Paying up


Some mornings, we are greeted with sunshine and daisies and sugar and love. Other days, it’s – ding dong – flaming bag of crap on your doorstep.

For me, the latter comes most frequently in the form of unexpected bills… or in some cases, bills that I was perfectly aware of, thank you very much – I have just chosen to ignore you. Word to the wise: never park in a handicapped parking place overnight. And when you are surprised with a $190 ticket the next morning, never disregard it, surmising that since it happened in a different state, they will never find you.

THEY ALWAYS FIND YOU. And they double the fine.

This week, I was reminded of an outstanding bill from a doctor’s office in Kansas City. The day after Christmas, I was treated for strep throat by a physician who I was told was “in the network”; it turns out he wasn’t. Since that time, the deluge of bills sent to me has been overwhelming – and each reminder has left me feeling more and more discouraged. They aren’t forgetting. And they have even figured out my NEW address.

But last night, I had a radical thought: what if I paid up all of my old debts? Oh, not all of them – the student loan is going to take a decade or three. But the smaller ones? I can handle those. And wouldn’t I feel so free, so unencumbered, so virtuous?

Today, I sent $15 to the doctor in Kansas City, along with a letter explaining that I will continue chipping away at the bill a little bit at a time. I mailed off a check to a friend, paying up for a concert ticket that I used back at the beginning of June. And I paid off my credit card. Totally.


When the fall hits and I find myself an unemployed vagrant, I will take great comfort in knowing that I am relatively debt-free. Until then, here’s hoping for no more stinky surprises.




  1. J.P. Ensor on July 21, 2007 at 12:39 PM

    Hey Annie, that fifty bucks you owe me, you can get it to me any time you’d like. :)

  2. Jeremy Parsons on July 23, 2007 at 7:42 PM

    Annie, you owe me big time. I practically raised you.

    Nice work paying off the little debts. I have an outstanding bill for $5.00 that has caused me nothing but sleepless nights. $0.25 per month for 20 months – I can hack it.

  3. Dad on July 23, 2007 at 8:19 PM

    As Bono says, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

    How’s that for a first time ever response to a blog? I even chose an “identity.” Heck, I may even start my own blog. (Is that how you say it, “start my own blog”? I’m not very good at this stuff. . .

  4. My name is Annie. on July 24, 2007 at 10:36 AM

    What??? DAD??? I’m so proud! Way to be hip – both creating an “identity,” and quoting Bono. You’re the coolest. :)

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