
and, that's fine.
i don't have much money, but i always help when i can.
i just don't appreciate being made to feel inadequate about whatever money i can spare.

when i pulled out my debit card to make a donation today, i felt good.
i felt really happy to help a cause that i really believe in.

4 minutes later, when i put my debit card away, that good feeling was gone.
i felt...yucky.

to be honest, it reminded me of the homeless people that often come up to me on the streets of ann arbor.
i usually keep a few dollars in my pocket, so if someone asks me for money i can give it to them without opening my purse. now, we could have a never ending argument about whether or not i should give money to homeless people, especially since i now reside in my parent's basement. but, for me, it is simple: if i walk by someone and ignore them, i feel far worse about that than i feel about losing two dollars. so, nine times out of ten, i give a person money. especially if i'm walking somewhere by myself at night--i find it's the best way to end an encounter and walk away as quick as possible.
anyway, the thing about homeless people in ann arbor is--you never seem to give them enough. the other day a guy walked up to me and said if you can give me $9.50. i can get two orders of french toast at the fleetwood. and, more often than not, if i hand someone a dollar or two, they say come on, don't you have some more in your purse?
seriously. i know it sucks to be homeless and poverty is a huge problem and it's terrible and all that.
but doesn't this seem like a bit much?

anyway, that was the first yucky thing that happened today.
i returned to the blogosphere to cheer myself up.

and then i found this blog, by way of amalah's mommyblog round-up.
and then i sat in front of my (wonderful, beautiful, and fabulous in every way) computer, crying, as i read every entry.
you should go read it for yourself, if you don't mind becoming completely depressed for the moment. but i'm sure they could really use all the good energy that people must be sending their way, as their story makes it's way through the internet.
what struck me the most was how, in the course of one week (although certainly it often happens much faster than that) one's life can change beyond recognition.
my heart is just aching for this family. but, in a way, i guess that's not a bad thing. it's good to let your heart ache for other people once in a while. it gets you out of your own everydayness.

and when i say 'everydayness,' i mean stuff like this:

this is me, using my (wonderful, beautiful, and fabulous in every way) computer camera thing-thing to investigate the oldness of my face.
because this evening when i went to the grocery store, i bought a bottle of vodka and WAS NOT ASKED FOR MY I.D. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. now, of course when i go to bars where people know me, i don't get carded. but at liquor stores and grocery stores and such? not only do i always get carded, but--more often than not--the cashier asks me for my identification in a way which leads me to believe that they really don't think i'm going to have one.
apparently those days are over.
something horrible has apparently happened since last week, and i now look old.
so i couldn't help but spend some time investigating my face when i got home. i won't say how long i spent doing this, but you can go ahead and assume that i took more than just the two pictures above.

oh, in the second one, i'm doing a thorough study of what i believe is the culprit in this 'oldness' situation--the nasty wrinkle in between my eyebrows.**

~if you have any other ideas about what looks old about my face, feel free to NOT MENTION THEM. thanks.~

anyway, a few other depressing things happened as well. i don't want to go into detail, because i'm ready to do something else now. the best way to put it is to say that i had a few experiences that made me sad about the state of humanity--which is very depressing sometimes.
i was watching this story, about children growing up in poverty, and i was particularly touched by the stories of moochie and the irrestiable ivan. it was...heartbreaking.

and then there was the story i read over at whimsicalnbrainpan.
her story is worth reading, you guys. i hope she doesn't mind me pointing you in her direction, i really don't--and if i find out it's a problem i'll delete this as fast as i can. but, i know a considerable number of my readers already know her story. for those of you who don't, i urge you to visit her blog and read her 'fire' entries. she is a great writer, with a great story; it's a brutally honest story of survival, with none of the sappy, swelling music in the background. it's just the truth, and the truth is hard for everyone, even people whose situations aren't as difficult as hers. cheers to her for her ability to tell it like it is--to herself, and to us.
now, i know she doesn't want my pity about any of the things she's been through. and, what struck me the most about her story was that what i really got sad about, throughout the whole thing, was when i was thinking about the person responsible for what happened to her. what really got me down--what really took me to a bad place--was being forced to recognize the absolute evil that exists in the world. it's sickening--just absolutely physically sickening.

so, anyway.
that was my day.

how was yours?

*oh. i just re-read this and i suppose it should be noted that i originally started writing this at about 4pm, but then i saved it as a draft and did other stuff for a long time. but now you have an even more detailed account of what i did all day. hooray for blogging!

