Worm In My Brain

I think we’re all familiar with the concept of the “Ear Worm”, a song that gets stuck in your head and refuses to leave no matter what you do. Usually it’s one that you hate and would probably be willing to cut off your ears to avoid hearing ever again. With me, that song is “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, or as I always knew them, Men Without Talent. I won’t add a link to the video, as I don’t want to alienate any of my readers, precious few as they are. However, this post is NOT about that kind of ear worm.

October and November were particularly rough months for me, both at home and at work (Five Years, I Know It’s Over, Oops I Did It Again) and I will admit to not being in the best of moods. As I’ve said elsewhere, the music played at work is dreadful, ( On Repeat) and if I never hear Cyndi Lauper caterwauling “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” ever again, it will be about 50 billion years too soon.

In order to compensate for all this, especially as the Christmas music started the day after Thanksgiving, a song popped into my head, sat down, put it’s feet up and reached for the beer. Only a couple of weeks before this, I had completed reading “Publikation” by David Buckley, a well researched and equally well written history of Kraftwerk. As a result, Der Fab Vier featured prominently on my iPod as I walked to work. I know their music is seen as repetitive, and to some extent it is, but it brings back many happy memories.

I think it must be related to my Aspergers, but the song that drilled itself into my brain was “Pocket Calculator” from the album “Computer World”. You see, that particular track is very sparse, the lyrics are spoken and the themes simply repeat over and over again.

Pocket Calculator

Computer WorldI find it a very comforting track, almost an aural hug, if you like. It’s  stripped down nature has a calming effect on me, and having it play in my head for hours at a time allowed me to reach a state of detachment meant that I could do my job without perseverating on my situation. One other thing that makes this track special for me is that back in 1981 I saw Kraftwerk perform at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool on their Computer World tour. This is the tour that was famously delayed as the band had to work out how to bring the entire Kling Klang studio with them. I don’t know if you can imagine the sight of a couple of thousand Kraftwerk mad Scousers dancing like berserkers while four men stand on stage behind what look like post modern ironing boards not moving an inch. It was a fantastic night, and I remember being one of the crowd after the show pressing their faces to the bars over the green room window shouting our thanks to the band. BTW, Liverpool loves, and I mean, really loves Kraftwerk.

Another thing about this track is that it represents the actual birth of Electronic Dance Music. If you’ve ever been to a rave, attended a Skrillex concert, bought a track by Daft Punk, Deadmau5 or Swedish House Mafia, you owe it all to four guys from Dusseldorf. I know this may sound like hyperbole, but listen to the riff at 2:50 and tell me otherwise. I have to say that it seems a bit weird to have been present at the creation of an entire music genre, but I was, as was everyone else who attended a gig on that tour or bought the L.P.

So now you see why I made no attempt to work the song out of my consciousness. I just couldn’t. It was like a self generated security blanket, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. As things have calmed down and my life has assumed a state of what for the sake of argument I’m going to call normality, the track has popped up less and less often, and pretty much not at all for the last couple of weeks. I don’t know if it was purely a stress reaction, or if the book sparked something, but whatever the reason for it popping back into my head and taking up residency, it did me the world of good. I’ll be fine from now on, as long as no one tells me “You can dance if you want to”.

 

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Being Boring

What is the worst thing about your job? Is it the commute, the annoyingly loud coworker in the next cubicle, anyone from Marketing, the person who takes the last cup of coffee and doesn’t make more, the petty rules, the delay in getting replacement equipment? Well how about your coworkers, or rather, one in particular?

For me, it’s the latter. Most of the people in the department are pretty decent. I mean, there are some arseholes, skivers and generally obnoxious gits, but by and large we work well as a team and like each other. However, there is one person who until recently got under my skin like a deer tick.

Let me elaborate: We have three shifts, the first one running from 5.30 until 2 pm. This is a brutal shift at the best of times as the opener only has 30 minutes to make sure everything is ship shape before opening the department, and  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, as I just can’t imagine having lunch at 10 am. One of our openers, the one who gets under my skin is a middle aged woman who is much, much farther along the Aspergers/Autism spectrum than me. A blind man on a speeding horse could see that, so to say that  it’s obvious is something of an understatement. Her one redeeming feature is that she is very good at her job, and I know that as the mid shift person, I will get a very, very full briefing on all the events of the day so far and numerous updates during the three and a half hours we work together, and that’s where the problems start.

