Once in a rare while I feel obligated to share a Life Lesson here.
Today, someone made a comment to another person, in my hearing, that implied that I was uneducated. It was made worse by the topic of the conversation, which was how expensive higher education can be. Maybe if my parents had been rolling in the dough, I would be properly educated.
Cue instant defensive anger.
But I kept my mouth shut and decided not to make big stink over it. However, its been bothering me all day. I mean, ALL DAY. The "Hey wait a second! I have TWO bachelors degrees. It took me SEVEN years but I did it!" It wasn't at Harvard or Yale, or Cornell, but gosh darnit, it is my degree, I earned it, and I'm still paying for it.
My parents never had much money when I was a kid. My dad worked long hours, especially on evenings and weekends, so my mom could stay home and homeschool us. We ate lots of peanut butter and grape jelly sanwiches, tuna, and mac'n'cheese. Mom used to put just $3 of gas in the car at a time, just to get us to the library. I remember being a happy, opinionated kid who was always dragging my cousin into one escapade or another, usually resulting in both of us getting grounded for at least a week. I don't remember feeling neglected, deprived, or "lower class."
When I headed off to college I always understood that I would have to figure out how to pay for it. I don't think the topic ever came up. Mom and Dad just didn't have the thousands of dollars a year to cover tuition.And yet, every time I called with some emergency, they cosigned my loans, sent me a check, and did whatever they could to see me through.
So you can understand why I get a little cranky when someone tells me that my education isn't good enough because it didn't cost enough money.
I was sitting at my desk tonight, gluing together some ornaments, stewing over today's event, and praying that I can just let it go. Do I confront the person or just assume it was malicious? Or assume that it was innocent and forget about it. Ugh.
What came to mind was this one moment in sixth or seventh grade, at church camp. One of the girls was talking about how someone told her she didn't look like her older sister, and I piped up with "No, you don't. Stacy is pretty." What I had intended to say was "Stacy is glamour-ish pretty, and you have more of a cutesy sporty look," but the horrified screams of my campmates drowned out the rest of the conversation and sent me running in embarrassment. To this day, I still wince when I think about what happened. And although I try very hard, even today sometimes something just comes out wrong. I have a chronic case of "Open mouth, insert foot."
Which really means that I should be the last person to throw stones and the first to assume it wasn't said the way it was intended. So that is what I am going to do.
In the end, the truth is, it doesn't really matter what other people think. I love my life, My car runs, my furnace heats the house, and my bills get paid. I spoil my niece and dote on my husband. I'm happily married, have a job that I like, family that loves me, friends that support me, and have more crafty projects than one person can complete in a lifetime.
And there isn't a college or a university in the world that can give me all that, no matter the cost of the education.