Spending Money Left, Right and Center
Wow, wasn’t the inaugeration great? What an exciting end to a historic election! I’m so proud that I live in a country where it’s possible for a black man, a woman and an angry hamster to run for president.
Other than the inauguration, yesterday really sucked.
I thought I was doing great with the challenge. I’m selling a book a day on half.com, I’ve been eating all my meals at home, and I’ve been batching all my errands in an effort to save time and gas. On Saturday, I gave blood, got a haircut, dropped off a final check to the painting crew that is working on my house, donated 100 books to the library book drive, and recycled my laser printer’s toner cartridge.
Yesterday, I realized that, in my zealousness, I’d not only recycled my old toner cartridge but the drum unit of my printer too.
The cost of a replacement drum unit: $119.
Can I just say that spending that money was so painful? It was like getting a paper cut on your tongue or trying to bite off a hangnail but accidentally ripping it down to your knuckle instead. Excruciating and annoying in equal measure. My exciting $100 half.com earnings for January were wiped out in one flick of my wrist and the super-speedy recycling pick-up schedule at Staples. I was SO angry at myself for this stupid waste of money, gas and time.
But, my anger was short lived. It lasted exactly eleven minutes.
I wish I could tell you that years of yoga and meditation allowed me to work through my frustration with tremendous efficiency, but that’s not what happened. What happened eleven minutes after I discovered that I’d thrown away a key part to an important piece of office equipment was this: Mr Foxypants came into my office and told me that Evelyn, who is my favorite koi, had been killed by raccoons that morning.
What I learned yesterday is that it’s very hard to stay angry about a broken printer when you are on your hands and knees collecting the loose scales and bones of your pet, wrapping her half-eaten remains in a cloth, and tearfully digging a hole under the lemon tree for her grave. And while she was one of our most expensive fish, I felt no sadness about her purchase price, I only felt the loss of her life. While a drum unit costs more than a hunk of molded plastic really should, it’s replaceable. Evelyn is not. None of our other fish have her soft expression or her regal swimming style. The pond feels empty without her.
People who think that money cannot buy happiness have never purchased a pet.