She will perseverate on the smallest of details. Anything that has happened in her life is apparently worthy of relating, including her nieces and nephews not liking whatever she had prepared for dinner, the lack of a product in stock, the arrival of the next load, in fact anything that has happened to her or she has seen in the past week. It used to drive me fucking nuts until like Baldrick, I had a cunning plan.

I would simply tune her out. I will make the occasional sound of acknowledgement, but don’t engage in any meaningful way unless I have to, and I try not to have to. I know she can’t help it, in fact, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even realise she’s doing it as she gets on with her work. Two things still get to me, no matter what I do. She will end even the most mundane of statements or observations by laughing as if she’s just delivered a razor sharp one liner. Maybe she genuinely thinks she’s being funny, but it happens pretty much every time she finishes a sentence. The other thing is her habitual attempts to upsell. If there is one thing I dislike with a passion when it comes to sales, it’s anyone who tries to upsell to me. In fact, if someone does that to me, I just leave and don’t even complete my initial purchase. I know that sounds like going too far, but I refuse to be manipulated into spending more that I have to, or buying something I hadn’t intended to at someone else’s urging, especially if that person has a vested interest in my purchase.

You see, we very often run offers and “Big Board Sales”, where various products may be offered at 60 percent of their regular price. Not just in the deli, but in every department in the store. This is a regular part of our life, and when the deli has anything either on offer, or on the Big Board we get slammed. Big Board items are advertised on standing boards both outside and immediately inside the entrances in font so large it can’t be missed. To give one recent example, we have prepackaged salami on sale, specifically 7 ounce sampler packs, which are selling well due to the number of parties taking place around Christmas.

I may be taking a bit of a leap here, but I work under the premise that all of our customers who happen to be of high school age or above are able to read at least at at high school level and possess the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. Not so my coworker. Several times this week, as she handed a customer their order she went on to describe in great detail the salami, what the pack contained, the price and where to find it. Every time, every single time, the customer looked back without making eye contact, smiled weakly and thanked her before hurrying away as fast as possible to the furthest corner of the store. The only way I can describe it is to ask you to imagine the look on someone’s face as they are accosted on the bus by the guy across the aisle who is expounding on some bizarre conspiracy theory.

She even tried to get another of my coworkers to do the same. As he’s a sensible, well adjusted chap he demurred. She hasn’t asked me, as I’m pretty sure even she gets the fact that I will never upsell. I know all the above sounds mean, and to some extent it is. In fact, George Bernard Shaw put it perfectly when he said:

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity”.

The problem is that it’s the only way I can keep my sanity. I’m not mean to my coworker. It’s just that she has no conversation, no interests, no opinions on anything other than her family and work. She’s very good at her job, and within five minutes of starting my shift I know exactly what has happened, the state of our stock, anything of note, and for that I appreciate her and am most grateful. I just wish I knew of a better way to get through half a shift with her.

Suggestions on a $20 bill to Singledad Towers, please.

 

 

 

 

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Bend It

I won’t say I’m an art lover, that would be something of an exaggeration. I do, however, have quite a few framed prints, posters and flyers on my walls, more than a few, in fact, and while none of them are high art, they all have meaning for me.

Some are quirky, like the spoof L.P. cover showing four images of Jurgen Klopp mimicking the cover of Kraftwerk’s classic album “The Man Machine”, re-titled “The Gegenpresser”,  (here’s the original)

man Machine

or the ink drawing of Cthulhu in the style of Edward Gorey. Some are important, like the poster of Bill Shankly holding a red flag over his head, honouring Liverpool fans. Some are music related, such as the fake Clash concert poster, with my band as one of the supporting acts. Actually, it is a poster for a real concert altered to spec. Apparently I pushed Vic Goddard and the Subway Sect off the bill.

Having read “Publikation” by David Buckley a couple of months ago I went on a bit of a Kraftwerk bender, playing their music as I walked to and from work for the best part of two weeks. In fact, during my recent period of mental turmoil, the only thing keeping me sane was a Kraftwerk track playing in a loop in my head ( subject of an upcoming post). I decided to take a look on Etsy.com and came across a framed print of the cover to Autobahn, taken from a high end art book.

 

Autobahn

I duly ordered said print and awaited it’s arrival. I’m fortunate that the local post office is on my daily route, so about a month ago I stopped in on my way home from work in order to check my P.O. box, hoping to find a slip announcing that my print was awaiting pickup at the counter. Guess what?

