Monday, June, 2, 08

little debbies worked out fine

The one thing that made me think we were not so bad off financially was Little Debbies. Baba bought everything in bulk. Baba did all the shopping once he quit his job because he was home all the time and patient enough to go around and find the cheapest things. Buying everything in bulk was important when it was on sale because it was cheaper and would last FOREVER. I swear some things were never eaten.

Anyway, one of the things we had lots of were Little Debbies. I don’t even know if they exist anymore. But we had the chocolate peanut butter waffle bars, whatever the hell they were called, brownies (which I loved), zebra cakes (also delicious), and my least two favourites which were always available because everyone knows they suck: oatmeal cream pies and star crunch. The cream in the former was way too sweet and not even creamy and the latter was a mass of rice krispies stuck together with some sort of caramel and then covered in chocolate. Much like Merry Munchers these desserts were purchased because Mommy and Baba knew we wanted sweets. Much like Merry Munchers, I ate these last two, but I also did not like them. I guess it’s hard to complain about something not tasting great when you are still shoving it down your face.

I do not hold it against Baba for quitting his job. He did it on principal. He stood up for what he believes in, and that took a lot, especially knowing how it would impact his family. I am actually glad he quit working for the IMF. I know that I would have seen the world so differently. I would have seen people so differently. And I am fairly certain that I would be a major privileged AHole.

As a result of my upbringing, particularly the lack of knowledge around our financial situation, I have a strange relationship with money. I think I always will. In college I took out student loans and I worked at least 2 jobs the entire length of my undergrad – except for the three months I did study abroad in England, which my same cousin Ahmad who helped our family out before, paid for…cause he is awesome and does not charge interest like thieving banks – sometimes 3. All of that money, stupidly, except for a small amount I saved, was spent on movies, eating out, books, music, etc. I thought to myself, money will come and money will go. There is no need to save it. Of course, then I graduated and had a hard time getting a full-time job and knew that I would need to start paying back all those loans that I took out.

I have only worked to pay off debt. I have not worked for enjoyment, for love, for knowledge. My jobs after graduation have had nothing to do with my interests. And part of me is okay with that. Once I managed to get a job that pays my rent in NY and has allowed me to put aside a little bit on rare occasions, I found myself slipping a little into that same mentality I had as an undergrad: money will come and go, you can spend it. And while it is true, I cannot operate like that. The funny thing is, that as anxious and nervous about being unemployed that I was, when I did not have a job in NY I was happiest. I was creative and productive and wandered around a lot. There is a lot to do without money. And I could not fall back on my parents. I could, yes, call Ahmad. But I would not. It was a little bit of a pride and a lot of not wanting to have my cousin, yet again, come rescue an Agah.

I keep learning and remembering and reminding that I do not need a lot. I do not need name brands of the little that I do need. I do not need the many pairs of pants I have, the endless supply of books and movies and music, all the shirts, all of it. It is an overload of things. I have told myself this for years and I go through purges and get rid and then get more as if I might lose what I already have.

My relationship with money is one of mistrust, broken promises, deceit, and abandonment. I just have to figure out how to navigate through that sort of relationship.

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