Saturday, November 7, 2009
its a hrd knk life
I've built lengthy and pointless blog posts on far less than this, of course, but I really did have a point other than the new phone. Most of you know that back in January, I lost a job I'd held for a long time, due to the acquisition and shutdown of the company I worked for. I received a generous severance package, and I used it to replace the windows on my house and to spend a few months hanging around with my kids. Everything was fine, we were paying the bills and the wolf was nowhere near the door. He wasn't even in the neighborhood. Still, as I spent the severance money, and my bank balance steadily shrank, unreplenished by new income, I became anxious about money. Expenditures about which I would not have wasted the proverbial second thought became sources of additional anxiety. I knew I was going to go back to work but I really felt no confidence that I'd be able to find a job when I wanted one.
It wasn't all anxious pessimism. My new caution about money became kind of a game, too. I clipped coupons. I bought store brands. I gave up my book-buying habit and rediscovered the library. I looked for ways to avoid spending money, and was positively gleeful when I found them. Now, I'm back at work, but I'm still hanging on to my new frugal habits. I haven't bought any new clothes this fall, and I pack my lunch everyday. I'm actually downright cheap.
Right after the layoff, flush with the severance money, I decided to upgrade my phone, to this one. I text more than I talk, and texting on a 10-key phone is no fun. It takes entirely too long, and I don't like not being able to punctuate and capitalize properly either. For example, my cousin and I exchanged frequent texts during the World Series. We were dismayed, to say the least, about Joe Buck's oh-so-obvious pro-Yankee bias. So with a 10-key phone "Asshole. (Joe Buck, not you.)" would have read "asshole joe buck not you." Unacceptable. Also, I use actual words in text messages; IDK what most of the abbreviations mean, and OMG I so do not want to know (although I think I might have invented OMG. More on that later.) English has worked well for me for many years, and I'm going to stick with it.
It's already far too late to make this long story short, but to condense a bit, I had one problem after another with this phone. Not long after I had to replace it for the third time, I lost it. Not misplaced, but lost; I looked everywhere and retraced every step, and the phone had vanished. My plan didn't allow for a free replacement or upgrade, since I'd already had one, and I could not bring myself to pay for a new phone. Here was the perfect example of the expenditure about which I wouldn't have thought twice two years ago. Verizon offered me a very nice messaging phone for $49.99. It's not that I have ever been a person who would just casually throw away $50, but two years ago, I'd have thought "unfortunate but necessary expense. Sold". Now, "necessary" has taken on an entirely new definition. My husband has two phones; his personal phone and his business phone, and he'd wanted to get rid of one anyway, so he just reprogrammed it with my number, and I was all set. It wasn't a QWERTY phone, but it didn't cost any money either, and this was its most compelling feature.
I was all full of virtuous modern Depression frugality; but this, predictably, got old. I missed being able to text properly. My resolve started to weaken, and I started pricing phones again. Then, my husband got an email from Verizon...he was eligible for an upgrade! Two of the phones that were offered were free, and one was a messaging phone. Because he's a good husband, and because his text messaging is limited to "10-4", "whats yr 20" and "on my way", he offered the phone to me. Email me your cell phone number, and I'll send you a properly spelled and punctuated text message. Brother, can you spare a phone?