Monday, August 31, 2009

Complaint Department: OPENED!

I'm naturally a complainer. I realized that a long time ago and I've accepted it. My husband is used to it and deals with it by silently listening. He wisely stays silent while I complain because it gives me the impression that he supports and agrees with whatever it is that I'm complaining about. I think that's probably why we've been married for 34 years. He know when to keep quiet while letting me rant. Thinking about it now ... wow, he EXCELLS at keeping quiet. :)
Basically, he tunes me out. Who knows what goes on in his head while I'm jabbering away about the filled, dirty trash can sitting outside our hotel room door, or why so and so has been smelling up the neighborhood all day by burning his scrap lumber.

Has anyone else ever noticed that no one in blogland seems to complain about anything? Oh, you might see an occasional complaint about not having enough time to do something, or being overworked, etc, etc, but generally, everyone seems like they're in a very happy place in their blogs. We see nice pictures of grandchildren who are not throwing terrible two tantrums and pictures of perfect gardens with no weeds and pictures of family gatherings with no signs of all the stress and work involved with preparing for a massive amount of people coming into your home.
Well, I'm goint to change blogland for today. I'm going to complain!

My complaint for complaint day is this:
College Expenses.

So when that tuition bill comes in, we expect to pay tuition and if our kid is living on campus, we expect the room and board charges. We don't expect all of those extra charges though that add almost an additional $1000 to the bill. Things like "academic support fee" ($277) or "SAI fee" ($260) or Rec center fee ($158) etc, etc. There's no explaination as to what the heck an SAI fee is or why we have to pay a $12 transportation fee if our kid doesn't use the transportation system on campus. Even if they did explain what it is, it just doesn't matter. You have to pay it anyway!

The other complaint is BOOKS. No one ever warns the parents of college bound kids how much those books cost. It's a corrupt system, and I just know those book store CEO's are rubbing their greedy hands as each of the students walk in that door to order their books. The powers that be allow them to charge full price for books, which I don't really have a problem with ... it's the USED book prices that are almost the full cost of the new books! At the end of the semester, the powers that be will buy back those books that you just paid full price for only 3 months ago but only give you about 10% of what you've paid, only to put those books back on the shelf to get yet another student to pay nearly full price for.
Ugh, maybe I shouldn't have started. I've been through this for about 5 years for Jen and this is now the third year for Rach and I still simmer at the thought of college book stores and how much $ they've made from us.
Rachel, bless her heart is always sympathetic to my complaints about the high cost of those books and she's learned some ways to reduce the cost, like sharing a textbook with a friend so that we only pay half the cost. She'll also look online to try to get her books a little cheaper too.

But last night, while talking to her on the phone, she called me a "stalker mom" because I asked her to send me her class schedule! Now, wait a minute! Rachel, I might be a mom who wants to know what her daughter is doing every minute of the day, but at least I don't call you or pester you with texts or email you multiple times during the day .... well, maybe I do that too .... hmmm ... ok, I'm a stalker mom. :)

So my precious Rachel sent me a copy of her schedule and I see now why she didn't really want me to see her schedule.
She is taking a class called ok, get ready for this ....
Remember, we pay BIG MONEY to educate our child so that she may survive in the world after graduation.

Her class is called .....
Intro to Rec and Leisure
I'm not even going to get started ....
She innocently said "I don't know what this class is about"
I just wonder if it's going to involve going to Steeler games and Kennywood Park (amusement park)??

Ok, now I'm wondering how much the textbook for THAT class costs!

*EDIT* aww.. she just called me while I was typing this to let me know how her first day of classes went.

Going back to a happy place now, I bought this cute little wooden tote at the Goodwill store in Cranberry Township. At first, I thought that painting it would be a good idea, but now that I have it home, I kinda like the cheery yellow on this, so it's staying just as it is.
It's perfect for holding my essential sewing supplies that I usually have scattered about on the table as I work.
For years, I've used this silverware caddy that was from our old dishwasher to hold all my things, but I've so much that it's overflowing so the little yellow one is just perfect for my needs.

My husband is addicted to thrift stores now too. He likes to go with me ... (yes, he is the perfect husband, and you can't have him!)
He goes off on his own searches while at the stores, mostly looking for little toys for the grandson.
He found this little Shrek figure a few months ago and our grandson, reminds his Pap all the time that Shrek is supposed to talk and needs new batteries.
So Pap finally found the right size metric screwdriver to take Shrek apart so that we could determine what kind of batteries this thing takes to make it work.
It takes THREE button watch batteries!

