I was on my way to bed, only interrupted by a hot shower, when I paused just long enough to think. And thinking led to indignation.
Today I turned in my grades. And before that, I went to a dissertation defense. (Congratulations to Dr. D.!) And before that, I read the dissertation, and there was grading in the mix, too. But in the midst of all that there was an email that I quickly clicked “mark unread” upon, and forgot about, until now, until my hot shower, until I paused just long enough to think.
Yesterday we finished the Christmas card, and this one restored the tradition of little newsquirks about each member of the family. “Can’t wait to play the bassoon” for Grace; “Loves olives” for Anna; “No eye surgeries this year!” for Karyn. For me, a brief quip that I “get in trouble with accounting.” Ha ha, funny, good cheer, with just a touch of mystique for the annual card. After sending it off to print, I started to consider that, perhaps, I really wasn’t being fair, and perhaps I was just using a single incident (that I remember) to associate all my negative associations with accountants. Really, this doesn’t happen regularly.
And then today, while grading and reading the dissertation, I get the email. “Mark unread,” I say, after I’d read it. And just now it struck me again. In four years of a program, I’ve never once overdrawn an account until now. And now, with thousands of dollars I overrun an account by $312, all paid to student helpers who were baking out in noonday, summer sun while entertaining a hundred children. So fine, I’ll fill out the new PAR fucking form, dear accountant. I know you were as polite as you could be, and I know it was overdrawn, and I know there’s a simple solution, and I know that this overdrawn amount took place back in August. But really, I was just starting to think I had over dramatized the trouble I cause. I thought I was exaggerating when I added that line on the Christmas card. So, thanks, I guess, for validating me. I’ll fill out the PAR, feel the shame you intended as you cc’d the email to six others, do my penance . . . and look forward to next summer when I have the chance to overrun another account, if it really makes your life that much harder.