**which b.g. always loved to tease me about, when it first appeared. but, now? nature has intervened. b.g. is having a baby, and what do children do? they give you wrinkles. or, at least that's what my mom always told me.


Blogger Just Another Girl said...

Sigh...I wish I could by Vodka at the grocery store.

1:04 PM  
Blogger D.B. Echo said...

Tiffany, you may remember a few posts back you were talking about switching to another blogging service, and I made some comments about "blogsnobs" who consider Blogspot to be the blogging ghetto. This comment was based on comments nmade by ubergeek Chris Pirillo back in October 2005, that Blogspot was "nothing but a crapfarm" with 99% fake blogs.

Reading this post, and reading the "Fire" posts on AWBIAP, I was reminded of why I demanded an apology from Chris Pirillo for having insulted and dismissed the blogging efforts of millions of people with blogs like yours and hers and so many others that I read that happen to be hosted by Blogspot.

As a result of what I've read today, I've reiterated my demand for an apology from Chris Pirillo in today's post on my blog. If he decides to be a man and finally offer it, you two should be among the first to get it.

2:36 PM  
Blogger D.B. Echo said...

I give blood every eight weeks. If you have A+ blood (or AB+ blood) and have ever received a transfusion, there is a tiny chance that you have had some of Harold's Finest running through your veins. I let this fact soothe my conscience when I have to turn down requests for cash donations, especially when money is tight. (I did donate after Sepember 11th and after Katrina, and I have a link to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund on my site.)

By the way, I hope you are SURE that you were speaking to a legitimate representative and not a scammer. You should never give out credit card, bank account, or other personal information on a phone call you did not originate. I will not even renew my membership with my local NPR station if they call me, unless they agree to bill me. I've been a victim of identity theft, and trust me, it ain't fun.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Mad Scientist said...

Very powerful post Tiff. I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I took the time to read the "Fire" posts, which is a big accomplishment for me because I don't find myself reading blog after blog. Especially not ones that are very long and expand into multiple parts. But I am glad I did this time.

I don't guess I have anything important to add. I just wanted to say "hey, I read your super-serious post" and that I hope you are no longer sad.


5:53 PM  
Blogger CSL said...

First of all, your face doesn't look a bit old, you nut.

Secondly, I completely agree. You know those doantion solicitation letters that come in the mail? If you start donating to a particular cause they gradually ratchet up the lowest amount offered as an option to check. At some point it gets high enough that I get overwhelmed and throw it away. That'll show them.

Finally, I'll check that link but at a later time. I'm supplying my own depression just now!

9:59 PM  
Blogger D.B. Echo said...

By the way, is that title a Cure reference?

10:33 PM  
Blogger Jen!! said...

yeah, i love whimsicalbrainpan's blog too. i was reading her blog initially without reading her fire story, and commented something Jen-Typically LAME to her in regards to life/unhappiness... like, something that could have just as well been my foot inside of my mouth. then i read the fire stories (because i usually space out important things like that) and i'm like, 'oh god i suck'. anyway, she could totally be a published writer too, her whole blog is great. kinda like yours, even if you don't admit it.

are you still moving out of the blogghetto? just curious. i thought up some really stupid blog names if you're still taking a poll and giving out prizes.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Jen!! said...

omg, i just read your other comments... (hello Mouth, it's Foot again!)

advance apology:

goodness, db echo, don't hate me for calling blogger "blogghetto". i mean it with love.

4:36 PM  
Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Damn that was a lot of money to ask for! What I find ironic is that over 80% of the money given to charities is given by people in the middle class or lower. In other words it is the poeple who can't afford to give that do the most of the giving.

I would be very happy to give you lessons on how to say no. To start send me $500. ;-) See, I bet it's working already.

Pffft! You probably stopped getting carded because you look like you are 22 and certianly not because you look your age. I was surprised when I looked it up in your profile. I thought you were about 23 or so.

Funny my mother always said that children make you senile.

Thanks for the shout out BTW. It is appreciated.

Oh and Jen is right you do have a great blog.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Elyse said...

I saw the show with Ivan too! It made me want to cry. Camden is about 1 1/2 hours from me I'm going to find Ivan and bring him a feast and steal him so he can come live with me. You can come visit him if you want, or I'll bring him to AA next time I visit

8:29 PM  
Blogger D.B. Echo said...

Jen, you shouldn't feel bad about your "blogghetto" comment. Not until you read this:

Then you should feel bad!

7:24 AM  
Blogger D.B. Echo said...

Er, Jen, just kidding. But you should read my post, anyway!

I notice that you too are posting in the Blogspot ghetto!

7:31 AM  

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