Of late, I’ve been better about money. I pay all the bills, have cash left over, contribute to my four oh wonk. But man, somehow I screwed up this pay period. Yesterday I had $17 to my name. I got paid today, thank heavens, so I’m flush again. I’m rolling on a floor covered in $50 bills as we speak.
But yesterday when I had my $17, I was out of everything. I was 100% totally for sure out of cat food. Like, there was no faking it with a little dry food and some tuna. No. Out.
I was also out of water, and I know this is ridic, but drinking from the faucet now makes me heave. I have been doing it the past few days because no choice, but heave. And the filter on my fridge has put on its red light, like Roxanne, so I couldn’t drink from that, either. (How the hell do you change your fridge filter?)
Also food. I was foodless Joe Jackson. I had some spinach and some frozen fruit and popcorn to my name. That seemed not adequate, unless there’s a Chef Tell out there who can whip something up from that and I’m just stupid.
So I minced to the store nervously last night, hoping to add up grocery prices IN MY MIND, with my MATHS, and not go over $17. I got six cans of cat food (one can each for dinner, one can each for breakfast). I got a large bottle of water. And I got a delicious Lean Cuisine. I brought everything up to the checkout clerk I like, this guy who wears false eyelashes and has pointy fake nails that are always an absurd color.
“How you doin’, honey?”
I told the clerk my story, as I am wont to do. The clerk had mostly sage-green fingernails with one silvery-gold glitter one this time.
“Ten dollars, honey!”
“Wooooo!” we both said. Fortunately I now grocery shop sort of in the hood, and I see people paying with their food stamps, and I’ve seen people put in their debit card and not have enough and put all the food away and just get the beer. At my OLD grocery store where everyone was so snobby and, you know, employable and everything, and that never, ever happened.
Anyway at this store it’s perfectly acceptable that I’d have $17 before payday.
My point of all this is that macaroni and cheese Lean Cuisine and a spinach salad isn’t very delicious for dinner, and also that I was curious about WHERE THE HELL my money went this time, so I looked it up.
The first thing I did when I got paid way back on March 15, the Ides of March, was to set aside $350 so I can pay the woman who’s recovering my chair.
Dear Woman Who’s Recovering My Chair:
I had to …dip into savings. Please don’t finish that chair yet. Love, June
I have all my bills set up for auto payments with the exception of the water bill, which refuses to let you do that because it’s 1952 over at the water company. I’m always horrified I’ll forget to pay it and come home to unresponsive faucets.
The first of the month my mortgage comes out, and on the 15th, all the other bills are paid. So the stupid gas bill gets paid, and I don’t even WANT gas.
The Duke Energy bill gets paid, and I’m always out of energy, so why I gotta pay that? Also? When you call there? The recording is this very professional-sounding woman who then says, “Thank you for calling Duke Innergy.” People in the South really don’t hear the difference between “e” sounds and “i.”
I also have the payments for my internet and phone taken out. And that pesky car and pesky auto insurance.
This month I also had to pay my lawn guy extra because we’d done nothing all winter and there was bush trimming to do (not a euphemism) and edging to do (not a euphemism) and then I bought flowers to plant in the yard now that spring is here.
Total for all my bills and lawn stuff? $888.
Then also too I had two doctor bills. I found out THE HARD WAY that my copay at my new, not-dead, not-quitting so far, not-banning-me doctor (if you just got here? I have trouble keeping doctors) is A HUNDRED DOLLARS A VISIT.
And? AND? I have to pay the chiropractor $55 a visit. Fortunately we’re at the end of our rainbow and I won’t have to go so much anymore.
Total for those two things? $265.
I believe we’re starting to see our problem, here.
Also? I’m supposed to be on this diet, and every morning I’m drinking smoothies–hence the having spinach and frozen fruit part of this scenario–and then making salads and cooking a damn chicken breast and so on, but MAN did I eat a lot of takeout this month. I went to Jimmy John’s–and I don’t even LIKE Jimmy John’s, but on days I’m really busy I order it to come to work, and once it’s delivered, I take it and scream home and eat it while I let the dog out.
I went to Panera. Three times. I went to WENDY’s. I ordered PIZZA.
Say, why hasn’t this diet worked?
Then when Marianne was here, I bought a vintage lavender cardigan for $18, and on that same day I apparently also spent $20 at some other vintage store and I can’t for the life of me recall what I bought. I doubt a robber stole my identity and bought something at a vintage store for $20 and stopped. Although that’s the kind of robber I’d be.
Finally, I had my monthly filling up the car with gas for $29, and I know you abhor me for having to get gas once a month but you too could live in a marginal neighborhood and have a six-minute commute. Save on gas and be conveniently located to meth!
So there we go. There it is. I guess the only thing I can do is avoid doing shit to my lawn and having doctor visits in the same pay period. I could just eat the grass and stay healthy and kill two birds.
Thank you for joining me on this trip through my checkbook.
P.S. I know the last time we talked about growing out my gray. I know you aren’t going to believe me–I don’t quite believe it myself. But I got my roots done three weeks ago tomorrow and I just got a ruler and measured my roots: My hair has grown half an inch in three weeks. HALF AN INCH of roots already! So I’ll start growing it out for reals. See what happens.