Friday, January 30, 2009

now that's a trend of a different color...

i had to share this.  
my actual (edited) thoughts on this matter 
to come later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Twenty Something T____sday, 2.0

"I wish somebody would have told me 
that cosigning anything for anybody is a bad idea 
when I was twenty-five."
 -An Amazing Woman

Timely, eh?  "Twenty-Something T___sdays" is back and hereby renamed because 1) I am out of order for keeping this knowledge to myself and 2) I reserve the right of flexibility with regard to which day I post.  I picked this gem because we all need one more economic/ finance reference to wig us the hell out, don't we? While this tidbit came to me a few months too late, I think it calls to our attention the importance of financial health.  What does that even mean?  I'm not sure, but let's have a go at it.

  • Financial - adj.  pertaining to monetary receipts and expenditures; pertaining or relating to money matters; pecuniary: financial operations
  • Health - n. 2) soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment: to have one's health; to lose one's health. 4) vigor; vitality: economic health
I'm tickled by the fact that the definition of health references money.  I guess even the dictionary knows that finances affect our soundness of mind.  If I'd known anything about cosigning, I would never have asked my sister to cosign a student loan for me.  I think we each only had the slightest idea of what that meant.  I just knew I had to finish school, and she just knew that if she could help me she would.  Thankfully, I am gainfully employed and on my ish, so she has no headaches - no phone calls from my lender saying, "Hey, did T change her number because we can't reach her..."  My sister has probably forgotten that she even did this magnanimous thing for me, and that's just the way I like it.  We're both young professionals trying to make our way in this world, and the last thing she needs is something else to worry about.

If I'd known anything about cosigning, I would have thought twice about cosigning for my relative.  I thought cosigning could not affect my credit.  I thought it would be just a signing of papers and then completely out of my hands.  I thought that my Relli would handle business in a such a manner that I could "forget" that I'd cosigned.  No. Such. Luck.  Let me be clear, my Relli is a hard worker; a very smart person with integrity.  Relli is taking care of a family of five, and busting the proverbial hump to do it.  But Relli has a problem with authority, so if payment is a little late and the lender calls, Relli's all, "Get off my back, Jack! When I got it, you'll get it, Sucka!"  That's when Relli answers the phone at all.  If Relli doesn't answer, the lender sends me mail, calls me - like an excited dog, "Hey! hey, did ya hear from Relli?  Didja, didja, didja? You know you cosigned, right? You know the payment's late, right?  Hey! Hey!  Throw the ball yeah, yeah, yeah..." So I'm more involved than I ever planned to be.  So much for the requisite birthday cards and holiday visits.

When my relative came to me to cosign, I did take a little time to think about it and do some superficial online research. I thought about my sister doing it for me.  I thought about how difficult it must be to ask for such a thing in the first place.  "What if you say no," I thought, "and Relli can't get out of this rut? What if you say yes, and this training improves the trajectory of Relli's current situation and future?"  I believed in Relli, so I said yes.  I don't regret cosigning because we're family, and this is what family does for each other. (Right, Cosbys?  Winslows?  Anybody?)  Plus, it's not like this is a perpetual concern for me.  Usually, Relli takes care of business, so I don't even have to get involved.  But when I do have to get involved, my emotional state goes from worry (I hope everything's okay) to annoyance (c'mon, Relli, get it together!)  to thankful (I'm in such a blessed state that I can help).  Then the reflux goes away.

I'll take this bit of advice and put it in my pocket, or my wallet, as it were.  I don't mind paying it forward, as long as you pay it back.  Ya dig?

