Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fun Things That Happened This Week

1) On Monday, I mailed out the last check for the credit card debt I've been carrying around on my back since I applied for my first credit card, five years ago. It's not that I had huge debt or anything, just persistent debt. Debt that would be thisclose to being paid off, only to be met with a holiday, a purse that I had to have, or an evening gown for some occasion of some sort. So, I'd etch away at that coupla thousand dollars all year, nearly get it down to nothing, and then - WHAM! - here it is again.

But, see, it's not like I've wasted years paying Discover and Chase and CitiBank and Bank of America interest. No siree. I, my friends, am a devotee of the Rolling Game. You know, the game where you get a credit card because of its "ZERO PERCENT INTEREST!!!!! for six months, maybe, unless you fuck with us, in which case you will rue the day you signed on the dotted line, bitch," proclamation. And you load that card up, paying minimum payments because - hey! - I'm not paying interest, and anyway, I need to build good credit. Thinking, of course, the whole time, that you'll totally have it paid off by the time your six month deadline rolls around. Which you don't, naturally. In fact, you're probably deeper into debt. Which is what they were counting on the whole time.

But, during that time, where you're charging like crazy and paying the minimum, your credit rating starts skyrocketing because you're A) using the card and B) paying early - and sometimes, you even throw the credit card company and extra ten bucks or so. You know, when you're feeling generous. So, suddenly, you start getting "PLATINUM!" and "TITANIUM" credit card apps in the mail, each one boasting a longer "ZERO PERCENT INTEREST" period than that next. So when your first six months are up, you transfer that shit over to the next one. And when that 0% period is up, you transfer that balance to the next one. And the next one, and the next one...Rolling your debt over and over. And the cycle of debt is sustained.

So you wisely allow this cycle to continue for five whole years. It's not horrible or overwhelming; more of a nuisance, really. That stupid bill, every stupid month. And you live that way for a while, until you leave your job with the shitty pay and actually start making enough money to support yourself, and you really buckle down, put that Platinum card away and stop using it. You start using the money you used to use to pay for your now-paid-off car to pay for your credit card....And before you know it, you send in your last hulking check to the big bad credit card companies and - Oh my God - you're debt free.

And that's where I am right now. And for that whole day, I thought, "Wow, I'm debt free. I can't believe it." I even decided to continue paying myself my credit card payment (the OCD way I handle my finances is complicated, and too much to get into here, so just bear with me), so that I'll have enough money to actually take Billy away as his Christmas gift without having to use the ol' credit card. And it made me smile, all day long.

Until, later that night, I went ahead and downloaded a song on iTunes, forgetting that I have the credit card I JUST PAID OFF set as my payment method. Which means I'm going to get a bill for $0.99 next month. That's awesome.

2) My boss emailed me (huh? He works in the next office. I don't get it.) and told me I'll have my yearly review on Tuesday. Which is awesome, except that I'm pretty sure that by "yearly review" he means, "discussion about the fact that I know you're on the internet and/or emailing and/or texting and/or talking on the phone far more than an employee should." So I'm nervous.

3) Holiday season is here! And that means PARTIES!

Unless, that is, you've committed your entire existence to your boyfriend over the past year because you just love to spend each and every second with him. Because, when December rolls around, suddenly you notice that your distinct absence in your social scene has carried over into the holiday season. Because you haven't been around all year, your name is falling off Christmas lists everywhere. You hear that? It's the sound of your popularity waning and your friends getting sick of you never going out anymore.

4) Standing in a restaurant yesterday, I heard one of my favorite Christmas songs in the world. This sparked an interest in me to RUSH home after work, take out my computer, import all of my Christmas music onto iTunes, organize it all, and make a holiday playlist.

'Tis a sad, sad day when I look back and realize that I've chosen to spend my Friday night with my laptop instead of real, live human beings. Very sad, indeed.

5) I went to pick up lunch for my boss and myself today at a local restaurant. Walking through the glass doors to go in, an old-ish woman was walking out. I'm unsure of her age, as it was masked by the distinct grimace of sheer nastiness on her face. Clearly, she was an unhappy woman; just looking at her I formed the opinion that she's a crotchety, rude, mean, nasty, horrible woman. When she started to yell at someone behind her, by just sort of turning her head to the side, it was revealed that a) I was right and b) she had no teeth. That would make me mad too. So I sort of understood her sadness.

ANYWAY, I was walking in, like I said, and she was on her way out. The doors there are set up so that you walk through one, pass through a little breeze-way of sorts, then you go through another door. She was out of the door farthest from me and on her way out of the door I was going into. Being the polite person I am, I held the door for her. She looked at me, paused for a a second, sighed an exasperated sigh for some reason, gave me a dirty look and continued walking.

Nothing irritates me more than forgetting a social pleasantry. If I hold the door open for you, all I ask in return is that you say "Thank you." That's all. And since she didn't, I did what I always do in these situations: I said a syrupy-sweet, and probably louder-than-necessary "You're welcome" and continued walking.

She stopped dead in her tracks. "I said thank you," she hissed.

"And I said 'you're welcome,'" I replied, positively saccharine in my tone.

My thing is this: If she really had said "thank you," as she felt the need to point out to me, why would she have been offended at my "you're welcome" and need to point out her use of "thank you"?

I don't think she said it. In fact, I'm certain of it. But her reaction has me confused. Maybe she said, "I didn't say 'thank you'"? And if that's the case, why would she announce it? I don't get it.


theotherbear said...

Maybe she had just had some terribly sad news and that's why she had a grimace on her face. Maybe her dog ran away or her boyfriend left her for her father or something horrid. Although that's unlikely if she was very old. heh.

Anyway, good for you on paying off the credit card debt.

portuguesa nova said...

Sweet God, I envy your money skills. Really, I believe it's one of the most important strong points any chick can have.

I also hate it when old people think they deserve extra special treatment just because they're old. Maybe they do, but should they *expect* it???

God's gift to women (with really low standards) said...

Old people suck in general. That's why I push 'em to the ground before they have a chance to give me any sass.

tiff said...

Congrats on paying off your debt!! That's fabulous!

anno said...

Excellent work, paying off that credit card. Especially impressive to be ahead of the game at Christmas.

Good luck with that job review tomorrow.