Saturday, September 25, 2021

"I remember Cub games with you!"

So said both of my friend Kathleen's kids to me today. We were celebrating her son (now -- gulp! -- 30) and his bride with a belated couple's shower in Kathleen's backyard. Naturally the groom's kid sister (now -- gulp! -- 27) was there, and very proud of the desserts she made for the party. I've known them all their lives but haven't seen them in years. 

I held Kathleen's hand at the hospital when she went into labor with her daughter. I stayed with her until her husband got there, then I went to the daycare center and picked up her son (now the bridegroom!). I'm the one who told the preschooler that he had a sister. 

I can think of birthday parties and trips to the zoo with these kids. Their dad is a Brit, so over the years we've celebrated Boxing Day together. Yet they each mentioned to me separately that they had "the best time" at Wrigley Field with me. There are worse ways to be remembered.

On a separate note: today would have been my uncle's 80th birthday. It was nice to celebrate on this day again. And in person! I realize that Zoom has helped us stay in touch and has enabled business as usual during the pandemic, but I have missed seeing people in three dimensions.

September is the cruelest month

... or at least the most expensive. So far this month, I've spent about $900 I hadn't intended to.

•  Easing Reynaldo out of life cost money. It's part of being a responsible pet parent. I don't regret trying to keep him as comfortable as possible as long as possible, but that means trips to the vet and the ER, plus the cost of Uber rides.

•  Keeping Connie legal cost money. Gotta keep my girl cat legal, and today she got her 3-year rabies shot. In addition, I asked the vet to do bloodwork. She's getting older, too, and I want to keep her healthy. I should have budgeted for this, but I didn't.

•  My new Moto G Power phone cost money. I suppose I should have seen this one coming. Wednesday, when I was at the ER with Reynaldo, my phone was very glitchy. I got it to work and kinda forgot about the problems. This morning, it was losing power even as it was charging. By the time Connie and I were ready to leave the vet, it was dead. Fortunately it was a beautiful fall day and we could walk it so I didn't really need my phone. But I'd need it for 1:00 this afternoon, so off to Target I went. I would have preferred to pay the $7/month offered by Consumer Cellular for ordering online, but because I was trying to beat the clock, I had to pay for the whole thing at once. (The Consumer Cellular phone rep helped me get up and running in less than an hour -- their customer service is stellar -- and it is a good phone for the price. I just wasn't prepared to spend this.)

I've got about $900 in my emergency fund, but I don't want to use that. I save that for household expenses -- like appliance repairs or an emergency condo assessment -- where I may need to pay cash. So I put this on my credit card.

It used to be that I looked at purchases like the ones above as why I have credit cards. The closer I get to retirement, the less sanguine I am with carrying debt. On the other hand, as my neighbor told me when I told him my tale of woe about the phone, "We do what we need to do." He's right. I don't see how I had any choice with any of the above. It won't take me that long to pay this off. And it's money that had to be spent.

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