Here's a fellow 20-something who blogs more consistently and candidly about coinage (amidst regular life stuff).  Check her out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Meeting, A Menu & a Meltdown, pt I

HomeBoy has this friend from work, and she invited us over for dinner eons ago. We didn’t really meet the family, but good times were had by all. Upon parting ways we exchanged the well-intentioned but hardly definitive pleasantries: “let’s do this again”, “we’ll have to have you over some time” yadda, yadda, yadda. Not that it was untrue, you understand, it’s just that invitations like that (in my experience) have no real expiration date. The true meaning is not to plan another activity but to let the other know that your door is open to them. That’s the important part, I think. But then again, many social norms are lost on me…

Over a month ago, HomeBoy relayed the message that his colleague was, ahem, waiting for me to invite her and her family to our house. We were both a bit perplexed by this. Had we waited too long to return the favor of her invitation? Why couldn’t HomBoy extend the invitation to them? He and I decided that there was some cute, albeit archaic “lady of the house” undertone. (Well, maybe the archaic part was all me.) So, in spite of my nervousness about the state of our Queen Mum and how poorly I perform with new people and my neurosis about being Muslim enough I said, “Let’s have them over this Saturday for dinner.” And then I died.

I decided on a menu of salmon, spinach and brown rice. Halal and simple enough. I asked HomeBoy if he thought we should get a dessert.

“Well, she said she would bring something,” he said.
“Cool. What?”
“I don’t know.”
“Thanks. Thanks for that.”

I had to laugh because if one is preparing a meal, and a guest offers to bring something, not only do you thank them profusely but you FIND OUT WHAT IT IS. So there’s one less thing you have to worry about. He who was doing no cooking at all could not have thought to ask this important question. So I laughed because it was more cute than frustrating. Fine, I’ll buy a dessert. As the week progressed and the day of reckoning came steadily upon us, I started to get a little paranoid.

“Should we have appetizers too? Should I order some samosas? Am I doing too much?”
A blank stare, then a response.
“No, that’s a good idea. How many per person? How much will that cost?”
“I don’t remember, but I can find out.”

So now we have 3 courses going on, 2 of which I’m not even cooking (because I am a self-aware woman after all). So early Saturday afternoon we start to pick up the odds and ends for our evening of entertaining. We opted for mini cupcakes for dessert and a pita chip + veggie dip appetizer over the pricey samosas. Everything was feeling right. We came home, I started cooking, got dressed, etc. Except for my increasing heart rate and body temperature, all was well...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It Really IS Out with the Old

My high school boyfriend, who barely made the transition to my college boyfriend, is relocating.  He sent me this message today:


Goodbye my orange moon, thank you for your light and remember, Mr. Lionel is always the man


-The Former


 My response was this:


(my, that sounds finite)


this occasion feels like it warrants a more momentous message, but I will follow your lead and keep it simple. 

i wish you love, many adventures, hard-earned successes, opportunities for growth, and all the happiness a skeptic can hope for.  so long, sir.


“you say goodbye, and I say hello”





I fancied myself a creature of extraordinary relationships.  This boyfriend of yesteryear, he of the end of my high school and beginning of my college career, was my first real love.  We experienced an intense crush, a high school senior prom and senior trip (with food poisoning on the side), a sweet post-high school summer, an emotional breakdown, separating for college (he in the North, I in the South), his breaking up with me one semester into our freshman year of college, my beginning to date homeboy (who would become HomeBoy – peep the capitals, that’s significant) which felt like a second break-up, slanderous emails, reconciliation and innumerous well-intentioned but malevolently-incited freestyle battles.


I felt special for being able to say “I’m still friends with my ex”, despite that fact that he and HomeBoy are not fond of each other.  HomeBoy is supremely secure in our partnership (as he should be), and, to be honest, the friendship that existed between myself and “The Former” had become little more than bare bones.  I sometimes pondered the significance of our continued communication.  It had become a “2 calls per year” sort of thing – one for birthdays and one in late spring to discuss the anticipation of summer blockbusters.  (Neither of us celebrate holidays.)  There may be an additional call here or there to share a new piece of writing or hold the other accountable for the writing that isn’t being done.  But that was all.


I struggled with whether or not to make some sort of formal break, or just let it continue to decline – fade into obscurity.  Two phone calls a year would surely dwindle to one and then none at all.  I would go to a book store with my husband and kids (many, many years in the future) and see his name on a book and smile; he would do the same in a book store half way across the world (or at least across the country), and that would be that.  So when I received  this message today, I was relieved and yet… there was this teeny, tiny feeling of loss.  So I cannot boast “I’m still friends with my ex” anymore, but we are neither enemies nor strangers.  I guess we  aren’t anything except “he” and “I”.

It is as it should be.