Dear Sallie Mae,
Thank you for calling me four times today. No one in my life cares this much. Oh, wait. Was that just five? You’re the best friend I’ve ever had (press play).
You’re always introducing me to new people, shout out to Kelli, Ryan and Vince, who are willing to compromise and wait on my every whim with patience and a true empathetic understanding of a struggling post-grad’s plight.
Like when I say, “Sallie, I just don’t think I can give you $900 this month, I kind of want to eat.” And you’re like, “Sure, I won’t call your mom at 8 am.”
You knew when you doled out your loan, I'd be hard-pressed to pay it all back as a 20-something just dipping my toes into the waters of adulthood, so you don’t hassle me about it; you don’t harass everyone even remotely close to my name in the phonebook; you’re not irrational; you don’t demand too much.
You’re hypersensitive to those times I just don’t have the money, and I appreciate that.
I really like how involved you’ve become with my parents, who were just real troopers when they agreed to cosign my loans. I couldn’t imagine making the decision to bury myself $100,000 in debt at the age of 17 if I didn’t have you there, letting me know it was okay to study comparative literature.
You gave me the funds (and then some) that my parents were worried about bestowing upon me. They didn’t know how reliable you are, how present you’d be for every step of the way after I graduated.
The main thing about you is your reliability. I’ve had friends come and go -- whether it was my fault or not is circumstantial. But I do have a problem picking up the phone and making the effort.
You’re exhaustive in our friendship: No matter how many times I refuse to answer when I’m busy, you’re relentless. You really want to talk to me. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how important I am, but your numerous phone calls every day really make the difference in my self-esteem.
Now I know my nightmare of spinsterhood in which I'm surrounded by hordes of cats and unanswered letters to male prisoners will never come true, as you'll be by my side until I’m 150 – at the pace I’m paying you back and the interest you’ve so generously piled on.
Who needs life alert? Sallie Mae will alert the authorities before my cats can get to me. If I’m ever unlucky enough to have children, I’ll tell them tales of dear Aunt Sallie and all she’s done for the family in order to see that I fulfilled the naïve commitments of my youth.
If nothing else, you’ve dedicated so much time to me that I thought I’d pen this heartfelt letter, expressing every shred of gratitude I can muster.
Thank you, Sallie Mae. Without your indefatigable support, I wouldn’t be able to use words like that. And without your untiring string of phone calls, I might even be able to afford lunch from something other than a paper bag.
I hope to hear from you soon, even if it's just you jacking up my interest rates. I know it’s tough love and it should just push me to work harder.
I’m glad I have you here.
Photo credit: Shutterstock