Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lessons Learned

My husband has taught me many things
during our long years of marriage.

I can clear the soapy, slimy clogs of hair
from the P-trap under the bathroom sink
with the twist of a wrench and a good bucket.

I can apply drywall mud smoother
than a baby's bottom,
hook up co-ax cable to the satellite,
check the oil in the car,
and come within two cents of the
weekly grocery budget.

Apparently, my lessons to him
were not as well received.

He still doesn't do laundry,
cooking, garbage, packing,
planning, parties, or vacuuming.

He still leaves hair in the sink,
underwear on the floor,
and crumbs on the computer keyboard.

But there is one thing that I taught him
that he has never forgotten:

How to use a debit card.

Believe me, it is one thing that
I continue to regret
ever doing.

Oh, sure- if you are one of those people
who have millions of dollars
sitting around in your checking account-
then a debit here and a debit there
probably won't hurt a thing.

But when you are like me
and have to scrimp-
or toss names in a hat on payday-
then a wild man with a debit card
is just asking for trouble.

Our old method worked just fine.

I would make sure he had
two blank checks in his wallet
anytime he would go to work,
or stop for gas,
or run to pick up an item at the lumberyard.

He would write the check number
on the receipt,
present it to me when he got home,
and all was good.

Then one day when I was with him
at the gas station,
he complained that it was raining.

He whined like a man-baby
that he was going to get wet (and melt?)
if he had to go in and pay.

What that really meant was-
"I'll pump- if you'll run like an idiot
through this thunderstorm to give
the nice lady in the window a check."

"Ugh..use your debit card," I said,
without thinking of the grim
consequences that this might cause.

"Really? Can I do that?" he said in surprise
and total ignorance.

I felt sorry for the guy.
All this time he had been writing checks
and running through rain
and pulling out ID's.

So, I gave him a lesson on the use of a debit card.

And also informed him of the ease of ATM's,
online shopping,
and internet bill pay.

Bad call.

Now he uses that debit card
like a third hand.

He subscribes to magazines,
buys fancy tools,
eats McDonald's,
and lurks on craigslist.

He thinks that debit card
is a lottery card.

Oh, I've had a lot of pain and heartache
since that day at the gas station...

Collecting receipts is like pulling teeth,
hiding the checkbook balance is impossible,
and telling him not to spend over $25
because we've only got 30,
falls on deaf ears.

But, you know-
I've not had to run through the rain lately
to pay for gasoline with a paper check,
so I suppose it's been a bit better for me, too.

if only I could teach him
how to use the mixer, the microwave,
the dishwasher,
and the toilet brush...