As it turns out, my family didn't have a lot of money growing up. But back then, I was happily ignorant about money, status and social order. I didn't know that clipping coupons, buying generics and making an entire meal out of chicken bones and an onion is not necessarily a universal experience.
One of the myriad ways my mom helped cheat bankruptcy was by buying "end meats" at the grocery store deli counter, which were the nubs at the end of the tubes of salami/bologna/ham that they couldn't slice anymore, for fear of adding some finger to your order. I could tell from the looks the deli guys gave us that my mom was making yet another unabashed attempt to pinch yet another penny completely dry. This was embarassing. Somehow, I always assumed her frugality was a bad personality trait instead of mere survival. I figured that she enjoyed seeing us eat our dollar corn flakes and sucking on nubs of meat instead of the decedent middles. That she always wore the same two outfits and drove a ten-year-old car never occurred to me. Anyhow, I always thought that the phrase "making ends meet" was "making ends meat", meaning that one was making at least enough money to afford ends meat. Same meaning, different way of getting there. Aren't kids cute?
Lately all of my fears about this business making enough money have been threatening to rise to the bubbly surface. I won't say that they've been fully realized, we're still bobbing along, and although we should be able to eek by December, if business doesn't improve with the ski season, we are completely and utterly screwed. I'm not sure what we would do. I'm already doing work for my old job and am stretched as thinly as possible, and although the Cap'n is working his ass off, we won't likely have anyone renting the place in the city before February.
Basically, I'm beginning to freak a bit out. Cue panicked midnight arousals. Short-temper and loss of general sense of well-being? You're up next. Financial ruin? We're not sure, but stay in the neighborhood, we may need you to be on deck at any point.
The funny thing is that despite all of this, the work that I've been doing for my old office the past few weeks has reminded me how much I hated being an office drone. All the headaches. All the personalities. Despite being in shark infested waters, I am still counting my blessings. The most important of which is about to turn one year old.