I’ll tell you. My box was full, mostly with junk mail, but bent double and crammed into the box was a large Manila envelope. Can you guess what was in it? Again, I’ll tell you, but I reckon you already know. I had to work hard to get the envelope out of the box as it was jammed in, but with some effort I got it free. I’m not a violent man, but I nearly went full Incredible Hulk at that moment. You see, the envelope that had been so violently forced into my mail box was indeed, the print I had ordered. Clearly printed on the envelope in red capital letters  was the phrase “PLEASE DO NOT BEND”. Not exactly a proposition from Wittgenstein, to paraphrase Basil Fawlty. Yet the fucking genius who had last handled said envelope had managed to bend three layers of card in order to get it into my mail box. This wasn’t some  half arsed home made effort, but a purpose made mailer with a stiff cardboard back, as well as the print and the card frame, so it would have taken quite a bit of effort to bend it.

You can’t even begin to understand just how angry I was, and I am glad I didn’t encounter anyone on my way home, as a single word would have been enough to set me off. Let me show you what I had in my possession when I got home.

20181114_194625 (3)20181114_19452520181115_112218

20181114_194606

See what I mean? How I managed to sleep that night I’ll never know. Of course, I took it to the Post Office in order to lodge a complaint. The alleged adult in charge did a good job, but not a thoroughly convincing one of feigning remorse, and blamed it on a “new trainee”, presumably an illiterate  one who doesn’t understand spoken English. She gave me her email and a number to call, and I left very much less than satisfied. Cut to the chase: because the sender didn’t buy insurance, I’m fucked.

I emailed the manager and the seller, but answer came there none. To say that I’m unhappy about this is the understatement of the millennium. I didn’t expect the seller to do anything, as she’s already been paid, but an acknowledgement and expression of sympathy wouldn’t have gone amiss. Of course, I knew the Post Office wouldn’t do anything, despite my further emails, but to misquote Ernestine, one of Lily Tomlin’s finest creations: “The Post Office. We don’t care, we don’t have to”.

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One More Cup Of Coffee

As we are all aware, advertising is predicated on a lie. That lie is that buying a particular product will make you happy. All you require to make your life perfect is the right vehicle, item of clothing, toothpaste or whatever. Drinking a particular beer will make you more attractive to the opposite sex, likewise using a particular shampoo. And no, you’re not too fat to wear our eye shadow.

None of this will come as any surprise, and I presume we all fight this as much as we can, even if we are deluding ourselves into believing we’re buying a product based on it’s merits and utility rather than the image it presumes to project about those who use it.  Having said all that, I recently experienced a feeling of great enjoyment due to buying something.

As I’ve made known, I drink rather too much coffee than is good for me. I used to drink an entire pot of filter coffee every morning and would often have a cup or three during the work day depending on my level of tiredness or boredom. This changed when a friend of my ex girlfriends’ gave us an espresso machine that was surplus to his requirements as he’d just bought an even fancier one. It took residence in my house as she had literally nowhere to put it, and I became an ardent espresso drinker from that point on. I drank a lot of lattes, but gradually phased the milk out of the scene, although I always kept some half and half on hand for her breves. About a year ago she bought me a demi tass and saucer from the place where we first met and I put it to immediate use. The cup held three shots, so two triples quickly became my daily dose. The cup was a little on the thick side, but no matter, as I felt that the cups’ diminutive stature lent it an air of sophistication.

One consequence of us splitting up was that I now found myself with some financial wiggle room, and although I had no intention of going crazy, I did decide to treat myself to something special. Ever since I set up the espresso machine ( A Saeco Royal Professional), I had harboured the idea of buying a set of vintage, or at least mid century modern coffee cups, but decided against it due to my poor finances.

Fast forward to last month. I headed over to the Etsy website and began searching for demi tasse sets, and leaving aside the $350 Limoges I began searching for the right set. As is usually the case, something jumped out at me pretty early on: a 12 piece Bavarian set in ivory porcelain with a hand-painted Queen Anne’s Lace design, made some time between 1900 and 1910. at only $50 it seemed like a great deal, so I placed my order and waited. I was somewhat disappointed a couple of days later to learn from the vendor that it was only a 10 piece set, rather than the 12 as advertised, but seeing as I’m very unlikely to  have five people over all of whom want espresso, I went ahead with the purchase anyway.

A short time later I picked up my package from the post office and opened it as soon as I got home. There was no way I was going to leave the cups unused, so I fired up the machine in anticipation. I can’t begin to explain just how excited I was, as the pieces were all in perfect condition and so delicate as to defy belief. Each cup and saucer weighed almost nothing, the cups are paper thin, and when full, the coffee is visible through the side. Brim-full, the cups only just hold two shots, but this concentrates the crema perfectly, producing a thick, uniform layer atop the coffee. What just blew me away was the fact that something so delicate had survived so long undamaged, although they probably spent most of their existence locked safely away in a dining room china cabinet.

