Sunday, January 13, 2008

Major Life Decisions
(or: If You Hold Hands with Mentally Retarded Children, They'll Never Learn to Make Their Own Decisions)

I have a M.R. (mentally retarded) kid in my class. At the beginning of the year, he would always try to hold my hand whenever we were going anywhere. Then, the special ed teacher told me not to hold the kid's hand anymore because then the kid wasn't thinking about where to go for himself. He was just coasting along without thinking.

Once in awhile I wish I could just coast along with someone else making my decisions for me. Driving is one of those times. Its so much easier to just follow someone else, whether it's a friend driving ahead of me or a friend navigating in the passenger seat. If I had a newfangled GPS, I could totally see myself accidentally driving off a bridge or something (it said "turn left NOW!").

It would also be much easier if someone else could make financial decisions for me. Buying a house has my head spinning; it blows my mind that I could feasibly be a homeowner... to own something so big and expensive and to have THAT much debt... wow. I'm also contemplating what to do about retirement. These two cute reps from some union-approved retirement agency keep coming around our school every couple weeks, and I have to keep turning them away because I don't want to accidentally sign up for something I don't understand just because the salesmen are hot.

I wonder sometimes if marriage appealed to me partly because it would have been sooo easy to allow someone else to make a major life decision once in awhile. But then I remember to have faith in myself and my ability to make intelligent choices. After all, I haven't signed up for a retirement plan... yet.


Wendy said...

If you drive off a bridge because GPS told you to, you'll have something to talk to Jim Halpert about because his boss did that, too. You know, assuming you can somehow land in the alternate reality of The Office. At which time maybe he could hold your hand for a while. Yeah, that'd be nice.

Homeownership can be daunting, but it's really nice to look around and say "This is mine. I can paint it in day-glo splatter-paint and sew tinsel into the carpet if I so choose. Because it's MINE... okay, maybe it's techinically the bank's, but I still think it's mine." By the way, sewing tinsel into the carpet may seriously hurt your resale value, or so I've heard.

Don't let hot guys talk you into anything without researching it. I find Dave Ramsey's books and advice in general to be very smart. Perhaps you should call him and ask about the retirement plan.

And for what it's worth, I think you're making some pretty impressive decisions lately. GO YOU!!