So today has been fun.
SO I go to cash my monthly social assistance check and the teller tells me that my account is $290 overdue.
And so, when I cashed my cheque, my approximately $1,170 cheque turned into $830.
That means that, as it stands now, I have to get by on $330 for the next five weeks. Yup, you read that right. Five weeks, not four.
Because that’s how the govrenment rolls. Sometimes there is five weeks between checks instead of four. Always seems to coincide with a GST cheque month too,which basically means that the GST cheque is paid to the province, not me.
Can’t have us poor people developing unhealthy attitudes like hope. after all.
Because if our lives get better, middle class people feel less superior to us, and that’s just like stealing from them!
A little elementary math reveals that 330 divided by 5 is 66. meaning I would have to scrape by on $66/week this month instead of my usual $150/week.
How seasonal! It’s just like being Bob Cratchit!
Only he got paid better and had more financial security.
This financial upset was, to put it mildly, a shocker, and so I am currently looking into where the fuck all my money went.
Because let me make this clear : all my bills are hooked to my credit card,. not my bank account. I don’t keep much money in my bank account because I put it all on the card to pay my bills and that’s where the money for online purchases comes from too.
So there is no way this should have been possible.
But now I have looked into it and it turns out that this is where things get even more fun. Because it turns out that $125 of the missing money comes from…. can you guess, contestants at home?
That’s right, OVERDRAFT CHARGES! That’s the fun game where the bank knows you have no money and chooses that moment to charge you for stuff so they can get their greedy paws on that sweet, sweet poor person money.
Vancity, I thought better of you.
This all comes from the fact that my VISA card expired in November. I was promptly issued a new one. As in, it arrived on the day the previous one expired. So I thought, well that was easy, and didn’t really think aboiut it any more.
So I didn’t realize that this meant I needed to go update all the places I had linked to my credit card. I mean, it was all the same numbers except for the expiry date. So I figured that meant it was no big deal.
Stupid, I know. But I am not exactly someone with an overabundance of clue. Despite my massive intellect. I am very inexperienced when it comes to dealing with the world, and I make the exact sorts of mistakes any young person might make when they are first making their way into the world.
It’s just happening to me at the age of 44.
So I’m a late bloomer. I’ve been sick.
So it’s really my fault for not having the perspicacity to immediately realize that I had to go to every site I deal with and update my credit card info or I would get nailed with a lot of charges I can ill afford.
It’s a dumb mistake. But I don’t feel that bad about it. It’s the sort of mistake any inexperienced person could make.
Especially someone who is far more clever than he is smart like myself.
Now, gentle reader, you need to know that this does not mean financial doom for me. I will continue to have the essentials of life – food, water, shelter, and internet access – even if I am unsuccesssful in getting any of these charges reversed or reduced.
If need be. I can tap into my savings, which as I have indicated I keep on the credit card, and while it would suck to have that money vanish, it would not ruin me.
I honestly didn’t know what to spend it on anyhow.
Vut as you can imagine, the whole experience has been somewhat of a shock, and I am feeling rather unsteady right now.
Glad I had a good session, at least. Today was therapy day for me, and it was quite productive, especially at the end, when my therapist helped me realize that I have been projecting my mother’s fragility onto everyone else.
All my life, me and my siblings have been protecting my shy and sensitive mother from things that would upset her. Like me, she can project her emotions very strongly, so when she got upset, we got upset.
Well, that and she’s our mother. Protecting your mother is a basic human instinct, as is fearing what she fears, which makes a lot more sense when you are hunting and gathering on the verdant plains than it does when you are a modern ape living in the concrete jungle where there are remarkably few genuine dangers.
No wonder we’re all so neurotic.
Not wanting to upset Mom, plus her kindly but cerebral nature, meant that there was not a lot of open expression of intense emotion amongst us kids. We’re an intellectual bunch, and while that is great for the report card,. it’s not great for emotional stability.
Anyhow, I realized today that I internalized this “do not upset Mom” rule so deeply that I tend to assume, way back in my mind, that if I get mad at people, it’s like getting mad at my mother, which in my universe is an unthinkable thought.
There’s more to it than that, of course. There’s my fear of my own power, and my too-deep desire to not be an angry person who takes his frustrations out on people close to him. There’s also the big-guy effect where everything I do is amplified by my size.
But I think this thing with my mother is the key to my unlocking some of the doors that keep me all pent up inside.
Too bad it cost me $290 to find out. (Not really. )
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.