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"Hi, my name is . . . , and I'm broke."

by Rose McKenney, staff writer

 

Ring! Ring!

“ Hello! Oh, hey Joanie! What’s up?”

“ Hey, some of us are going out tonight? Wanna come?” Joanie asks.

Let’s be rational here, I’m broke! I don’t have 10 cents to my name. How can I possibly go out? I just have to simply say “no” to my friends and not go out tonight, even when I know that I deserve it so much. I have to say “no.”

“ I don’t think so,” I say.

“ Come on Laine, it won’t be the same without you,” Joanie says.

“ I can’t. I’m BROKE!”

“We’ll spot you!” Joanie promises.

“ I don’t know. I really shouldn’t.”

“We’ll pick you up at 7!” This is the last thing I hear before Joanie hangs up.

I slowly peel the phone away from my now pale skin. What have I done to myself? I wanted to say “no” but the words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. Now, to make matters worse, I’m borrowing money from my friends. What next? I’ll be asking for money from strangers. I may as well start by making a tin can and sit by the grocery store. That way, as people go by, I can just hold out my tin can and plead for money. My life will have been reduced to begging money off of strangers.

I hope that I don’t get that desperate.

Since I’m broke, I have just been sitting around my house all day doing absolutely nothing. A good movie is about to come on, but I take a whiff of myself, and realize that I really need to shower and maybe put on some deodorant. Suddenly, I need to get off my butt.

30 Minutes Later

My teeth are brushed, I have deodorant on, and I have brushed my hair for the first time all week. I’m refreshed and actually starting to look forward to going out tonight. Then this nagging thing called a conscience starts yelling in my ear. “Are you crazy? You shouldn’t be going out tonight! Hello. You’re broke! It’s 6 p.m., and you still have time to cancel.”

OK, I have to rationalize my priorities. Rent is due in three days, and I just barely make the rent.

I’m $100 short and forced to use my credit card to pay the remaining amount. I know that I shouldn’t take it from the credit card, but what else can I do. I need to live somewhere. I’m not ready to be homeless.

Well, that might happen if I can’t break my bad spending habits.

I guess it wouldn’t be too bad. I mean, it’s Hawai‘i, right? Just take a bath in the ocean, right?
Well, if I’m not going out tonight, I better hurry up and cancel.

Great, Joanie listed “unavailable” again, and I forgot where I put her number. I really need to start programming numbers into my cellphone.

This reminds me: I seriously need to go shopping soon. My clothes are so outdated, it must be time for a new wardrobe.

Bong! Bong!

Oh no, they’re here!

“ Hello!” I say.

“ Hurry up and get down here!,” I hear my friend Lacey shouting in the background, as Joanie, closer to the mic, says “Hey, we’re here! Get your butt down here.”

I hear the phone click, and that means it’s time to party! I guess I’ll deal with rent later. I should be getting a refund check soon. At least that is what I’m telling myself, while I’m putting on my All Star tennis shoes. If not, I’m taking the money from my credit card. I wander how bad my interest rate will be since I’m almost maxed out.

I’ll deal with that tomorrow. Tonight is tonight, I’m telling myself as I turn the lights off and close the door behind me.

 

 

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