Friday, January 07, 2005

Shouldn't Have Said Anything

Okay, you remember that emergency I was saying wasn't in the budget?

Well, this morning, after discussing various ways my wife and I could divert a couple of bucks from the budget to do something fun for our anniversary on Saturday, I headed for my car to go to work, only to discover the passenger side window had been smashed in. The contents of the car had been turned upside down.

What were the bad guys after? Did I have my much discussed and top-secret weight loss and debt reduction plans in the car? Were they a druggie, desperate for a fix, who had spotted money through the window? What were they after?

A remote for the gate.

It's the second time it's happened. At our apartment complex, you need a remote whether you're coming in or going out and while there's plenty of people to let the remoteless in during the early evening, by one or two in the morning waiting for someone could take a while. That frustration can drive people to other, less time-wasting alternatives, like smashing somebody's car window and taking their remote.

Somehow, causing over a hundred bucks damage to my car for a $15 remote seems sensible to people in the middle of the night.

I was frustrated, but not too worried. We'd just discussed ways of redirecting a few bucks to do something this weekend. Now we'd have to change our plans, but we already knew where to get the money.

Except that when we further researched, we discovered two things. First, glass was way more expensive than it had been when we'd bought it in April (Why? Did the war in Iraq cause a glass shortage? Or because people with broken windows are more desperate when it's raining?). Also, a $58 uncollected bill from last month was suddenly pulled from our bank account yesterday.

Yikes. It looked like the "anniversary savings" was gone before we'd even figured out how to save it. And that left us with just enough money for next week's gas.

So, how to handle it . . . Hit up my folks for some money? Get a payday loan? Ask my boss for a loan?

No. Spending money I didn't have is what got me into this mess in the first place.

So I'm choosing option D: None of the above.

I don't have the money, so I'm not fixing it right now. For the next week and half, I'll drive with plastic over my window. I'll keep a towel over the seat to fend off some of the heavy rain we're supposed to see.

That's just how it's going to be. I've decided on my priorities this year, and not having plastic and duct tape on the window of my car isn't on the list.

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