Here is a list of things I feel guilty about, in no particular order (please note that this list is not complete and probably never will be – I have a Jewish dad and an Irish Catholic mother, I will ALWAYS feel guilt):
1. I have things. Comparatively, I do not have a lot of things or particularly nice things, but I have perfectly acceptable, borderline excessive things. For instance, I do not have the newest iPhone, but I have one. I do not have the newest iPad, but I have one. Same with an iMac and a Macbook (do you see a trend). I got these things by buying AJ’s old devices from him when he upgrades to the newest version, but the fact is, a lot of people at my salary level do not have four “i” products. The iMac was something I bought with student loan money and will actually be paying off for the rest of my life – but again, I have never had to use a computer in a public library and I feel guilty that I have all of this so easily (not the student loan thing, that haunts me).
2. My student loan was frivolous and unnecessary. My dad paid for all four years of college the first time I went (which I feel guilty about), but in 2010 I got bored with my job and AJ had just broken up with me for the 5th or 6th time and so I felt the logical solution would be to go back to college for no reason and get another degree. I took out student loans and went to my alma mater, a private college. I could have gone to a community college and paid cash, but no, I felt I needed to relive my glorious college years which remain the happiest years of my life (except Sabrina wasn’t there and Sabrina is the best part of my life ever). So I went back to NDC and took two classes and then got pneumonia and had to fail out of one and barely kept up in the other. That didn’t stop me, though, I went for a second semester. And a third. For the third semester, I got a new job and so I just never went to the classes and never bothered dropping them. Do you see the dollars adding up? And to make it worse, when I got my loan money it was twice as much as I needed, but did I give it back? Nope. I bought an iMac. And I went to NYC. So I have a comparatively small outstanding student loan ($9,000) that I did not need to have and I have the gall to complain about it when there are people with tens of thousands of dollars in loans that they needed to go to college for real, not just to go because they were bored.
3. My laziness/forgetfulness/lack of awareness. I feel constant guilt about these two things. The perfect example was actually not me being lazy or forgetful, but it encompasses whatever it is that I feel guilty about. Being unaware, maybe. My mom has recently developed horrendous pain, and I am well aware of this and constantly ask if she needs anything. I was standing in the kitchen holding my cat watching her put away heavy pots and pans, and I did not do a thing to help. It just did not even occur to me. Then she finished and said “I’ll get that for you, mom, I know how much pain you’re in”. Then I felt awful and I said I totally would have done it, and she should have asked. (she should have). But I have lived with this woman for 36 years and I know that she does not ask, she waits until you do not do something and then gets mad at you for not doing it, even though you were not asked to. So then she goes on to put more heavy things in another cupboard, and I stood there holding my cat. Again, it just DID NOT occur to me that this was something I should take over. Then she stood up and said “You could have done that”, and I said “Why didn’t you ask me?? We just went over this a few seconds ago!” In that case, it’s really my mom’s fault for not asking, she knows I don’t think of these things – but I have guilt that I am not the kind of person who sees that happening and thinks to help. I will do whatever you want me to if you ask or point it out to me directly, but if you are not direct, I do not do things. I want to be the kind of person who anticipates that someone needs something and just does it.
4. Location guilt. If I am at AJ’s house, I have guilt that I am not at home with my cat. If I am at home with my cat, I have guilt that I am not with AJ. If I am at home but not with my cat, I feel guilt for neglecting her even though really, she is the one who avoids me. No matter where I am, I feel like I should be somewhere else.
5. I have guilt every time I see someone broken down on the side of the road, pushing a shopping cart down the street, walking somewhere, being old….I feel horrible. Maybe they WANT to be walking somewhere, but I feel bad that I have a car and they are walking. Maybe they are happy being old, but I feel bad that they are old. No one wants to be broken down on the side of the road. But maybe someone is happy they have a shopping cart to be pushing instead of having to carry their bags. Any time I see someone that I perceive is unhappy, I feel guilt that I am happy.
So there’s that. Stay tuned for Things I Do Not Feel Guilty About. And here is a completely unrelated picture of Logan, Squeakers and Frank. Ask the Darcy.