Do you remember, way back in grade school, how every so often, your teacher would give you those monthly Scholastic book club catalogues, from which you could pick out books, posters and other literary knick-knacks only elementary students think are oh-so-cool?
One time I remember ordering, in addition to a couple of books, a Garfield horoscope bookmark. I forgot the glowing qualities behind my sign, but I remember the final sentence:
“Do not lend this person money.”
I used to laugh at this because I never considered the last line to be true in my case. Well, that, and it was actually supposed to be funny in that cheesy-sarcastic kind of way.
Now, I’m beginning to think the tattered piece of cardboard – which I’m sure has since been tossed in the garbage and has congealed with the leachate of whatever landfill it’s ended up in – is fulfilling its own prophecy and having the last laugh (or gurgle) on me.
Ever since I returned from vacation, I feel as if I’m bleeding money. I’m sure I’ve made more withdrawals than deposits or payments lately. And as I’m slowly starting to pay off the dent made in my credit card, I’m finding out how much money I’m owing some people.
And this is coming from someone who is used to having people borrow money from her.
Apparently I still owe a friend money for expenses from a friend’s surprise birthday-party cook-out over five months ago.
And then sitting at the kitchen table with my mom several days ago, she said, “You know, you owe me a LOT of money.”
I thought she was referring to the hundreds of thousands of dollars I’ve probably taken from her in over the last 30 years in diapers, baby food, clothes, lunch money, extracurricular activities, post-secondary education and corresponding student rent payments, so I said, “Of COURSE I owe you a lot. I know that.”
“No,” she said. “I mean, all those things I bought for you for your trip.” And then she made note of the travel-related items she bought for me, plus whatever money I somehow forgot to pay her for other things over the course of the summer. So I was adding it up out loud, and she joked, “I see you’re getting better with the math.”
I thought, I’d better be. This is costing me a LOT.
So right now, I’m trying to pay off my debt. In installments, mind you. But man, is it ever hurting the wallet.