Monday, July 11, 2005

Jim and Della

I just recovered from an hour-long flood of tears and sobs due to economic troubles right within the confines of my own home. The cries of political protest along Katipunan and Taft Avenues seem to have been drowned out by my own financial woes. I just realised I can't live within my present standards of living.

I'm decently compensated by my present company in terms of salary level; I do get commissions every now and then; my dollar account is ripe for peso conversion (with the current rate, i'm close to getting 500 bucks on top of the purchase price); and I barely reach a third of my credit cards' limit every month (which I dutifully pay in full on the due date).

However, I'm also paying for a 7-year car loan which cuts my salary in half every payday; the same car I use everyday and gas up for once a week; I'm contributing a considerable amount for my parents to use for household expenses since they've both retired from regular employment; I'm paying for our cable subscription that sucks; and I'm probably the only kid in this house who could manage to treat the family out for dinner when they feel like it (and believe me, this family loves to eat -- and eat in style).

I used to think that if I didn't have much money I'd probably lose weight. Alas, I've gained more pounds by eating house food, losing the budget for weekly badminton games, and due to stress. Add to that my recent health breakdown which resulted in buying PHP2k worth of prescription antibiotics when all I had to do was just to lie in bed for 2 days and drink a lot of water to combat the fever and colds (I waited in the outpatient clinic for 4 hours just because the clerks at the ER told me I wasn't an emergency case -- yeah, like having a 41-degree fever is nothing to be alarmed about).

I don't want to think anymore about how much I used to make at my old job which required tons of paid overtime work; that's history and I'm glad to be with the people I work with right now. I just hate realising that I can't even go to Jollibee anymore to buy myself a 1-piece chickenjoy meal because it's too expensive. My resources are not as liquid as I'd like them to be, and my salary just goes from my personal account to the loans, bills and other obligations I have to settle, leaving me with less than a Ninoy to live off the next two weeks until another pseudo payday comes. Heck, I even had to force myself to get a haircut (the subtlety of which does not reflect its monetary value), when I used to love to go to the salon and have my hair styled while getting a pedicure-manicure. And the final blow may just be the reluctant decision to sell my beautiful Korg Trinity...

P told me he was scared of how I've enslaved myself in a "live-for-the-moment" lifestyle. Sana kasi kung yung objective ng "live-for-the moment" was carpe diem; but no, it's more of isang kahig, isang tuka. I feel guilty whenever I think about spending for myself, but I also make my family feel miserable when I rant about not having money while I faithfully credit funds into my dad's account. P warned me about this no-win situation wherein nobody's happy because both parties lose the pleasure of giving and receiving when you know there's not much to go around. We may as well be like the James Dillingham Youngs who bittersweetly discovered how one would go to extreme lengths to please the other one poignant Christmas evening.

Oh, well. Tomorrow I will earn my living once more, and my hair still grows. White.

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