cluttering the net since 2001

money money money

Friday, May. 31, 2002
I spent my night placing an order for shit I don’t need, but instead want. I spent $112 + shipping. They’re gonna bill me. I got the following items…

Wooden Matrix-Style Shelf - Black 1 @ $9.95 = $9.95
T-Ball Acrobatic Bouncer 1 @ $12.80 = $12.80
Wrought Iron Wall Sconce 1 @ $7.95 = $7.95
Hand-Painted Mantel Clock - Black 1 @ $9.80 = $9.80
Patchwork Quilt Valance 6 @ $11.95 = $71.70

Hella money! And notice ….NO BOOKS! I bought stuff for the house. I am again nesting in a new house. And I think I crave newness. I doubt I’ll ever buy another damn house. All they do is cost you tons in repairs and taxes and the more you own in this world the more you pay Uncle Sam for the ever illusive idea that you “own” anything! Face it people, it’s not really yours unless it’s paid for. It’s the banks, the mortgage companies..etc. Don’t believe me? Ask a person who’s been booted out of their house quickly for the onslaught of a new highway. Yeah they got paid…but was it their choice?

I know one thing for sure, I’d much rather live in a nicer bigger house and pay someone else for their troubles in taking care of all the shit I never liked taking care of. Including the roof and the plumbing, the air conditioner etc. Yeahh…I don’t have to worry. And if my landlord doesn’t fix shit, I don’t have to pay and I can pick up my shit I do own and move it elsewhere and look at some new and different walls.

I think that my 8 years of renting prior to my 4 years of owning and my now 2 months of leasing have taught me one thing. Owning sucks. It’s the all-american dream gone bad. Buy this pretty house and in 30 years when you’re crippled with arthritis and the windows are sagging and the floors are creaking and the roof leaks…you’ll finally have it paid for. Then you’ll sit in it day after day worrying about how you don’t have the money to fix shit. (case in point my current 87 year old neighbor who can’t lift a small 12 x 12 birdcage that’s hollow…yeah it’s hollow and her arthritis is so bad that she can’t grasp anything at all! But she owns her house and worries about how to clean the floors and remove the leaves. Yippeeeee I really want that problem. Paid for….still not bringing joy.

Unless I win the fucking lottery and can walk up to a homeowner that’s selling and write a check free and clear I will NEVER own a house again. EVER!! I would rather not pay a bank all of that interest. I lived in a house paid for it for 4 years and at the end of the mess, there was no equity paid yet. Nice American dream. It was more like a nightmare. And sad as part of it is…the other side of me is completely at peace. That was the worst 4 years of my financial life. Paying the city for everything just because I lived in a house that had my name on it. No thanks! And yes I realize I’m paying my landlord so that he can pay his mortgage. I don’t give a rats ass. He can pay for the stuff that goes wrong, the hassles of the repairs etc and I’ll happily while away the hours and let him worry. No thanks! And get this. I pay less per month now and live in a bigger house with tons more. Because that is the luxury of leasing. And sure a year from now mr landlord can say “get out!” and then I’ll pack up my things that I own! and move to a probably nicer joint and meet new neighbors and my son will make new friends. And these are good experiences. Life is an ebb and flow but it is also all about change. Where were you 10 years ago? Talking to whom? I sure hope you’ve met some new people since then.

I thought “Bucky” would be upset when we moved. Turns out he’s fine. The only carryover that’s been the slightest bit difficult was his longterm friendship with Stevie Cleaver. And even that, it’s minimal. He doesn’t ever talk about him unless he sees a picture of him. And he’s made new friends right here. He’s the most flexible kid I’ve ever known. He’s like SpongeBucky. He takes it all in, keeps what he likes, discards what’s no longer necessary.

There’s my rant of the night….. I’m not saying it’s bad for someone else to go and buy a house and if you do I’ll be more than happy for you and I’ll buy you a nice candle or something as a housewarming gift…but I am now reminded of my friend Mad who can’t afford to fix or replace his evap cooler. I thought to myself …if that was me I’d call up Mr. Landlord and it would get fixed or I’d be living rent free for a few months and find a new cool place to live and move out with a pocketful of cash.

