I can’t believe it, but it is already that time of the month where I play little tricks on myself to keep me from believing I am as financially strapped as I really am.
My favorite game is when a person leaves their receipt in the ATM. I pick it up and I like to guess “High/Low” before I look at it. That is to say, before I peek at their available balance I will guess if it is going to be “higher” or “lower” than mine.
Sadly, higher is usually the safe bet.
Note to person with 35k in your farking checking account: you braggart! You left that receipt there on purpose!
Brightside: being broke stretches your arithmetic skills. Figuring out how much the pizza special is with tax before you take off for lunch is always a good time, no?
Another fun game is the Maybe If I Do Not Look It Will Go Away game.
Do you think the two bills sitting in my mailbox have magically disappeared yet? No they have not. They arrived 3 days ago, but I chose to let them sit in my mailbox because I am a firm believer in denial. Unfortunately my credit card company is a firm believer in late fees and high interest rates, and my phone company is fond of “elimination of services” so, you know, I think tonight is a good time to have a beer and take care of a few things here and there.
Yes, it is true, no matter how dire – there is always a couple bucks for a 40, Morty! Perhaps spill a little something curbside for my dwindling checking account.
Clearly, my weekend if fraught with party potential.
Speaking of my checking account: now that I have that whole debit theft thing finally taken care of the goddamn ATM machine ate my card * so I had to go through this whole phone-onholdfortenminutesatatime-debacle in order to get the bank people to FAX me instead of MAILING me the goddamn forms to get a new one.
This happened after the pristine lady on the phone with the exact enunciation, said something along the lines of “what is this, your fourth or fifth new card?”
And I am all, I know you have my permanent record there, wench! But like it is any of your business! FAX me the goddamn forms and leave the scoldings to my mother!
And so you are thinking, cut the lady some slack and just go to the bank ann-frank? No, because the bank is far away. How far away? Far. No, really it is and it’s a long story.
Plus, it really bugs the fuck out of me that it costs a minimum of $4 or so to even talk to a teller. It’s gotten to the point I don’t even want to say “Good morning” to the tellers set up at the grocery store branches when I walk by, lest they use their super-teller superpowers and deduct a users’ fee on an account that is not even theirs, just for saying hello.
Unsolicited confession: one day, about a month before I left for college way back in the day, I walked into a Walgreens with three of my good friends and someone spotted a little over $400 cash money just laying on the floor. Absolutely no one around.
I would like to say, I spoke up and said “no! this money does not belong to us – we must turn it in to the rightful farmer who is probably trying to buy school supplies for their children!” And truth be told, I was not the one to actually pick up the money. I do remember that. And I know was not the one to divvy it up. And truth be told, I don’t exactly remember what happened, but I do remember there was discussion in the parking lot and I left with a little about a hundred bucks of not my money in my pocket.
And truth be told, I would like to say I spent the money on like, college text books or something, but more than likely I blew it at Target buying like, sheets and shampoo and ibuprofen for my dorm and cigarettes.
My friends, they all used their money and chipped in and threw me a going away bash (because for some reason I was the first to leave for college, like a full month before they did).
So this whole debacle from years and years past is what I partially attribute my horrible financial skills to: bad. fucking. karma.
No annfrankenstein – you will never become a financially responsible adult until your karmic debt is paid because some kindergartner’s daughter had to go to school without school supplies because you took their money.
Well, that and, of course, I am just careless in general, really.
Which is the truth, because today, after discussing the loss of my ATM card and a few other (not money related) mishaps I’ve caused myself this week, my friend Matt looked straight at me and said, “you know, just looking at you – you would never guess you are such a mess.”
But, you know, that is okay. That is okay for him to say because for the most part it is true and he is a really good friend and really good friends are allowed to say such things from time to time because really good friends are the kind of people to which you make these confession and trust to lay it down for you, you know?
Because in reality, when it comes to mayhem in the life of my friends and family and anyone else for that matter, I am The Salt of The Earth. No Bullshit. Rock Solid. I Can Help.
When it comes to my personal affairs, it is all chaos and wind-blown carelessness. I Am Just Fine Thank You Now Go Away. I am used to getting by; I have awesome not-reliant-on-anyone-else coping skills. Hey me? Everything’s cool. Good weather today, eh? Anything I can help you with?
And even though I did not mean to go into any of that, what I wanted to say this: if ever in doubt, do not look up – look down. I am short; I am always looking down. I am always finding money.
That is to say, if you are ever at a drinking establishment and you are belly-up to the bar, take a look at the floor. Many times, you will see money. Lots and lots of money. Many times Old Frat Boy Bob’s buying a round of Millers for his fellas yo, snap, high-five! And he pulls out a wad of bills to pay and does not realize in his rush to last call he is dropping a bill here and there in the process.
Look, I am not saying anyone deserves to lose money like this, but it does happen, you know?
But I am not saying you should keep it either, you know? I mean, I am not going to lecture you just because I am the guilty type who, when realizing her day is going okay all of the sudden gets suspicious and thinks, “you know, today is a good day, but truly something must be wrong, because a day cannot go off so well, so you know what? I bet I left my iron on this morning and the whole place is burned down by now.”
I am just saying sometimes, there are fun things to do.
A New Years Eve awhile back, for some unknown reasons, after a party, I wound up at this truly horribly chic –bar downtown and through the short time spent there, I found over $70 bucks laying around with no one around to claim it. No one. And trust me, I tried.
And you know, that night was a lot of fun – not because I blew the cash on a lot more booze or smokes, I did not spend any of it on that. But more so because it was a lot of fun leaving a big tip for the cabbies and the breakfast waitress working their asses of on New Years Eve, until all that found money was gone.
And not that this makes me a good person, or I think this will help me pay off my karmic debt tip after tip, but you know, these are things I sometimes think about and sometimes they spill into here. You know?
And that. That is all.
Okay that is not all, what I really was going to write about before I got all side-tracked is the fact that of any phone call of the day, the one call I do enjoy, is the public library DYNIX-system automated robot that leaves me messages like, every other day telling me there is an item waiting for me at the library. Man, that voice is so excessively robotic it is so much fun I can’t stand it. Think the Joshua “would-you-like-to-play-a-game” computer voice in War Games, only ten times more robotic your toes will curl with joy.
Ok, now that is all. Really.
*ATM card. Not debit card. This is a strict cannot use without my pin number ever card. Fuck debit theft!