Sunday, November 22, 2009

Who says we aren't industrious? And what I would buy if I didn't have to pay the student loan sharks

I waged another "Craigslist Campaign" for FSLDM the other night, and posted about the group, wonderful Rob, and used Paul's awesome logo. Even though I posted under the category of "politics," most of my posts for the group have been flagged and removed, but I am pleased to see that a few still remain up (one in Boston, and another in Rhode Island). It's a simple message.

I received nasty emails as a result of these posts, but I think it's more than worth it. I've gotten pretty used to critics, and the nastier they are, the more I seem to get a kick out it. So, for instance, one woman (most likely she is quite lovely, given her delightful language) responded to this Craiglist ad by saying, "get off your lazy a#&$% and pay your loans back! That's what my husband and I did. We did expect $#&!@ handouts, so get to work!"

She is clearly a kind-hearted and gentle soul who only wanted to inspire me to get off my lazy arse and work - bless her heart. Her inspirational message also gave me a chuckle, because in the last year I have had 2 full-time jobs, and have been volunteering for the movement full-time. That means I work 7 days a week. Perhaps she is familiar with the Soviet calendar under Stalin (he extended the work week in order to industrialize as quickly as possible). In that case, I am definitely lazy, and I will take her advice to heart.

Regardless of how many jobs I manage to hold down (right now I have a full-time job, juggle freelance work on a regular basis as a content writer, and remain a steadfast cheerleader for FSLDM), I barely have enough money to cover my rent, groceries, and, of course, my student loans. Let's take a moment again to discuss the things we'd like to have if we were offered some sort of reprieve from our crushing loan debt. What would you, dear reader, buy if you didn't have to pay your student loan sharks each month? You most certainly aren't sitting around on your lazy $%#@, as this enlightened woman above seems to believe, are you? If you are, I insist that you get up this moment and get to work! Ha. In any event, I invite you to share again. The last time I asked people to share these things with me, they had the simplest wants - one woman wanted to buy curtains for her living room, while another person wanted extra money for gas so that she could visit her friends and family.

If I didn't have to feed my student loan lenders all of my hard earned money each month to bloat them further, I'd definitely be a contributing consumer and buy goods from all sorts of places. For starters, I am not fond of my mattress. I would buy a new Simmons beauty rest immediately. Moreover, it's been ages since I actually purchased clothing, so I know I'd grab a pair of new jeans from Nordstrom (the folks who work in T.B.D. know their products, and make people look amazing).

I know that I am luckier than many of our followers, so I don't mean to complain. For instance, one woman wrote to me and explained that she's now the sole breadwinner for her family. Her mother has been gravely ill for months, and her father has had several serious surgical procedures. I think her story was one of the more difficult I've read lately, and I definitely shed an ample amount of tears. It is clear that she is certainly not lazy, and I found her concluding remarks quite inspirational. Indeed, I think she has more than enough on her plate to say, "I feel awfully sorry for myself." I think that would be more than justified. Instead, she just finished by saying, "I suppose we're an interesting [and] unusual case with the crumbling economy. I'm going to make an attempt to catalog at least some of it." She signed off, "thanks for listening :)"

It was an honor and a privilege to read her story, and I want to thank her for that. I found it more than amazing that she affixed a smiley face at the end of her message - talk about powerful. It would be interesting to hear what sort of purchases she'd like to make if she didn't have student loan debt and two ill parents.

In the very least, being a laborer again, just as my grandmother had been during the Great Depression, I think perhaps that I'm truly learning what Nietzsche meant when he discussed eternal recurrence . . .

Please share below what you would purchase if you didn't have to send your hard-earned money to the student loan sharks.


Hey! Look everybody! My boyfriend has just dropped by to say hello. I'm retrieving a pair of Prada shoes for a customer, just like my grandmother used to do in the 1930s. Aw. Cute.



14 comments:

Anonymous said...

A house would be great! Soooo tired of renting!

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

No kidding. I should have listed that one too. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I'd start saving for my retirement and I'd buy a house. Not that extravagant, just the basics please thank you.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Thanks for sharing. As I said already, most people just want the basics - a decent car, a home, some clothes, groceries. Those things are definitely not extravagant!

Anonymous said...

I would buy health insurance if I didn't have to pay my student loans.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Thanks for sharing. I receive so many messages from people who have suffered from a calamitous health problem (or someone in their family has), and many of them have gone into default. Countless stories show how interconnected the health insurance crisis is to that of the student lending crisis. I hope that you will be able to have health insurance and at some point soon.

Anonymous said...

I could afford to get married :( not a fancy wedding. But my fiance and I are broke, and can't even afford engagement rings.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Aw. I'm so sorry! You and your fiance deserve a nice wedding. These stories break my heart, but I'm glad people are sharing. If I were a billionaire, I'd be broke!

Anonymous said...

We would be able to afford an IVF and have a baby, since I was rendered sterile 7 years ago from chemotherapy to treat brain cancer.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Wow. Thanks so much for sharing. I hope you can have a baby some day and afford an IVF.

Anonymous said...

I could get my haircut more than once or twice a year. It grows really fast so just that would be nice.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

That sounds like a reasonable desire.

Anonymous said...

C Cryn - whats happened? I read your blog on a regular basis and also go to the forgive student loand debt page. I noticed that your posts have been changed to being by Anonymous. Whats up?

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

i noticed the same thing. are you okay?!? whats wrong? are you still a part of the group? i hope so!!