Let me also add here that if you were a child lucky enough to get support from your parents at that crucial time in your life when you were college aged and they fronted all your necessities so that you could run off to college and party and get that piece of paper that tells employers that somehow you are more worthy of a fatter paycheck and you’re now laughing at my claim that renting is far better than owning…keep in mind that I didn’t have parents to sponge off of in order to obtain that piece of paper.

I am currently devising a plan that will allow me to go to college on a wish and a prayer and I intend to work my way through and even then….god willing I will have accumulated so much debt that I’ll be paying for that forever… but even so….my sister got a free ride and she’s living fat on the hill right now and I’d not trade places with her…but I think about it a lot because it’s not easy getting shoved into “life” and all that it encompasses with no map and no plan of action. You just get a job cause you have to eat and you hang on with both hands and hope like hell you don’t fail. And then when you get through another week, another month…another year…you stop thinking about how you did it and concentrate on doing it some more.

It’s not easy. I know some people might look at me or Mad and think…what the fuck ….just get it done. Well, it’s not always that easy. We have children. We have lifes that we are in the midst of. And without the love and support of stable family members at that crucial age….we are caught up in life before we are quite prepared. Why am I babbling? Because if you’re out there reading this and you’re 17 and you have a bedroom down the hall from your parents who while they might not seem so perfect to you, they are allowing you to live there and are encouraging you to make something of your life…..for petes sake fucking listen to them! They know what they are talking about!!! If you are presented with amazing opportunities…grab them. Take them. And make something of your life.

It’s a lot harder later on when you’re responsible for another human being and the bills are piling up and you’re struggling to make ends meet.

Am I struggling? Not anymore. Because I gave up the notion that I had to own an MP3 player, a CD writer, the latest and greatest laptop, a new car and a house full of goodies. I don’t need that shit to be as good as the Jones’s. (don’t those bastards just have everything???) I decided that what I needed was chocolate chip cookies on a rainy Sunday afternoon, a big giant quilt and shelves full of amazing books. (2nd hand bookstores are the bomb babie!!) I don’t need to jump a plane to travel, I can go anywhere for $5.00 I don’t need to drink the best wines or taste the most expensive chocolates. I need to be content. To not worry about the electricity bill and juggle car payments around insurance payments and balance the tax bill over my head for 3 months.

I know that you can cut back and cut back and still not have what you need to pay your bills. I’m not blind. I know that sometimes you go without a haircut. And for all my ranting about people doing nice things for me….like BraN buying me books…that’s the sweetest. Why do these things strike me? Not because someone’s giving me a materialistic thing, but because someone’s doing something nice for me. Why is this noteworthy in my world? Because it doesn’t happen often. It’s usually me looking out towards my friends faces and wanting to do something simple and yet with kindness to make someone elses day. Why? Because I know how hard it is to struggle. I know how hard it is to make $5 last through 3 work days til payday. To go without lunch so that you’re kids don’t have to. I know what it is to wear the same shoes for 2 years so you can raise your own child all the while having people say “hey it must be great to be able to raise your son and stay home.” My reply “yeah sure asshole, it’s great…it’s not a gift, it’s a sacrifice! See my shoes falling apart…yeah well my son’s more important right now…shoes are just shoes.”

On that subject, I have met women who choose a new SUV over staying home and raising a newborn baby. They pay more for their car than for their daycare. They scrimp on daycare just to own a Expedition. Whatever!!

My point is just this. I have accepted that what makes me happy as a person, while I like to have nice things…..is not nice things. It is stress free life. It is knowing that when the bills come I simply take out my checkbook and write some checks. And then if I have some extra money, I do something kind for someone else with it. I am a better friend than most. I am selfless. I am not about the almighty dollar like some people I know.

This weekend when I lay down on my vanilla couch I will like last weekend be so grateful because lets face it, I had a daybed in my living room for 11 years because that’s all I could afford. I don’t take anything for granted. I’ve lost everything I’ve owned 3 times in my lifetime and I’m only 31. When you’ve lost it all….you learn what matters.

