Dear Ira Glass,
For years, I have heard your voice during pledge breaks asking people like me, people who haven't sent money into their local NPR stations, to please, pleeeeeeease, pick up the phone and offer support. I've heard you call and embarrass people who had listened to NPR for years, but had never pledged. And I've heard you interview people who listened to their NPR stations for years and how they felt when they weren't pledging (like enough people must pledge because the station goes on no matter what) and then how they felt when they finally did pledge (good, like they were part of something important). I've heard all of it and still scoffed and figured that if you were ever unlucky enough to call me I'd tell you the truth: I'm a selfish person. I'd like to see you put that on the radio!
Then came a change to my life. I left my old job that wasn't good but was comfortable for a new job that's in many way's worse than the old one, and I'm getting paid the same. I'm living with my parents, again. It's not horrible and it's temporary, but it's not at all where I want to be. I'm supposed to be an adult, right. Things are just... unsettled. I figured that I deserved to feel good about something... anything.
So, on Friday, after donating some money to NaNoWriMo, I went to my current NPR station's website and pledged some money. (About 12% of my current paycheck. I did it monthly to make it easier on my wallet. That's 1% of my money each month. (For the record, I did that math on the drive back from work this afternoon, during a pledge break.)) I'm not paying rent and I quit buying comics, so I had money to give. I filled out the information they wanted, address and such. I choose not to get any of the gifts; I'm not a fan of jazz. I hit the send button, or whatever they labeled the button, and waited.
I didn't feel any better.
I didn't feel like I was part of something bigger than myself or part of something good.
I just felt like I'd felt before I pledged.
Where was my moment of elation? Where?
Maybe, I thought, the good feelings took a while to settle in. Maybe on Saturday or Sunday.
I'm not angry or bitter or upset or anything like that. I had a little extra money and I spent it on something good, something very valuable. I'm just disappointed.
Thought you'd like to know, Mr. Glass.