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A Day That Will Forever Live in Infamy (repost)

Published September 11, 2011 - 0 Comments
[Originally posted Sep 8, 2008]

OK, maybe that’s a little over-dramatic… but it WAS an interesting day…

I had 2 main goals to achieve today. In no order of significance, they were:

1. Pay my tuition for university
2. Get my ass into the gym, and sign up

That was it. That’s all I had to do. Sure, there were a few extra things along the way, like get some sneakers that I can actually DO something in, rather than my $12 Wal-Mart specials that are a piece of crap. Apparently those Chinese kids don’t know how to make a quality sneaker! I also had to fit mowing my parents’ lawn in, but that was at the bottom of my priority list (sorry Mum!).

I decided to do the university thing first. This may come as a bit of a surprise to some people reading this, because I didn’t advertise the fact that I have decided to finish off my Bachelor of Business Administration… again. How many times have I “decided to finish … ” ? Far too many. I should have finished it back when I had no worries in life, but I was too busy playing silly bugger with the military. It seemed like a great idea to make money back then. Doesn’t seem so great now.

I only have 4 courses remaining, and I figure that I’d like to finish those before my kids enter university. It really won’t have much of an effect on life, other than to finally be able to say that I’ve got the piece of paper. I was the first one in our family to go to university! Yeah! I was also the first one to drop out! Yeah!

So I went in there with the intention of quickly running to the business office, and paying for my course. (I’m taking just one this term, to make sure that I can fit it into my work schedule, and because even a single course is now over $700 when you include the book). How wrong I was. The 3 visitor parking spaces had 4 cars parked in them. Figure that out. I looped around the university 3 times before I was able to find a single parking space out back. I contemplated waiting for a shuttle to bring me to the university. I was that far away. And no.. there is no shuttle.

My course starts on Monday. Technically, this is the first week of classes, but Monday was a holiday, so my course is behind already. Perfect. I’ll fit in just fine. Tuition fees were supposed to have been paid already, but I was confident that I’d be ok paying mine late. Apparently so was everyone else. I took one look at the lineup and decided to go to the bookstore and get my course material.

As I walked through the halls, I realized something. I’m getting old.


To be 10-15 years younger…

The bookstore was insane, but I managed to find the section with my book. Foundations of Operations Management. Sounds exciting. 450 pages of wholesome goodness. Soft cover. $117 and change. #$%^&*() They couldn’t even make it hard cover? Unbelievable. This course is about line queues and efficiency, and here I was, standing in a long line, waiting to spend too much money on a book that was about waiting in line. How’s that for irony? I paid for the book, and went back to the business office, hoping that everyone was gone, and I would somehow just walk up to the desk. It didn’t quite work like that. Again, I stood in line, holding a book that I had now paid too much money for, about waiting in line. Finally. It was now my turn.

The girl at the desk asked me for my student number.


You could see the confusion in her eyes. Yes, there was it. My student number is only 6 digits. It’s been a looooooooong time since they used 6 digit student numbers. She seemed to be waiting for me to give her another number. She eventually gave up and entered the number.

“Stefan Belia?”

I don’t know where she was from, but she was cute, so I forgave her for massacring my name, and simply agreed. She asked me if I wanted to buy a parking pass. I chuckled inside. Why? Didn’t she know that there simply IS NO parking available? I’m better off just taking my chances with the meter maids. It would probably cost me less to get the occasional parking ticket, than it would to buy a parking pass.

I made sure that I tucked my receipts away safely. They will come in handy later on.

Then it was off to the gym.

For some reason, I was in a very good mood. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but I think that it probably had something to do with trying to get on with my life, and stop feeling sorry for myself. I had this conversation with my psychologist the other day. (Oh yes, everyone should have a psychologist. They’re great people to talk to. “There’s nothing wrong with me! It’s everyone else who’s screwed up! Right? RIGHT?!?!?”) I told her that I felt that it was time to start living again. Find my own place to live, get back into school, go back to the gym and try to lose a few pounds. Maybe even *gasp* start dating again. These things take time, but every little step in the right direction is a good thing.

I walked into the gym, and told the nice girl at the desk that I wanted to sign up again for a membership. Yes, I had been a member once before. Twice, actually, but I didn’t tell her that. She had me sit down at a table and told me to wait for Cara. What is it with girls with names like Kara, Karen, and Cara? This girl came out and introduced herself to me. Very nice. She asked me how I was today. I’d been working on an answer in my head.

“Well, let’s see… getting separated, moving out, going back to school, and now I’m here! It’s kinda like Old Life, New Life”

You could tell that she’d never had an answer quite like that before.

We had a good little chit chat. Very comfortable. Some might say flirtatious. She seemed to have a good sense of humour. I could go on and on about it, but I’ll leave it at that. She did tell me, though, that she was separated herself, with 2 kids. One of those kids is the same age as my son. Just starting school.

I was probably supposed to actually work out (what a novel concept) after registering, but I told her that I needed to go buy new sneakers…. and.. she’ll probably never see me in there again… I’m the perfect gym membership holder. I pay my money, and then stay as far away as possible. It’s almost like a donation, of sorts.

I ended up being able to cross everything off my list, including the lawn. So, all in all, it was a pretty good day.

I’m packing up my gym bag tonight, with the intention of going there tomorrow after work.

Let the pain begin…