The battle with my school’s financial counselor has been won – sort of. Due to some quirky little rule that I have to take a certain number of credit hours in a certain time frame – and because I annoyed her by going over her head to her manager (twice) – she recalculated my loan and “discovered” that I was not a “full time” student. That meant the excess funds were returned to the lender. Even though they’d already cut the check to me six months ago. GAH! That’s fine, I don’t really care. It’s just less money that I have to pay pack. But I have no doubt that she did it because I lost my cool and berated her for taking two weeks to return a call. That was last week.

On Monday, the lender sent the rest of the tuition money – it happens twice a year and the finance counselors are well aware of when that happens. She recalculated my loan and sent the check to the lender just to inconvenience me (and I have to admire that. I really do. It was a genius move). Now, because this is my last class (yay), there is another refund due. We’ll see how long it takes them to cut that check.

For 22 years, I watched my father lose his mind when stupid things like this happened to him. I watched him rant and rage and plot revenge. Nothing ever went smoothly for him – somehow, some way, something always went wrong. Always.

For 41 years more than 22 years, I’ve watched my mother let the entire world underestimate her. I’ve watched her let people condescend to her and I’ve watched her win. Slowly. Surely. She almost always has the advantage just by letting other people think she’s stupid and helpless. I wish I could do that, but I’m missing that gene. In that area, I am my father’s daughter. It took almost two months to get a response (and not the one I wanted) from the school simply because I lost my temper. I’m much, much better at the “gee whiz, I’m confused” approach that my mother uses so successfully, but I can’t do it consistently yet. I only started practicing it in my thirties recently. And faced with such monumental stupidity causes a chemical reaction in my brain and I resort to ultra-polite, saccharine sarcasm – and that almost never works.

It does make me feel better, though.