THE BIG APPLE
IS NO FREEBIE
"You never write about me," my 24 year old daughter
complained a few months ago. "I guess Iíll have to do something
drastic, like become a nun or run away and join the circus."
I laughed, knowing she was the epitome of stability and was
just kidding around. One month later, she quit her job, sold her
furniture, and moved to New York.
Some people will do anything to get a little ink.
When she told my wife and me that she was chucking her
comfortable life in San Francisco for the wild streets of Manhattan, we
were very supportive. She has always been organized and responsible, and
we had no doubt she had it all worked out.
"Iíll be rooming with my girlfriend and Iíll be
studying to take the graduate school entrance exam," she replied when
asked about her plans.
"Thatís nice," I said. "Iím sure a lot of people
move 3000 miles away so they can study. How about a job prospect?"
"Iíve got some savings, so I can study for awhile
before looking for a job."
She was right. She had enough savings to last her about a
week in Manhattan. No need to worry.
So off she went for the big adventure. She moved in with her
girlfriend on the Upper East Side and spent her first few weeks looking
for an apartment closer to the action of Greenwich Village and SOHO.
"We found an apartment," she exulted on the phone a
couple of weeks ago. "Weíre so excited. Itís perfect! The only
problem is that weíre both unemployed so all the parents will have to be
guarantors for us to have a chance of getting it."
"Thatís nice," I replied. "I hope it works out.
Have you considered looking for jobs yet?"
"My test is this week. Iíve been having trouble
studying because of all this apartment hunting. But Iíll start looking
next week, after my test."
I signed the guarantor application and faxed it to her. She
called the next day.
"Great news!" she exulted. "We got the
apartment, and itís only $3000 a month, which is cheap for Manhattan. We
stalked them until they gave it to us. And the even better news is that
they donít need you to be a guarantor."
That was indeed good news. I wasnít thrilled about
guaranteeing rent for the unemployed. But it did cross my mind why the
landlord was so trusting.
"Oh, by the way," my daughter added almost as an
afterthought. "I need a check for $10,000 for my share of the
At least I get the interest off it. And I was sure both my
daughter and her friend would find jobs soon. With the apartment secured
and my daughterís test completed, theyíd have little else to do other
than look for work.
Sure enough, the call came last week. "I got a
job!" she cried.
"Great! What is it and how much does it pay?"
"Well, actually itís only one day a week, working for
a very prestigious firm."
"One day a week?" I repeated. "Thatís not
going to pay a lot of bills."
"Probably not," she said, meekly. "Especially
since itís an unpaid intern position."
This wasnít going well. She was really enjoying New York
and had no intentions of coming home, especially after signing a one-year
lease for her new digs. I began to wonder if our responsible, organized 24
year old was having an early mid-life crisis.
"Donít worry," she said, sensing my panic.
"Iíve got a couple of interviews set up. But Iím not too excited
about the type of work. Iíll find something, though."
Another week went by and I was heartened to observe that she
was beginning to worry about her unemployment. Her friends were all
working and her roommate was close to landing a new job. I think she
sensed that being unemployed in Manhattan wasnít all it was cracked up
The call came yesterday. "You can stop worrying,"
she said. "I accepted a position with a company run by a billionaire.
Not a millionaire, a billionaire."
"Excellent," I replied. "I donít want to
sound too pushy, but do you mind if I ask if this job actually pays you
"It sure does. And itís enough to pay the rent."
Thatís my girl.