So this weekend, Pap has been searching through all the stores to find the best price on watch batteries so that he can finally make Shrek talk. Kmart, Target, Walmart and Radioshack all received Pap visits this weekend.

Button batteries cost about $4 each. Pap only paid 50 cents for Shrek in the first place and Pap doesn't really want to spend $12 on batteries for it if he doesn't even know how glorious Shrek will work after the fresh batteries are in place.
So if anyone out there in blogland is familiar with this Shrek figure, can you please let me know if it's worth $12 to get him to speak or will it be one of those toys that you pray for it to shut up because it's so annoying!?
Oh goodness gracious, I've typed a lot!
Thank you for reading my complaints for the day even though most of you probably, like my husband, just tuned me out by skipping over it!
Happy Day Everyone!


Mary said...

I'm feeling the college pain along with you (1 grad,1 enrolled, 3 left to go). Just haven't figured any way around all the "mystery" fees.
We have been successful in selling and buying text books on, though. It's actually pretty simple and a good value.

Cris said...

Oh I hear ya on the college expenses. I have a college senior (with plans for grad school), a college sophomore, and a high school senior. Mizzou has a lot of hidden fees like $300 a year for a rec center she barely uses because she lives off campus and $300 health care that she has never used yet.

As far as books go, I know, it is such a scam, especially when the professors "write their own books" and you can only buy them there! I have been able to purchase almost all of their books on Ebay or Amazon this year for MUCH cheaper. You just have to find out the ID # of the books and make sure you have the right edition. It is pretty easy, I ordered them all in a couple of hours. The rec and leisure class is hilarious! ha ha
Good Luck with your budget!

Lisa said...

Oh we do complain. But we use this as our happy place and TRY to leave out the stuff we don't want in our lives anyway. But you can complain anytime you want! It doesn't ruin my happy place!
Hugs, Lisa

carolyn@primitive~devotion said...

Well, I guess I should count myself lucky about the college thing. I went to a Technical College and my daughter followed my footsteps. She even won a scholarship to go to college and turned it down. We were so upset over that for a long time, but..Tech School was lot "cheaper" and we both got into the work field faster. But the books were VERY expensive, so I do sympathize with all you have to pay for.

As for the complaining...I WISH we were all in a happy place and had nothig to complain about! Wouldn't that be great?

Unfortunately, our life is like a living nightmare, concerning our grandaughter and all the custody battles, court hearings and other issues. So all the little things in life no longer make me crazy. I have learned the hard way, that those little trivial things are not worth worrying about. So we try to smile and move on and pray that the Lord will see fit to help us get through this mess and do what is best for our grandaughter. Because she is the most important thing in the world to us.

Sending you a hug. I wish there was some easy way to avoid all those crazy charges.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

WOW! So Cathy finally decided to vent....thank heavens it's on her blog so that everyone can see what I've put up with all these years!
Just kidding. She usually is the one in the family with a soft voice and sweet temper. Those genes missed me completely.

Have some chocolate Cathy and think of the wonderful life leasons Rachael is getting!!

Casserole Carol

yorkie's primitives said...

I agree with the college rip off. What really kills me is the charges you pay to park but when it comes ballgame season, you can't park there because they are charging fans to park in the area that you have already parked in!! College is a big rip off but it's one of those things that you have to have to be able to get any kind of job nowadays and they know it. so they know they have you right where they want you.

Tolentreasures said...

I hear you! This post brought back so many memories for me. I had both of my daughters in college at the same time as a single mom with no child support. I could write a book on that time in my life. I worked so many extra jobs and my Mom and Dad did 30+ craft shows a year for me and both of my girls held down part time jobs. The best thing that came out of it is that they know now how hard it was and they appreciate it and tell me that. God always provided, even when I thought it was impossible, the money would be there. I always had my best shows right before the big tuition payment needed paid. Sleep deprived would aptly describe those four years!

Hang in there! Vent all you need!


I'm getting 3 credits for Rec and Leisure. said...

"Excells"? Only one "L." Excels.

Guess what we talked about in our rec and leisure class? Well, we spent about 20 minutes talking about types of recreational activities...swimming, biking, sitting in a park, watching a football game, etc.

The rest of class, we talked about "morally questionable recreational activities." This included "bum fights," "internet porn," "drug use," and "gambling." Yup.

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The Wooden Acorn said...

I believe I might be your twin. Your complaint department made me laugh and thanks for being so real and honest.