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Eric Mass

The Past Is Haunting Me

Posted on 2013.09.05 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

I don't have many skeletons in my closet. The few I do are affectionately cared for. So when I say the past has come to haunt me, I don't mean necessarily my own. In this case, I mean 1999.

I'd thought I was finished with the absurdity of ink on dead trees and snail mail until it came time for me to act. That's when the real nightmare began.

I did find my checkbook. It was even pre-loaded with the book of checks I'd mocked the teller for suggesting I might someday need (humble pie was on the menu the day I crawled back to her to order some). Then I went out and purchased a pen. The pen which was there was a matte-black & gold personalized, engraved Cross I'd received as a high school graduation gift from one of my parent's friends. Yes, I'd been been using it since 1988. Over the past several refils I've noticed the writing part no longer comes all the way down the tube when the top is turned, rendering it nearly useless as a writing instrument. This past weekend I went to three different stores pen shopping and found a new matte-black-on-black click-deploy Cross "gel" pen to replace it. Its very nice for the two times a year I need it. So far, so good!

I printed out the "online" application, filled it out by hand, then wrote out the check. The next step stumped me. Thinking way back to 1999, I visualized more dried and rolled dead-tree pulp folded in such a manner to create a pouch, a packet...an envelope! I needed an envelope and a stamp! I drove to Dillon's (ya'll in Texas know it as Kroger) and stood in line at Customer Service until it was my turn.

Leaning forward out of embarrassment, I brought the lady behind the counter into my confidence and said, "Remember back when we had to put stuff in the mail? Do you have any of those things?" She asked if I was referring to stamps and a envelope, told me they had them for sale, and asked how many I needed. Sheepishly, I raised a single finger and she provided a stamped envelope. "That will be 58-cents." I pulled out my wallet and said, "Another thing I haven't carried since 1999 is cash. Can I put 58-cents on my debit card?"


dawaioser at 2013-09-05 10:26 (UTC) (Link)
When the hell did stamps go up to 58 cents? (!!) Jesus, I'm out of touch also. I thought they were still 45 cents.
ehowton at 2013-09-05 13:16 (UTC) (Link)
I'assumed the cost of the envelope was bundled into the price.
michelle1963 at 2013-09-05 14:10 (UTC) (Link)
As a user, fan, and enabler of online bill pay, I was shocked to run across one bill I cannot pay online - my grandfather's pharmacy bill. The assisted living facility uses a small local pharmacy (I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of their general manager at the East Wichita Business Associates Luncheon last week). The bills come sans account number - a critical piece of info needed for online bill pay. I, too, had to reacquaint myself with checks, stamps, and envelopes.
ehowton at 2013-09-05 17:56 (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps soon you'll have the opportunity to address this grievous oversight.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-09-05 17:45 (UTC) (Link)
There is some poetic license in this post.
ehowton at 2013-09-05 17:55 (UTC) (Link)
Less than you'd think. I am often rather refreshingly (or not I suppose), "pointed." Most of the time I get a chuckle and direct honesty in return. Othertimes not so much.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-09-06 01:09 (UTC) (Link)
"Another thing I haven't carried since 1999 is cash." This sentence for instance is very poetic.
ehowton at 2013-09-06 13:58 (UTC) (Link)
"Very" denotes in a high degree; extremely or exceedingly. While poetic license is used to some degree in many of my posts, this would not be a good example of one which was "very" poetic.

I have carried decreasing amounts of cash since I left the Air Force and have since stopped carrying cash altogether, excepting when I fly. The statement is wholly true with a minor differentiation in the timeframe; it may have been closer to ~2002.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-09-06 23:54 (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps "very" was a little harsh. So I'll replace it with slightly. However, I do know of at least two instances where I witnessed you using cash since 2002 and we were no where near an airport.

P.S. I've you are going to get your passport you'll need to bring your checkbook because they don't take debit or cash.

Edited at 2013-09-06 11:57 pm (UTC)
ehowton at 2013-09-07 14:31 (UTC) (Link)
For the record, I was on my walk this morning when I came across a garage sale in my neighborhood. Finding a brand new pair of women's Merrill for $3 (MSPR $75 - I should know, I have a pair) I finished my walk, got into my car, drove to the bank, withdrew $20 from the ATM and bought the shoes. I currently have $17 in my wallet. Once that is gone (and it could be weeks, months, or at the end of the day today), I won't have any cash in my wallet until I travel, or the next occurrence similar to this one.

Prior to this, I hadn't had any cash in my wallet for about 60-days, excepting the $20 I pulled out for school-branded gym shirts. They were $5 each and I had GBZ get two. The remaining $10 stayed in place until approximately 3-weeks later when I gave it to catttitude for some supplies for my daughter.

People used to tell me I was too literal. I will now laugh uproariously and tell them about you. When the tears have dried I will explain the nuances between what some may consider "poetic license" and our own interpretations of "literal statements."

For example, if someone told me they hadn't carried cash since 1999 I might assume they meant regularly as opposed to say, never, or assuming they almost meant there were no mitigating circumstances which would temporarily change their norm. But that's just me.

I will endeavor to keep this link updated with my cash-carrying exploits as they transpire!
jobu121 at 2013-09-05 18:30 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah I hate using my debit card for something less than a dollar. HAHAHAHA But I have done it many times.
ehowton at 2013-09-06 00:05 (UTC) (Link)
What's an aging yuppie to do?
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