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Friday, June 24, 2016

Truth in Lending

I knew the minute that I picked up my piggy bank that I had a problem. Here I was, 449 miles from home, and the money I had in my piggy bank -- the money I had painstakingly kept track of for months -- seemed to have dissipated in the three weeks since I forgot to bring it on my previous trip to Ohio. Once a year, I take the contents of my piggy bank, which is literally every single penny that I have saved over the year, to the credit union for the alma mater and deposit it into my bank account.

But this year, with me being unemployed, the money was not to pad my bank account or buy my drinks during my annual girls' weekend with my college coworkers. This year, the money was my gas money for a trip I hadn't planned to make -- the trip to bury my dearest cousin who was killed in a horrific car accident last week.

So, here I am at the credit union looking at my change. The bank was about half as full as I remembered three weeks ago. Just last week, I'd put in more than six dollars in quarters from cleaning out my purse, and it was clear that there was no way all of those quarters were still there. The quarters that I needed to make the seven-hour journey from Ohio to Tennessee.

I knew exactly how much was supposed to be in my piggy bank. First of all, I had counted it in May when I was supposed to bring it and forgot it. That day it was 46 dollars and some change. As I'd mentioned, I'd added almost eight dollars last week.

The bank told me they would count the money and let me know how much they deposited. I spent the next four hours in the car hoping that they would somehow tell me there was 54 dollars, but I knew they wouldn't. Since my father gave me his loose change jar for my high school graduation, I've obsessively kept track of my loose change, and I have the uncanny ability to eyeball a pile of coins and tell you how much is there. So when I told a friend, "There's no way there's 30 dollars in that change," I knew I'd be right.

Yet I hoped and prayed that I'd be wrong, because being right meant a lot more than not knowing how I was going to get the gas money to get home.

Twenty-two dollars. Thirty-four cents.

By the time the credit union called me with my final total, I was pretty angry, but when I get off the phone I was seething. I'm still seething. I have never, ever been this angry. Truth be told, I've never even been close to being this angry, and some pretty shitty stuff has happened to me in my 40 years on earth.

But, I'm trying to figure out what could be shittier than someone you think is a friend, going into your private room, in a home you own, and raiding your piggy bank. Not just raiding it, but in three weeks taking more than half of its contents. A contents that you had been saving for almost a year. Money that you needed to travel to your cousin's funeral. It's pretty high up on the despicable scale, if that's an actual scale that exists.

It was thirty-three dollars. Pennies, dimes, quarters and half-dollars. But it represents so much more. It represents someone whom I trusted to be in my home not only taking advantage of me, but violating me and making me feel unsafe. For just thirty-three dollars, my friendship was pissed on and damaged beyond repair. There is literally nothing that can be done to fix this that does not involve a U-haul trailer and changing the locks. Nothing.

I think the worst part is that even though I have no job and money is tight, I would probably have lent it if I were asked. There was no reason to steal from me except to be shitty. I am the absolute sweetest person in the world until you give me a reason a not to be. And once I am done with someone, I am done with them. And, for those of you who have followed my blog for some time, you know that if I don't trust someone then there is no place for them in my life. So, that's where we are.

I've made up my mind. It's hard to face the added living expenses, especially since I still don't have a job, but I can't have someone in my house I don't trust. I will not be disrespected, and I will not worry about someone taking my belongings in my own house. Will not.

It sucks to be treated poorly. I am trying not to be too hard on myself for obviously creating an environment where someone thought this was OK. I am trying not to be angry that I didn't get my $46 to the bank a few weeks ago. But I have absolutely no negative feelings about the decision at hand. I'm just done. DONE. Once I am to the point where I don't want to see someone's face or hear their voice, the options are limited, and that's where we are.

At least, while I'm in this place of anger I'm getting words out and making sentences and pretending to be some type of writer. I must need more angst for the words to flow. You would think someone with no job would have more angst. Well, I guess we're about to see with more household expenses.

I just can't imagine throwing a friendship away for thirty-three dollars. Of course, I suspect it's because there really was no friendship in the first place. Or it was a jacked-up version of friendship that I don't subscribe to. But, as I pointed out yesterday, Judas sold out Jesus for a handful of change, so maybe I'm in good company.