Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Default of Me

A few years back I did something pretty dumb. Something I am kicking myself for right about now. And since you are all my dear friends, I guess I can share with you the tale of my stupidity.

One partly-cloudy day in September, I walked into Fort Knox with an empty cardboard box and asked to borrow $98,000. The clerk (I believe his name was Clerk Knox CPA) said, "Why yes of course! Right this way, young miss."

I followed him down a gold brick hallway and into a room containing one of the world's largest money machines. 

"This makes money," Clerk Knox said. "Take some!"

I held my empty cardboard box up to a part of the machine labeled "cardboard box goes here". Immediately, fresh money started shooting out. 

"Too much!" I shouted. "Turn off this machine, sirs! I have all I can carry." 

After signing my name on a line that came at the end of some words, I attended a brief wine and cheese reception held in my honor. I didn't stay long, and quickly found myself giving goodbyes all around to the good, hard working execs of our country's best financial institutions. Then I skipped out into the now non-cloudy September air. 

"What a great day," I thought as I made my way to the bridge at the edge of town. "Yup, great day. Well, that's enough blabber about the day--there's the bridge!!" 

I ran as fast as a person with a lid-less box of money can run. And reached the bridge without spilling one bill.

Once there, I looked over the side. 

"Perfect!" I screamed to no one. "Watch what I'm gonna do next!" I also said that to no one.  

I immediately turned over the box and dumped all the money into the murky waters below. Smiling, I watched as two fish took two big bites out of the faces of two Benjamins Franklin. And I waved/blew kisses to the rest of the pieces as they floated away to oblivion. 

Satisfied, I headed home to get ready for bed. Thinking the whole time, "What a great decision I made! Borrowing money and throwing it away was the greatest accomplishment of my life. I am going to sleep better than I ever have. And tomorrow I will wake up successful and rich!"

"Hmm...what should I do first?! I know! I will do a play in the center of town. And everyone will applaud me. I'll pose for autographed photo ops and sign each one with: Much Love, From A Rich and Successful Person. And then, after eating fancy chicken pot pies until I puke (that's what rich people do), I will swing by good ol' Fort Knox and pay them back every penny I borrowed plus interest! Gooood Night!!"

Okay so you probably just now called me a liar. Because, as you may have guessed with your smart brains...that story wasn't true (except for the part about doing a play). But I promise I had no malicious purpose for misleading you, my good buddies.  It was merely a tricky way of getting you to read a cautionary tale. Which you otherwise might not have read because most cautionary tales are BORING (example: Young Goodman Brown). But some--well-placed in front of the right eyes at the right time--can be quite gripping and effective (example: Gremlins).

There IS a timely reason for my caution-y tale telling. Today, after years of hiding in plain sight from scary people who hold a bloody note over my head...I started to repay my graduate school student loans. Loans that I will be repaying for the rest of my life.

And it's not the realization that I will be paying them forever that has caused my utter terror and delirium today. It is the fact that somehow, I spent almost $100,000 without even noticing. It's like I fell asleep and while I slept, the loans that once looked so appealing and harmless have now multiplied, hatched and are running crazy in my town movie theater on Christmas and they will never be contained!

The worst part is I have nothing to show for it save a dwindling elitist attitude that I am somehow awesome because I paid lots of money to learn. Money that would have been SO much better spent if I had carried it around in a box and thrown it into some murky waters. At least then I would have been able to touch it and see it for a little while before it was gone. At least then, when people would pass me on the street they would whisper, "There she is!! The girl that threw a box of money in the river! And I think she also won a chicken pot pie eating contest!"  Then I would at least be known for accomplishing something.

But as it stands, the only existing accomplishment that came from the money I owe is my diploma. Which right now lies locked in a damp, university basement filing cabinet. Awaiting the $25 processing/shipping fee I was never quite able to afford.


  1. I'd like to kick Clerk Knox in the shins once for you and once for me!! Any blog with a Gremlins reference is the bees-knees in my book! Been too long K!! - Des

  2. Des! You show up in the darndest places. Miss you. Thanks for reading! (I promise to include at least one Gremlins reference per week for you. Well, maybe per year.)