philosophymom (philosophymom) wrote,

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On Edge

This week's Friday Five are entitled "On the Edge of Town." Is this a reference to some classic rock song? I Googled it, and the only result I got was something by Springsteen that doesn't mention pall-bearers or pill bottles. But you can see why I'd ask, right?

("Pall-bearers and pill bottles" sounds like something from a Lewis Carroll nonsense poem -- like "cabbages and kings.")

Anyhow, to skate near my edgy answers, read on!

1. If everything else about your life stayed the same, how well could you get by living homeless for a year?
So, what has caused this? Was it a natural disaster, or was it something less awful, like selling the old place and then having the deal fall through on whatever new place I had planned to buy? If a disaster, am I expecting an insurance payment? Or did I just go semi-bankrupt and forfeit the house?

To make it simple, I'll assume that whatever separated me from my home hasn't left me with extra cash (so, not a sale) or the expectation of same (so, not a fire I was insured for), nor was it something that left me with any more major debt than I already had (so, not a medical crisis that wiped me out and then some). Maybe the county has seized the place to quarter troops in ('cause that's allowed now, right?), and I'll get it back in twelve months. For now, though, I have no home, but my savings and my jobs are intact. My non-homeowner bills (car, kids' student loans, phone plan, auto & health insurance) are still gonna roll in monthly, but I have been meeting all those obligations with my current income, so that's all right. Same with food costs and other living expenses.

The principle challenges, then, would be finding a place to stash any of my possessions that survived the crisis, and then finding a place to stash myself. I think there's surprisingly little in the way of "big stuff" that I'd bother to keep and store, but I'm gonna assume that because of the part of the country I live in, I'd have to pay a lot to do it -- maybe $300/month for a storage unit? That's bad, but frankly, the savings in house-related expenses (cable, homeowner's insurance, utilities, taxes) ought to cover it.

That leaves stashing myself (and whatever personal items, such as clothing, that I'd need with me for day-to-day living). Is the question asking whether I could afford a small apartment for a year? The answer is yes; I have saved enough money for that. Or are you more curious as to whether I could expect someone in my wonderful network of family and friends to come through with a spare room for me, should an apartment not be an option? The answer to that is an even more resounding "yes." I am very blessed with friends and family.

If, however, you want to know whether I am resourceful enough to get by in the event that neither a rental nor a friend's couch were available, well ... now we have a question. But I honestly think that, in extremis, I could just I live out of my car -- sleeping in same, eating in restaurants, and showering ... ummm ... at the gym I don't belong to. Alas, the cheapest gym out there, Planet Fitness, has no showers. But I just said that my savings would cover apartment rental, so I know I could swing a (surely cheaper) YMCA membership for a year. That would take care of daily ablutions. With laundry at the laundromat, a P.O. box for mail, and my choice of three workplaces to hang out at through early evenings, I'd be pretty well set. My colleagues might not even know I was homeless.

Then again, where do people who sleep in their cars park them at night? And how do they fake a fixed address in order to keep their driver's licenses (assuming a fixed address is required for a license)? Oh, and how long before car-sleepers become nose-blind to what I imagine a car might start to smell like if one slept in it every night? Finally, are there enough blankets to keep warm in one's car during a Maryland winter night? Sadly, none of my workplaces -- not even the church! -- is sufficiently unsophisticated, security-wise, that I could sleep in my office without triggering an alarm. I figure the same would be true of that storage unit I decided to rent three paragraphs ago. (My OLD church, OTOH, is not too alarm-y, and I still have friends there...).

2. What song do you want played at your funeral?
"Be Thou My Vision" -- preferably hymn-style rather than too Celtic pop, but hey, I won't be there.

3. If you could have anyone to do it, who would you like to be the pallbearers at your funeral?
Pall-bearers, really? How retro! Right now I do happen to own a pair of caskets that I'm not sure what to do with (they were purchased by the Man and myself 25 years ago, along with shared mausoleum space, and awarded to me in the divorce), but I prefer memorial services to funerals, so it's likely that even if I end up in one of the boxes, it'll already be interred before the event. Still, I'll answer the question. One needs six pall-bearers, right? Or is it eight? Assuming that my three sons survive me, they'll take three of the slots. That leaves three to five slots open, but never fear: I also have three nephews and two nephews-in-law. We are a close extended family, and I rather hope that any or all of them would be willing to pitch in and help their cousins tote their old Aunt Philosophymom down the church aisle.

Jeepers, that was patriarchal of me. I mean, I also have two nieces and two nieces-in-law, not to mention my very own daughter-in-law! If any of them felt up to it, I'd love to think she'd add her name to the pool of candidates. Indeed, as the family feminist, maybe I should request female pall-bearers in advance! (*makes note*) Eight ladies could probably handle it, yes?

4. Who is someone you encounter occasionally in passing, with whom you think you could be good friends if you knew each other socially?
I'm not sure I have any "in passing" acquaintances like that. Either I know somebody well enough that we definitely are or aren't friends, end of story, or I literally only encounter them "in passing," in which case I have no sense at all of the person inside and whether I think we'd hit it off.

Okay, except for this: there *are* a couple church people who I think I'd be better friends with if I were still married, and that's because they are married men in my age range. These are two people I know via the music ministry and whom I like a lot as humans, but the fact remains that as an unmarried human of the opposite sex, I need to stay on my side of the invisible line. Do I really need to explain why only a couples friendship would be kosher? Good, because I'm not sure I could (after all, I'm no femme fatale). Nevertheless, it's so.

(For the record, I think the foregoing is a pretty common-sense principle rather than a spiritual one, per se. I just happen to be applying said principle to two church guys in this instance.)

5. Is there anything useful to be made of empty prescription pill bottles?
I think they are the perfect size and shape for sewing notions like pins, needles, buttons, etc. But I don't sew, and thus don't see a use for them in my life.
Tags: friday five, memes
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