Monday, June 23, 2008

If I Knew It Was Going To Be Like This, I Would've Gone To A $1000 A Plate Fundraiser. (At least then I'd get some food.)

Whenever I'm having a bad morning, I can always count on a Starbucks mocha to make me feel better. Or, to make me feel a little queasy and mad at myself for being a fatass.

So, what's wrong? I just had a lame weekend. On Saturday, I woke up not feeling well. I was ready to spend the day watching TV, feeling soothed by the air conditioner blowing on me. But then at 3pm, the air conditioner stopped. The TV stopped. Indeed, we'd lost power. No doubt because many many other lazy bums on my block were also watching TV in their own air conditioned apartments.


This meant that now there was nothing to do but lay around, in the 104 degree heat, staring at the ceiling and feeling bad for myself for feeling ill.

At one point I opened up my laptop and went to sign online. When my browser window showed an error, I wondered what the trouble could be. It didn't occur to me that it was because the power was out. I guess I always thought the internet occupied it's own magical dimension somewhere. When I realized it had befallen the same fate as my microwave, I stared at my laptop, wondering what else it was good for.

Nope. Nothing.

The power did not come on again until Sunday morning. Devin and I were laying in bed, having suffered a fitful night, when suddenly the ceiling fan began to move. The air conditioner began to wurr. Ahhh.

But by then, I felt like I'd been robbed of my weekend. I cheered myself up with a giant breakfast, and by having friends over to hang out by the pool. By the end of yesterday, after I'd stayed up til 1am watching episodes of Bridezillas, things were looking up.

And then, this morning, I opened some mail that was sitting on the kitchen table.

I had a big envelope from Train To End Stroke, my team for training for a half (and ultimately a full) marathon. Perhaps it's going to be a fabulous prize for being such a great runner! They just love me!

No, it is paperwork to recommit to the team. And recommitting to the team does not mean just saying, "Yeah, I'm still with you! Go team go!" It means signing your life away. And by life, I mean your money, because as we all know money is the most important thing in the world.

Seriously, if I don't meet my $2100 goal, I have to pay the difference. This is a goal that they made me pick to take part. If it were up to me, I would've picked $500. Which seems like an awful lot to me. And it's probably at least what I'm going to have to pay these people out of my own pocket in a few weeks.

To be fair, when I signed on, I knew that it was like this. But I figured I'd reach that goal. They said it was easy to do (if you are a grown up with rich friends). And then I figured that their "We ask you to pay the remaining balance" was like an empty threat intended to make team members take their fundraising efforts seriously.

But now I have their forms, and I have to give them my credit card information so that when August 8th roles around, and I inevitably haven't achieved my goal, they will just go right ahead and charge me.

What the fuck?!

I feel like I'm a chump in some kind of pyramid scheme, not a good-hearted young woman who is trying to make a difference while also doing something worthwhile for herself. Why did they have to go and suck all of the fun out of this thing? Now I'm resentful and scared.

And why can't they just be like "Wow! Great job! You raised over $1100! Thank you so much!"

No, instead it's "You failed. Pay us."

I could just scream. And in fact this morning was talking to myself, saying things like the above statements out loud while I was at the gas station, and then turned around to notice a man standing there. He gave me a look like, "Hey it's cool. I didn't hear nothing."

It's not as if I don't intend to work hard to reach that goal, I just seriously can't afford to fall short by more than $100. Right now I'm short by like $1000.

But I'm not stuck in this mess just yet. If I don't send in the forms, I lose my place on the team, but I would still run this damn race (and maybe spitefully knock over all of the cups on the table at the team's water stops...). I wanted to do this for myself and I wanted to raise money for this cause. And I did. Look at my fundraising page. I did great!

However, I don't think I know any more people who can, or want to, donate. And I don't want to beg people, with tears and in my eyes, thinking of how much money I'm about to lose.

Because so many people have been generous and thoughtful, I've been able to raise a lot of money! And I feel like I will let them down if I quit the team, even though I'll still run the race.

So I ask you, dear friends, what should I do?


surviving myself said...

Damn - that is kind of fucked up, isn't it? See - this is why I try to stay away from Being Nice.

It only gets you in trouble.

Katelin said...

oh man i would have died without ac this weekend. how did you do it? it was so damn hot here.

and yeah the marathon thing is pretty effed up like surviving said. i don't really know what you should do, sorry.

margottobed said...

gahh someone would have to pay me at least that to get me to run anywhere.. i say go for it because you'll probably feel all hopped up on endorphins and good about yourself once you get through it.

JenBun said...

This is a tough situation and, ultimately, you are going to be the only one who has to make the decision... but it is for a good cause, you have already raised A LOT of money, and you have been training for it...

I say go for it, and keep trying to raise the money. It's worth it for the good karma and the bragging rights! :)

mindy said...

I can't believe they won't let you off the hook if you don't make the goal. Those stroke people are MEAN!

Also, I recommend robbing a bank.

Anon, the previously welcomed. said...

I'd try and talk to whoever you can that leads the training sessions. "I'm not paying you guys to run, so either I can skip that step, and you loose the money you were hoping I'd pay.. Or, I can quit, and you loose about double that because of the money I've raised."

and if that doesn't persuade anyone, Then.. then I'd be a real jerk and give 'em a false number and info, and turn the form in as late as possible. Preferably on the day of the marathon.