Not so in this house. One thing I did learn from my ex girlfriend is that what you drink out of is as much a part of the experience as what you drink. With handles no bigger than my thumb nail and a saucer delicate beyond belief, I just had to make immediate use of them. As I’d already had my regular morning allowance, I restricted myself to two cups, meaning that by the time I left for work I’d had 10 shots of espresso.

My morning routine has altered somewhat as a result. I now take a good half hour or more to sit in my glider by the window and savour three cups while reading and relaxing. Being so small, there’s nothing to be gained by knocking the coffee back like tequila shots in a bar, and the experience of handling something so small and exquisite really does add a layer of enjoyment it is difficult to describe. I get to experience every sip to the full, and can make a double last a lot longer than a triple from my old cup, which is now banished to the back of the crockery cupboard for use in extremis only. I know it may all seem a bit too precious, but I am really enjoying being able to put to use something that probably only ever saw the light of day a couple of times a year. And lest you think I’m exaggerating, this is what they look like:                                                                         cup

Yeah. Exactly. Tell me that drinking out of a cup like this wouldn’t feel special. I bet you can’t do it with a straight face. Suffice it to say that my new routine has resulted in a much more relaxed start to the day and my mood has improved, which is no bad thing. I know that they’re an indulgence, but can you really blame me? I mean, who can say that using something so special can’t be justified? I’d rather something be put to it’s intended purpose than languish in a cabinet collecting dust. I suppose I should finish now and start getting ready for work. Hmm. I wonder if I have time for just one more cup.

 

 

 

 

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I Know It’s Over

As you are now all painfully aware, the five year relationship with my girlfriend ended a few weeks ago. See “Five Years” for more details.  To use a narrative metaphor, after the climax of a story comes the denouement, the extra couple of minutes at the end of a film, or the last few pages at the end of a novel that bring things to a nice tidy conclusion. In the case of relationships that denouement involves returning all the stuff that has been left at the other’s place over the years.

Even before our final phone conversation I had started to bag up all of her stuff: more toiletries than I had realised, assorted personal items, shoes, a table lamp and lots of clothes – in fact so many clothes that I now have significantly more storage space. We arranged a time and place to meet and I loaded all her stuff into the boot of my car in anticipation of our meeting. There was one thing, however, that I didn’t load. You see, my ex girlfriend has a pet Tenrec.  As it’s a  nocturnal animal, it’s a good fit for her, as she can be at home when the animal is active, something that drew her to Tenrecs, having previously owned a pair of Sugar Gliders. The Gliders weren’t travelers, but she wanted to bring Couscous with her, so she bought a smaller habitat to leave at my place.

I asked her about the “Country House” and she said that as she had nowhere to put it and didn’t need it, I should keep it. I assumed she’d want it back in order to have one for her next/new boyfriend’s house, but apparently not.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, she called me a week ago yesterday to let me know that she was on the boat, so I prepared to head down to meet her. Except that the car wouldn’t start. I’d had some problems with the battery previously, but now it was dead. There was no way the trickle charger would give me enough of a boost in the half hour I had, so I texted her, explained the situation and asked her to come to the house. Wrong move.

She said that she couldn’t take the time to come over as she had to be back in the city in the early afternoon and accused me of playing games. I explained again, and was very annoyed that after five years together she wouldn’t even spare me one hour for this. She told me that I’d have to come over to the city as she’d made a good faith effort. I eventually got the car going and bought a new battery at Costco, (texting her a photo of the receipt and adding the message “See?”) which my son helped my install the next day.

Fast forward to yesterday: We had agreed a time and place to meet in the city and I duly set off and drove up from the ferry terminal to meet her. I couldn’t find it. The name of the establishment was nowhere to be seen, and as Capitol Hill has a bastard of a traffic plan I ended up driving around in squares, occasionally pulling over to read her texts and reply. I found the place almost by chance due to the fact that I was driving north along the street and caught a glimpse of the restaurant she’d mentioned. It was in an above grade mini mall and totally invisible from the other direction.

