Yesterday was rough. I headed out to give plasma (because we’re poor) and then realized our old apartments were across the street from the plasma center. I headed over to ask them about our security deposit, which they hadn’t sent us yet. I figured it would take me a few minutes to pick up a couple checks.
The first office told me I was at the wrong office. They had my husband’s contract (same management, different apartment buildings), but they couldn’t give me the check because I’m not my husband. The lady was willing to look it up for me, though, just to see if they’d sent it out yet. They had. Two weeks ago. To the wrong address. She wasn’t willing to cut me a new check (since I’m not my husband – and since she didn’t want the other check floating around in no-man’s-land), but she took down my (his) name and said she’d call if the post office didn’t return it within the week.
Then to my office. This time, a very helpful man gave me an envelope, thanked me for coming in, and I was much relieved. Until I checked the contents. My security deposit was $150. The check was for $47. I went back in to talk about my feelings, and about simple math. The man was still helpful, but didn’t know where the money had gone. After consulting the record, we determined that $47 had been taken out for utilities during the 19 days I lived there, with 4 other roommates. I skimmed over the huge utility bill to point out that I had been charged $10 for a failed cleaning check and $13 for the cleaning – after passing my final cleaning check. He couldn’t find it recorded anywhere. I’m still not sure where the other missing $80 or so went. He took down my name and said he’d call me within the week.
Thus frustrated, I went on to give plasma, waited half an hour, and was called to the front desk. Last time I came in, I had a proof of address that wasn’t within 30 days – but I had been there a long time, and they said they’d let it slide. This time, I couldn’t donate without a proof of address. (Can homeless people not give plasma?) I felt like crying. None of my identification has my current address, because I just moved. The man said he’d hold my record while I went home, if I had any piece of mail that had my name and address on it. None of my mail matches their records, because I just got married and changed my name.
I sniffled a little, pulled myself together, prayed for patience, and went home to find some mail. I eventually got back to the plasma center with an envelope with my married name and my new social security card, told them to compare the SSN to the old one, and they changed my name on their records. By the time I got out of the plasma center, it was dark outside and I had read a bazillion chapters of Les Misérables.
Now back to the poster at the top. I bought this at a poster sale at BYU a few years ago. It now hangs outside our bathroom door. It’s an old (but real) advertisement for Scottissue paper towels, claiming that an unhappy worker will probably turn socialist on you and all of a sudden, you’ll be dealing with a Bolshevik revolution. I’m a history major, so I’m kind of just a nerd about it. But a part of me just thinks it’s crazy hilarious that any advertisement would be so blatantly propagandist, and still sell paper towels.
Anyways, by the time I got home, I was so grumpy I felt like I was covered in bees. Bolshevik bees, perhaps. I was disgruntled, and considering revolutionary tactics. But then Ethan made me some nachos, and some of the bees fell off. And Ethan’s security deposit had come in the mail while I was out. And I realized that between the plasma and the checks – even if we got ripped off – we had about $180 we weren’t planning on having this week. And Ethan and I spent “family night” making goals and sharing what we’d learned from General Conference. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad.
And then this morning, Ethan started singing an impromptu Broadway musical about the Bolsheviks in the bathroom. And I’m starting to think my life isn’t nearly as frustrating as I tend to think. Maybe I just need to sit down, take a deep breath, eat some nachos, and sing about the Soviets. It’s a weird way to cheer up, but it seems to work alright. ♦