poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

…and that is why I’ll never be rich

My only hope lies in winning the lottery or the passing of a long lost uber-wealthy uncle.

I had been approached by a close friend’s mother to design some invitations for a personal event. She insisted when giving me the job that she wanted me to charge her regular price. I told her “no” from the start. My reason being that she was like family, and I wouldn’t charge my sister, mother, or aunt full price, so she’d get a break too. Still, she insisted.

So, the other night she came by to pick up the cards and asked for the total. I hesitated, but gave her a solid, honest quote that was under my “commercial rates” but that still paid for my time. I quickly added, “but, really, pay me what you’re comfortable with.” I noticed her flinch. It was more than she was counting on. But she didn’t say anything, she just asked if that covered materials and printing. I assured her it did. And she left me with a check.

I was conflicted. To be fair, I hadn’t given her a quote up front. I wasn’t planning on charging her, let alone full price. But she insisted. I slept on it, and after a poor night’s sleep, I returned the check the next day.

I seriously could have used the money. I could have made that check stretch nicely, and we’re not talking thousands of dollars here, but about a full-day’s pay.

Now I’m waiting to see if she just pays me for the materials (since I returned that too, as it was included in the check), or what. I hope I didn’t offend her, but, really, our little boy calls her “Grandma” — I couldn’t take that money she wasn’t planning on paying.

And that, my friends, is why I’ll never be rich.

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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