She’d driven to what she regarded as an easier location, so I had to hang around until she came back as I didn’t fancy another 45 minutes driving around the city. She turned up a few minutes later and took the space next to mine. She was reasonably friendly and we began swapping our gear. I was over the fact that our relationship was over, but I did feel somewhat resentful of her choice, asking “A place that’s impossible to see, you call that a good location?” Her response was to say that decent parking is difficult to find in the city. I can pretty much understand her not wanting me to come to  her house, even though that would be the easiest thing, but I find it hard to believe that a mini mall parking lot apparently built on top of a supermarket in a busy part of town was the best place for us to meet.

I will admit that having such a hard time finding the parking lot and her refusal to compromise a week earlier had put me in a bad mood and I’m afraid it showed. There was one thing I couldn’t get off my mind, so I said ” Just one question, who is he?” she replied “There’s no one else, there’s no one else.” “It always pays to have a back up” I replied, then got back in the car and drove off.

I suppose I could have dealt with the situation better, and in retrospect I do feel somewhat bad about how it all ended, but  I just didn’t have it in me to wish her all the best, good luck, or anything like that.

So, that’s it then, I suppose. Five years of relationship down the Swannee. All those vacations, presents, nights out, nights in, dinner parties, movies, concerts, all now just so much electricity zipping around the neurons of my memory. I suppose I should have seen this coming. She’d been pulling away for a few months, our sex life had pretty much come to a halt as she’d been sick for a while and as a result of going through “The Change” she’d issued a Diktat about how sex would be in the future, which is not exactly the most romantic text I’ve ever received, to put it lightly.

We were never actually going to live together, as she won’t live anywhere except in a city, and I’m not going to move away from the kids. The time we did spend together was almost entirely on her terms: my home had to be adjusted to meet her needs, and my needs had to be adjusted to meet her home. I’m pondering all this as I type, and I do have to wonder if I’m actually capable of being in a long term relationship. I mean, my interpersonal skills are far from the highest order, I’m neither the tidiest nor the most thoughtful person in the world, and even after all these years, I can’t seem to break myself of the habit of keeping secret things that don’t really need to be kept secret.

It really makes me wonder if I’m just wasting my time on dating websites and if I should just give up. My recent form doesn’t really give me much cause for hope, but I simply can’t bear the thought of being on my own for the rest of my life. I realise what an apocalyptic statement that is, but let’s be honest,  my performance in the relationship field has been less than stellar.

Once again, I don’t have a snappy ending for this post as it’s not really that kind of post, but if you have any single female friends, bear me in mind the next time any of them mention that they’re looking for a date. A boy can dream, right?

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Big Brown Eyes

This is yet another post I had hoped would turn out differently. Let me elaborate. In the post “(Just Like) Starting Over” I mentioned meeting a very charming Mexican woman at a taqueria who, after a very promising start developed a case of cold feet. Well, about a week  ago she contacted me, saying that she really liked me. Hmm. I was pleased and perplexed in equal measure  about this, and we texted quite a bit that day and had another epic phone call before agreeing to go on a date the following weekend. To say that the prospects seemed good is something of an understatement. I won’t elaborate, but I got the distinct impression that I would have to pop home prior to going to work on Saturday.

Come Wednesday we were still texting, and I mentioned that if I was going to pick her up as planned, she’d have to give me her address, and asked if she’d given any thought to where we would be going. Answer came there none. She could only text sporadically while at work, so the lack of a response wasn’t too disheartening, but come Thursday my hopes were fading. True to form she cancelled on me again, claiming that when she gets home on a Friday she just doesn’t want to leave the house. To be knocked back twice with patently lame excuses didn’t do my mood any good at all, and I was unable to hide my annoyance from my co workers, although I did put on my public face when helping customers.

This made me wonder why women don’t just come out and tell the truth. Why not just say “I don’t think we’re a good match, I don’t want to go out with you”? Would that be so hard, ladies? Feigning illness is a dog lame way to exit and just doesn’t convince anyone. Maybe women have been so conditioned by societal norms to not make a fuss and not upset men that they have no option but to weasel out of situations for fear that the guy will retaliate. It doesn’t say much for us as a culture if women really do have to treat the male ego like an eggshell, but it’s about time men got over themselves and just dealt with it. I really don’t know. Maybe some guys are like that, but I know I’m not, and would much rather just hear the truth.

I salvaged something out of the evening by meeting up with a couple of friends for a beer at my local watering hole and ended up having a very nice evening after all and was in fine fettle for Saturday’s shift.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I received a text from my erstwhile correspondent saying that she wasn’t dating anyone else, and that her knee ( on which she will soon have surgery) has become so bad that it drains all her energy and she felt it wasn’t fair on me. I replied, saying how much I appreciated her for her honesty and that if she feels better after her surgery that I will still be here. Despite all my efforts, I’m not dating anyone else either, as readers of this blog can attest. It did give me some hope that we might get together again and raised her in my estimation as she had the decency to let me know the real reason for her cancelling on me at such short notice. I only wish she’d let me know before I went to Rite Aid!