So yeah sometimes when I push my exercise tape into my old racketing 2 head vcr and it keeps turning itself off, I wish like hell I was Mrs. Rockefeller. And I bitch and cripe when I’m midway through exercising and the damn thing shuts itself off. And I think…FUCK! But in the end when I finally get that 4 head supermodel shiny gleaming machine…I’ll be more grateful than most.

If you’re out there living the life, appreciate it. If you’re out there struggling…you are not alone but take note of these things that drive you insane….

Perhaps its one of the following that have either happened to me or someone I know…

1. You are awakened at 3 a.m. to witness taillights of a flatbed truck leaving with your car on top

2. You walk into your home and have no electricity and they won’t come back and turn it on until the next day

3. You spend the night in a hotel so you can brush your teeth (if you don’t know what this one means….lucky you!)

4. You ransack your apartment for things to pawn so that you can eat.

5. You hunt for a receipt for that hairdryer you bought last week at Wal-mart so you can gather money for a prescription for your sick child.

6. You lie and say you can’t find your insurance card so that someone you love can get medical attention.

7. You write a check and hope that it won’t hit your bank for 3 days or more.

8. When you write the check you get “cash back” so you can eat for 3 days.

9. You calculate the NSF charge in your head as part of the bill your paying.

10. You have memorized the “reconnect” fees for all your utilities.

11. You know the power company billing center phone number by heart.

12. You call your own phone to make sure it’s still turned on.

13. You save “Free 1000 hours – AOL” CD’s for times when you’re DSL service is interrupted.

14. You recycle your milk. (Again if you don’t know what this means…count your blessings!)

15. You take stock of your CD collection and put the “pay’s higher” ones to the front just in case.

16. You know exactly how low your gas gage can fall before it really is out of gas.

17. You can make 5 meals out of 3 bags of ramen noodles.

18. You say the words “not right now honey” automatically when your child asks for something….even if “right now” you have money. Habits….

19. You always save the box from a high ticket purchase…you never know when you’ll need to make an emergency return. (If 30 days passes you throw it away.)

20. You have memorized the return policies of every store you shop at. (If it’s a bad return policy you discontinue shopping there.)

21. You don’t know what it sounds like to drive down the road with spare change in your ashtray.

22. You do however know how to find spare change without a metal detector.

23. You know how difficult it is to rinse laundry detergent off of dishes.

24. You know that clothes get “clean enough” with Dawn.

25. You shake your head in disgust if you have to throw food away.

26. You are an expert at how to order and get 3 meals out of one take out meal.

27. Someone in your party always has to order the salad bar.

28. You know how to fix a flat tire…(yeah it’s the yellow can!) because you’ve had much practice.

29. You know which gas stations have free air.

30. You know where to get bottled water for 25 cents a gallon. (More labor…but c’mon it’s water!)

31. You know that water is free as long as they don’t have those nasty words “bottled water” on the menu!

32. The words “garage sale” makes you cum in your pants.

33. “Estate sale” causes multiple.

34. You know that copper is worth lots of money, even if it’s tarnished and old.

35. You take everything with you, including light fixtures because they can be sold.

36. Denny’s won’t prosecute. (You didn’t know this????)

37. You know how to compose a “cease and desist” letter in 3 minutes flat. (If you’re really good you have it saved on your desktop)

38. You’ve been “deceased” twice or more in a pinch.

39. You save gifts people give you and you are a dreaded “re-gifter” rather than a “non-gifter” because a gift is a terrible thing to not have when free food is involved!

40. Weddings mean free food if they are not the wedding of anyone you know.

You’re writing down the ones you didn’t know because you know you’ll need them someday!

There’s my things right off the top of my head in five minutes. (yeah I type fast..ask anyone who’s ever tried to chat to me!)

Ok I’m tired and so I’m going to bed…..I’m glad I got all of that off my chest. And to think I did it almost for free…..DSL….wonder what the cost per minute is…


p.s. I left a copy of this entry printed out for husband and wrote in big giant letters across the top..."THANKS FOR WEATEHRING IT ALL WITH ME!"
1:04 a.m. ::
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