Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I’ll make an honest woman out of me if it’s the last thing I do…

It may be the last thing I do.

Truthfully, I want to be an honorable person, I do. I want to do right by my family, my friends, my community. I want to pay bills on time, carry no credit card debt, turn in forms and papers ahead of schedule.

But intent matters not at all in life. It’s all about result.

During the last 24 hours I found that only the debt-free credit card remains on my list of virtues. I’ll give just one example of my fall from grace. The others are too embarrassing to blog about. But this one is typical of the whole lot of them:

Yesterday, a friend was giving me a lift to the gym (noble! I went to the gym!). I asked that he drive by a mailbox so I could dump there a whole stack of bills, timely paid, a week in advance. I get out, kiss the envelopes farewell and throw them down the blue monster mouth of the corner mailbox. Back in the car I hear my friend say “sure is a pain with the postal rate change going into effect today.”

Postal rate change going into effect today? Today?

[Q posited to the USPS: what will happen to all my bills, sent with 37 cent stamps? Answer given in that bored voice you reserve for people you hate: we will notify the recipient that they can pay the missing two cents. Otherwise, if they refuse, we will keep it at the Post Office for ten days, then return it to sender. Oh come on! MG&E, SBC, Charter Com, Verizon, etc. – are they at all going to sign over two pennies for the pleasure of receiving my bills?! Thanks, USPS. Even car rental agencies and credit card companies give grace periods.]

Leading a barely-one-step-ahead-of-the-law, devil-may-care kind of life was much easier. I was pretty good at that. This virtuous stuff sucks the life out of me, really it does.

(I took the picture below because it just was so in my face with its ugliness: bare gnarled branches, not a speck of green, not a flake of snow. Weird month. Really weird.)

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