I was with my Dad the other day, and, as usual, he was out of Caffeine Free Diet Coke. Dad loves Caffeine Free Diet Coke.
“Wanna go with me to Costco?” he asked, “I have a voucher, so if you need anything, we can pick it up.”
As usual, my Dad joked about his inviting me just so that he had a slave to lug the 30 can case of soda. We both knew the truth, though: once again, he was going to buy me a few things, as he’s done recently.
I’m getting used to being divorced. This is a delicate way of saying that I have no money.
I have found out the hard way that if you divorce someone who chose not to work for twenty years (don’t ask)--and is therefore not all that qualified for anything--you are obligated to pay their legal fees as well as your own. So in addition to alimony, I’m paying a sizable chunk of cash each month as part of a debt consolidation program.
This means that I’m adjusting to a budget in which I basically come out slightly ahead for the month if I don’t eat anything. I feel like a twenty something graduate student, living on Trader Joe’s meals and the kindness of friends who invite me over and feed me.
And, of course, there is my Dad, who takes me to Costco, and buys me army sized packages of cereal. This time, however, Dad bought two items that made me reflect on the need to find happiness in the simplest of things.
Which is to say...Dad bought me coffee and underwear.
It dawned on me, as I was going through the checkout aisle, that coffee and underwear determine how your day is going to go. You get up in the morning, and the first two things that can throw a wrench in the whole day are not having a fresh cup of coffee, and not having a clean pair of underwear.
Because this past summer was all about shelling out a ton of money as I finalized the divorce--and because I’m a teacher and don’t get my first paycheck in two and half months until next week--my situation was becoming dire. My coffee supplies were running dangerously low. I started to imagine a life similar to that of Matt Damon in “The Martian,” where he has to live on nothing but potatoes.
As for the boxer brief situation, I’d rather not elaborate, if that’s all the same to you.
As the checkout person rung up the sale, I thought of those simple things that you need in the morning, and smiled. Dad had my back.
This, in turn, made me think about the friends I have (awesomeness), the job I have (more awesomeness), and the people with whom I work (still more awesomeness).
Most importantly, it made me think: I have coffee and clean underwear
It’s going to be okay.
Life goes on, and life is good.