Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Few Notes

Once, in college, I knew a girl who liked a boy who liked me. Then, that girl hated me. One night, as I quietly prepared for bed in my dorm room (my roommate always went to bed so early) I heard voices in the bathroom that linked my room to the next suite.

They were talking about me. More specifically, they were mocking me. I stood in silence and eavesdropped in horror until my roommate bolted from her bed and whacked that bathroom door, bringing that mortifying incident to an end.

I still think about how it felt, though, to hear people making fun of me. It's odd and even today, on occasion, I stumble into the same strange land.

* * *

With regards to the outrage I hear expressed over occasional mis-spending of the $2,000 FEMA debit cards . . . it sure seems to me that once you give someone something, it's theirs to do with as they please. So, if people displaced by the hurricane wish to buy something outrageous and expensive, they have that right. Why are people so outraged? Haven't they ever been behind someone in the grocery store who was buying something with food stamps that seemed to them to be inappropriate? Don't they know people who spend good money on cigarettes and beer while their children receive free lunches? This is just more of the same thing. People who get "free" money seem to spend it a little carelessly, if you ask me.

* * *

Twenty years ago, I met my husband. My summer roommate pointed him out to me and I pulled aside the curtains just in time to see him spit on the ground. He'd been running in the North Carolina summer heat and he was sweaty. He looked nothing like the Man of My Dreams. A few days later, we met after I made a smart aleck remark during a Bible study. Imagine. Me, being sarcastic.

Well, that wasn't a big stretch, was it?

And twenty years later, here I am, living happily ever after with a man who has ugly feet and a heart of beauty.


Blogger Julana said...

That is a great last line, Mel.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

Lots of times people mock who/what they feel threatened by. How embarrassing for them....really...

9:30 AM  
Blogger sallyrogers said...

The feeling of hearing mocking.... your post brings back a memory for me, also from college. I was in a bathroom stall and "they" thought they were alone. I remember sitting there, shaking, until they left and then crying for hours. The next day one of them smiled at me and I glared back. I wish I had had the strength to smile.

Love the part about your husband.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Ilona said...

"People who get "free" money seem to spend it a little carelessly, if you ask me"

I agree, I think it plays into a weakness of human nature.

I loved the comment on your husbands heart and feet, too. It's a truism that you have caught hold of in an eloquent way.

2:21 PM  
Blogger HomeJewel said...

Happy anniversary, Mel! Isn't it nice that his heart has more of a foundation than his feet? That will last you another 20 or so :)

3:05 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

From one to another, you have to be a little thick skinned if you're going to be a sarcastic, smart aleck. It puts people on the defensive and all they can usually muster is behind the back mocking. Psssh...yeller-bellied posers.

As for free money...I'm not quite sure what we expect from a group of people who have lived below the poverty level, many of them not even having a bank account let alone the financial education to make correct financial decisions.

It's hard enough for people with jobs and some money to be good with their cash. We wouldn't be a debtor nation if we were all prudent with our money.

What we should have given them was $2000 in a bank account, half of it frozen for a month, a debit card with a $100/day spending limit with no cash advance and some sound financial advice. Teach a man to fish and all that.

Lucky for you to have found an ugly footed heart of beauty because for many it's the other way around.

5:40 PM  

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