At Least In Prison, I’ll Have Time To Catch Up On All The Books I Want To Read


Do y’all know how they say that May is the silent December?  And by they, I’m sure we can all take for granted that I mean mothers of school-aged children and teachers.  Because if it’s important, and it hasn’t been done yet, you can bet that it’s going to be crammed into May.  No teacher ever let a class full of kids out right after Memorial Day without making sure that the Read-A-Thon was properly celebrated by having the room mothers bring in a platter of hors d’oeuvres, shaped like little books and Number 2 pencils.

(And now that we have Pinterest, room mothers everywhere feel pressured all the way into a padded room and straight jacket to make sure that they bring the most adorable snack ever seen.)

(When did classroom snacks become a competition?)

I’ve always been one to say that May is every bit as busy as December, but without the shopping.  And the trips to see Santa.  But what I didn’t know is that sometimes the second week of October can be exactly like that, too.  I’m going to schedule time to breathe somewhere between teaching PE, attending three soccer games this week, balancing my checkbook, paying my bills, buying food for my family (because they suddenly feel like they’re entirely too good for cold cereal for dinner, six nights in a row), keeping Thing 2 from lighting our house on fire, getting myself to Bible study and maybe attempting to do my homework for it, too, and trying to stay on top of the laundry.

I’ve decided that something has to give this week, and it’s either the housework… or the blog.  And frankly, I’m voting for the housework.  But that’s a fancy way of saying that my plate of hors d’oeuvres is actually quite full this week, and it’s nothing fancy… it’s just a whole lot of stuff that needs to get done, so that I’m not thrown into debtors’ prison for neglecting to write a check to someone, because of ALL THE BUSY.

And I say that jokingly, but it almost happened.  This morning I opened the mail to find something strange and very official looking from a collection agency.  Hubs and I are very good about paying our bills on time, because it’s always a competition to see who has the best credit score.

(What?  You think you have great credit?  Well, throw the glove of challenge down; Hubs and I accept.  We’re poor people who pay things on time.  We just eat a lot of cold cereal and Ramen noodles to save expenses.)

(Oh, who am I kidding?  We eat a lot of cold cereal and Ramen noodles because I hate cooking.  Let me say a couple of Hail Marys and be forgiven for almost lying to y’all there.)

I opened this envelope this morning, and it said that Hubs (just Hubs — obviously my name was nowhere on the report) had been turned into a collection agency for the sum of $40.17.  It was an insurance co-pay which we had obviously failed to pay in June, when Thing 2 had a little check-up in Denver for some surgery he had last year.  I distinctly remember getting an Explanation of Benefits that told us our insurance had covered the office visit, and that the patient’s responsibility (that was us!) was ZERO AMERICAN DOLLARS.

You can bet your sweet children that I called the agency post haste today.  I told them, “Listen.  I don’t know what this $40.17 is all about.  And who has to hire a collection agency for such a small sum?  Are you really going to send Dog the Bounty Hunter after my husband for forty dollars and change?”

(Because if I’m going to be featured on TV as an associate to a crime of Failure to Pay, then I want to go shopping and get a new outfit first.)

The VERY NICE GAL (Thank you, Jesus, for giving her to me on the phone today, because you know how I like to just break down and cry when people are difficult and mean during phone calls.) told me, “Honey, it says here that it was a co-pay; those never show up on EOBs.  You’re just fine, Sweetheart; I’ve got you all taken care of, and your credit report can still be stellar.”

She actually called me Honey AND Sweetheart.  I wanted to call her back and invite her out for coffee, except she probably fears that I’ll walk off from Starbucks without paying my bill.

So see?  Hubs narrowly avoided debtors’ prison; I have kept him out and repolished his name for the Credit Score Judges.

But really?  Well, I do need to get some things done this week.  I need to cheer for the boy while he plays soccer, and I need to buy real food, like chicken and asparagus and Greek yogurt.  I also need to secure a good Wine In A Box for the days that Thing 2 doesn’t nap.

Which was today.

Thing 2 officially told me, “NO,” when I encouraged him to JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND GET TO SLEEP ALREADY.  He declined all one hundred and nine offers of a nap, and so it has been an interesting evening.

And by interesting, I mean that I’m pretty much packed and ready for that padded cell in the asylum.  I’m just hoping that I can have a fluffy pink bathrobe instead of the straightjacket.

And I hope I remember to swipe my debit card for the co-pay when I check in.

Y’all have a happy Tuesday night, and if you don’t see me around Jedi Mama, Incorporated too much this week, it’ll be okay.  I’ll turn up next week with a big THINGS TO DO list knocked down and kicked to the curb.

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