I’ve been thinking a lot lately about going to Oklahoma for a month or two and working with my father. He would pay me in cash which means I’d take home about $400 a week. Not a bad bit for doing manual labor.
The thing is I live in what would be a small Midwestern cow town were it not for the giant university sitting on their grounds. Indiana University comes with 30 odd thousand students, plus professors, faculty, staff, and all of the miscellaneous companies that support such a population. So there are plenty of malls, restaurants, bars, and book stores, but very few other corporations. For the few decent places that employ here there’s that 30,000 pool of fresh faces with degrees (or soon to be degrees) in whatever specialized field a company would need.
Which means finding decent work is difficult. I am either under qualified or completely over qualified. Most of the jobs I could get right now would pay in the $10/hour range making my take home pay around $250-300/week.
Can you see how doing grunt work for my dad suddenly looks appealing?
I was very much considering it and had made up my mind to go when my folks told me they were heading out on vacation to Colorado and invited me along. I figured I’d take a free vacation and then spend a few weeks making some extra cash. With my severance checks still flowing in, an extra few hundred a week would pay off the credit card and make life much easier.
The only problem was that they were leaving this Friday which put me in a bit of a rush to get there, but without any obligations that didn’t seem like too much of a challenge.
Until I talked to my wife.
We had talked about me going out and working a few times, but the immediacy of the trip hit her hard. Plus, she said, we had planned a little birthday party this weekend and I just had to come to that.
Given the choice between a small party with friends and a free trip to Colorado I was leaning towards the mountains. But I had to play it cool and I tried to make it look like a hard choice.
Then I realized the book fair was the weekend after this one. Annually the Red Cross holds a weekend book fair. They have a huge warehouse full of books, and they are darn cheap. First night you pay a small cover and get major discounts. Next day it is free to get in and all books are half off. The next day it is five bucks for all the books you can stuff into a grocery bag. And then the next day you take what you want for free.
How could I pass up that. Well, maybe I could just send Amy with a list of books I’d like to have.
Ultimately, I decided not to go. Not because I’d miss my wife’s birthday party, nor that I’d not be able get my hands on some choice books, but because the season premier of Lost is next Wednesday. If I went to Colorado I might miss it, and that is simply unacceptable.
This is how low my life has sunk. I’ll give up stacks of cash and free vacations to not miss a television show.