Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Accomplishments and Disappointments

Perhaps this sounds vain, but I am always a little impressed with myself when I remember to do things in a timely manner.  Wait, that probably doesn't sound vain, it gives the impression that I set very low standards for my memory capacity.  Which could be because I am getting old, except that I have felt this way since I was a mere child, thus suggesting that it takes very little to impress me.  This is not really true, it DOES take a lot to impress me.  That's why I'm still single, right?  RIGHT?  Eh.

What was my major feat of remembering today?  Registering for fall classes.  I have done this many times now, but today was extra super momentous as it was for my FINAL semester of grad school.  Boo-ya!  Every semester I am secretly a "little worried" (transaltion = super paranoid) that my top choice classes will be full before I can get my name on the list.  Regardless of the fact that I have NEVER had a problem with this and have in fact been in the first 5 registrants for every class I have ever taken, I have always been on edge about it until I have confirmed several times that my registration is valid.

Now that the excitement is over, life is back to normal.  Oh wait, I have another story for you.  It is a story of disappointment, so prepare yourselves mentally to be sad for me.

As stated in a previous entry, my birthday was last week.  One of my family's birthday traditions is to call and sing to the birthday girl/boy, but only if one lives in a separate place from the birthday girl/boy and will not be seeing them to sing in person.  This meant that my brother, Michael, owed me a call and a song. To be clear, he did come through on both even though he called when I was at school thus resulting in a voicemail that I can now play back whenever I so wish.

The next part of this story came on Saturday.  I went out for a lovely dinner to celebrate my birthday, and my brother again chose to call me while I was occupied with other things.  I arrived at my parents' home to find my father on the phone with Michael.  After conversing for a bit, he handed the phone off to me as my brother had a "question."  Now, I generally do not find my brother to be a sneaky person, in fact, I think he may lack the sneaky gene altogether.  So when he told me he had a question based on my loan expertise, I was suspicious. 

My first inclination was, "Dear God!  He wants to buy a house!"  This is crazy to consider as my brother has been a full-time non-employed student for the past four years and is therefore not really in a position to make a major property purchase.  Thankfully, my initial assumption was wrong.  He wanted to know if his lack of credit history would negatively affect him if he was to apply for a loan.  When I inquired as to what kind of loan he was referring to, he indicated perhaps a car loan.

Side note - as I stated already, my brother has been in full-on student mode for four years.  He doesn't own a car, but he does drive one that my parents own and have paid off long ago.  It's not brand new or super sporty, but Michael is not high-maintenance and has never complained about it.  I was a bit shocked to think that he would be considering what is still quite a major purchase, but I gave him my opinion.  I suggested that one way to build credit would be to get a small store credit card that he could pay off right away.  He mentioned something about doing this at a outdoor sporting supply store that he and his girlfriend frequent, and I said this sounded like a good idea.

For the moment, that was that.  My parents overheard most of the conversation, but oddly did not pick up on any of the discussion immediately.  It wasn't until the next day that it came up over lunch.  I indicated that Michael may be looking at buying a car.  This did not go over well.  I don't know why I thought it would, but for some reason I forgot the fact that my dad does not like to hear about potential financial ridiculousness, especially as pertains to his children.

So... I backpedaled.  I speculated that perhaps it wasn't really a car he was interested in, but another major purchase that may require financing.  This led to a very sensitive but interesting possibility:  jewelry.  No, not for me and not for my mom.  But perhaps something for his lovely girlfriend of more than two years by way of a significant item for her left hand.  Got it?  So basically I took this idea and ran with it (in my own head).  Seriously, I was almost giddy.  (Mikey, if you're reading this, you now know that I was not kidding about my Christmas wish.) 

Back to the parents.  Someone sent a text to Michael regarding the car idea.  He responded simply by saying that he wasn't buying a car.  The lack of further detail further fueled my engagement-frenzy.  I even went so far as to mention it to a couple of my coworkers.  Finally, I emailed Michael because I was worried that I would go over the edge if I didn't confirm it further.

Before I received a response, I came home and emptied my mailbox.  There, in the midst of all the birthday cards and gifts was a letter from the same outdoor/sporting goods store that Michael had mentioned on the phone, offering me a credit card with rewards for their store.  At this point, the flashing light of realization started to blink.  If I had received this letter, there was no doubt that Michael had also received it.  Yet, I maintained hope that the entire point of the call was not just to ask if he should get a credit card.  The dream of more exciting things remained.

Until I read my email.  My fears were confirmed.  There will be no financing of engagement rings in the near future, at least not this month.  Obviously, this does not mean that I am giving up on my Christmas wish (he knows what it is), but I will have to be a bit more patient. 

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