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I Don’t Owe You Anything

At what point do we become adults? When we’re old enough to vote, drink alcohol legally, join the military, qualify for a mortgage, enter the workforce full time? That’s very much a “Yes and” question, so I apologise. It’s all of those times, plus many more, as becoming an adult is very much a process rather than an event. However, in one important aspect, we never become adults, as I’m about to explain.

I am as guilty of this as anyone, but no matter how old we are, our parents always see us as children. My son turned 16 this summer. He’s already 6 feet 1 tall and shows no sign of slowing down. He is a technological wizard, a damn sight smarter than his old man and a very grounded and aware human being. He has great potential and no doubt a shining future ahead of him. Likewise my daughter the athlete, equestrian, artist and musician. According to her history teacher she has a deep understanding of the state of the Ottoman Empire in the period leading up to World War One, which is more than I have, and I’m the history buff in the family.

However, I have a photo on my fridge of my son when he was less than two years old, wearing a blue and white hooped onesie and sticking his tongue out. I still see him as that toddler despite the fact that he now towers over me. He still has the same haircut, though. Even though my daughter is well on her way to womanhood I still see the three year old in the pink and purple mohair skirt her mother knitted for her.

My dad has the same attitude towards me. My recent financial difficulties are well explored elsewhere in this blog, so I won’t rehash them. Suffice it to say that there were times when my only option was to use my credit card. Lest you think I was throwing money away on luxuries and trinkets, think again. Moving house is a costly experience, I had presents to buy for my kids and ex girlfriend on birthdays and Christmas, as well as car insurance payments and other incidentals. When on a limited income, this stuff builds up no matter what you do, and once you factor in the effect of interest things start to get out of hand. After paying my other bills I found it very difficult to pay down the balance, resorting to paying the interest plus a nominal sum over that in a vain attempt to convince myself that I was actually paying it off.

I had come to realise that at some point even if I didn’t use the card at all I’d have difficulty paying anything more than the interest, at which point who knows what? It would be a mild understatement to say that this was weighing on my mind and causing me no little angst, as there was no way I could afford to pay off the card without leaving myself desperately short of funds on hand. To some extent I had accepted that this was going to be a permanent state of affairs and accepted the burden as a fact of life.

So far the situation had all the elements of a Greek tragedy until in true fashion, a Deus Ex Machina appeared and solved the problem in one fell swoop. If  you haven’t figured it out by now, it was my Dad. He really doesn’t like using credit cards, nor even debit cards, so he invariably brings a substantial amount of cash with him. One benefit of this is that he can simply hand me some cash to pay for groceries, etc and not have to deal with the issue. I’d discussed my finances with him as he was concerned about my situation and without me asking, either directly or indirectly, handed me enough cash to pay off my credit card in one fell swoop.

Yeah. My response exactly. I took said cash straight to the bank and payed off my credit card the next day. You can imagine what a great relief it was to be rid of the burden that had been pressing down on me for so long. I also took the precaution of changing all my payment details to my debit card so all my future Amazon, Etsy purchases etc. would come directly out of my bank account and prevent me from simply building up another unsustainable credit card debt. I’m happy to say that so far I haven’t used my credit card at all, and don’t intend to unless forced to by an emergency.

Not to go into details, but the sum in question was a four figured one, so the idea that I would trouser $150 rather than take my then girlfriend out to dinner for our anniversary is outrageously risible, see “Don’t Let Me Be Understood” for background.  I will admit to being humbled by my Dad’s action. I don’t like the fact that I earn so little and that I have to juggle to make ends meet, that I can’t pay my way as much as I’d like and that as a fully grown adult I have to depend on my father to bail me out.  Like I don’t have enough inadequacy issues as it is.

Don’t misunderstand me. My Dad made no big deal of the issue, because as far as he’s concerned, that’s what you do for your kids: you help them out whenever they need it. Being a parent is a lifelong commitment, as I’m learning on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean I’m flush with cash, but it does mean that I have a little more wiggle room when it comes to daily finances. I won’t be splurging on luxuries any time soon, but I may be able to treat myself to the occasional grocery purchase above and beyond the bare necessities.

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Filed under Credit Card Debt, family, parenting, Personal finances