Today is Bill Paying Day, the time when I send checks, EFTs, or record automatic payments in return for essential services such as heating, lighting, water, and bad original programming via the Sci-Fi Channel.
I derive a certain amount of satisfaction out of the simple blessing of being able to pay our bills in full and on time, recognizing that this is not something everyone can do all the time. In fact, I will confess that I sometimes feel a bit like Job in his pre-it-all-hit-the-fan-at-once days, and I can’t help wondering when the other shoe will drop. OTOH, I’ve been wondering that for a couple of decades, so perhaps I’m just paranoid. But you know what they say about being paranoid. And we know you know.
There are two accountants living in our household, and this makes for (1) really boring dinner conversation (“Did you read that article in the Journal today about SOX?” “Yeah, that was something, wasn’t it?” “Pass the pepper, please.”) and (2) a fiscally-responsible division of labor when it comes to family finances. Our checks-and-balances system is exactly that: I write most of the checks and MLB balances the checkbook. This serves to keep me terrified and humble.
The other thing my accounting-derived OCD drives me to do is keep exquisitely detailed records of our monthly transactions. OK, not all that detailed, but I can tell you the average cost per KWH of our electricity last month, compared to three years ago. Anyway, one of the potentially interesting phenomena I’ve noticed over the years is that the good folks to whom we send monthly payments are rarely content with their own names. Or, they’ve just up and left. To wit:
- CellularOne ==> Alltel
- Cox Communication ==> Suddenlink
- Energas ==> Atmos
- Southwestern Bell ==> AT&T
- TU Electric ==> TXU
Actually, some of those companies changed names more than once over the years.
I forget where I was going with this. Apparently, my blogging instinct keeps writing checks that my brain can’t cash.