There’s a curse that this particular Jennings girl suffers.
Because my sisters are wealthy (and I’ll explain what I mean by that in a bit), the curse hasn’t affected them much as of late. People keep vanishing from my life, and it’s not necessarily within my control. Old loves, new friends and acquaintances, that sort of thing. I’m wary of making more friends these days because I think inevitably they’ll disappear, give me the cold shoulder, leave me, that sort of thing. I went into detail once before that I don’t want to be alone anymore, but it may be just how it is with me. The more alone I am, however, the more introverted I become, and that only makes things worse. That curse, it’s how it is.
That curse, it’s preventing me from living a wealthy life.
That sort of wealth — the accumulation of currency — has nothing to do with dough, bread, cash, green, bucks, moolah, none of that paper stuff. Cash is frequently in my hand one day, then gone the next. Paper currency just isn’t all that valuable to me. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s certainly nice to have when I need it (the more adulting I do, the more often those needs must be met in a timely manner too) . However, it isn’t the type of currency that impacts my livelihood now the most. There are three types that do: Informational Currency, Emotional Currency, and Chronological Currency.
Informational Currency (may also be known as Reputational Currency)
There’s always a strange sense of…I don’t know… competition happening at my workplace among my peers. It’s a contest I never wanted to play to begin with. Frankly, it makes me awfully uncomfortable whenever I am forced to join in.
And I always lose.
Ever know that one person who has to one-up you in a conversation? Take that and apply that to a work environment. That’s what I mean. In my workplace, it can be illustrated best as follows:
Prof A: Well, I’m on the XYZ committee this year, so I’ll have so much to do while I try to get all my planning and grading done and take care of the kids at home.
Prof B: Oh, I know! I have all this grading to do, I’m chair for the ABC committee this year, and I’m the Coordinator for the (Fill in the Blank with Appropriate Schoolwide Event). Not only that, I have a new project involving (Fill in the Blank with Appropriate Assigned Task That May or May Not Contribute to the School’s Readiness Plan).
Prof C: Yeah, I’m on the XYZAB committee, the ABCDE committee, and the ABCDEF standing committee. Plus, I’m behind on all 8 of my classes, and I still have to go home and do all the things, all the bills, all the mundane tasks at home.
I suppose it shouldn’t matter, but the end result is always the same — looks of sympathy and pity. Woe to us for choosing our jobs. Whatever.
The Informational Currency comes into play when names and their respective fancy titles are dropped. The more names you know of people-in-charge, the wealthier you are, and the competition grows cold for me at this point. The other day, two of my friends from work were chatting around me about visiting an in-charges’ house, reminding me of the fact I was so obviously lacking in that sort of…well…currency. It’s good to know who to turn to in times of work-related need, I realize, but the Informational Currency one has should be used ONLY when necessary. There are always those who abuse their privileges and get on others’ shit lists.
Ever So Slightly Bitter Rant: Exactly how many times do I need to be reminded that I don’t have a husband or kids, or I don’t have a boyfriend or fiance or partner or lover or whateverthefuck? (OR even a best friend?!) Emotional currency, we’re told in so many words, is the penultimate key to happiness and longevity. If you have such love in your life, you are wealthy beyond measure.
Yesterday, I saw something that seriously scorched my insides, leaving me with that reminder that I lack in such currency. It was almost as bad as the time I learned my mega-ex-heartbreak was married with children. Anyway, I never told anyone this, but I’d always had this silly fantasy, like something out of a scene in one of those forgettable romantic movies, of riding along the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible, its top down, with my partner in crime, so to speak. I’d always wanted to see the sights there with someone I adored. That fantasy is now, officially, no longer. It was promptly destroyed when I saw pics of my ex-husband and his girlfriend doing that exact thing, like a sickening romantic movie montage.
I don’t know what was worse though, the fact he was living out my fantasy right there or the fact he had someone, and, yet again, I didn’t. I don’t.
Must be nice to be that rich and shameless. Is it all that toxic of me to wish for an earthquake right now?
This is a form of currency that just is and cannot be changed. If only though. It hit hard, my lack of it, when I saw two of my nephews last week during spring break, especially when I saw the older of the two. He’s thirteen now, and his appearance startled me. He’s filled out a bit, grown assured, and is unnervingly polite, so on the verge of adulthood. He still goofs around (13 year olds are still 13 year olds), but I can already see where he’ll be, what he’ll be, how he’ll be in five more years.
Then while at my father’s house, my father brought up the gift we’re giving him for his 70th this year. It’s going to be a ring melded from his and my mother’s wedding rings. It’s what he wants.
And it only serves to remind me of that type of currency that is slowly sliding away.
I’m 45 now, and that time, it’s probably more valuable now than ever. Even if I’m lacking in Informational Currency, which I couldn’t care less about (it’s just a job), I hope, at the very least, to gain back the Emotional Currency I’ve had and lost again and again, spent merely on experiences and massive regrets, resulting in tears every damned night.
In all seriousness, who the hell wants to leave a legacy of being perpetually broke?