So today, I am figuring bills, and just like every late-November/ December, there never seems to be enough money. The car needs new tires. My last car, a little compact, took about $300 to do this. My car now? Well, the cheapest estimate is $775. And then there is Christmas presents. Evan wants an iPod Touch, and music seems to soothe him, and he really uses the El-Cheapo mp3 player he has now, so he shall get what he wants. And he needs a new bike. And scooter. And anything else I can give him to get him active. In other words, we are long-removed from the days where several $20-toys satisfied him. And John broke the artificial tree the last year that we put one up–years ago. I know, I know. I’m a horrible mom. But those are expensive, and I really wanted to put one up this year…..
I was just about to have a mini Andi meltdown when the phone rang this morning. John had left to fill a prescription. And it was the landline, which never rings anymore. “Deters Liquors” said the caller ID. W….T….F?????? It was 10 AM.
And I answer. It’s John. My eyes immediately diverted to the desk, where his cell was wedged in between the modem, printer, and laptop. And then my next reaction: HE HAS ZACH WITH HIM! AT A FUCKING LIQUOR STORE! Parenting at its best, right there. And then my next thought, “This has got to be bad.” We don’t drink. Not wine, not beer. Once every few years, I will have a Grey Goose and tonic on New Years’ when I am not working. Every. Few. Years. Why is my husband at a liquor store that isn’t even on the way to the pharmacy, with my toddler in tow?
” I’m gonna be a little longer. I got held up.”
“Whaddya mean, ‘held up’? You have Zach with you. At a liquor store, Dude.”
“I bought a $3 ticket and…….I kinda won. Well, no, I did win. A thousand dollars. I’m waiting for them to cash it now, but she had to call her manager to get into the safe to get it.”
I couldn’t really be mad anymore, could I? Though I was still pondering the liquor store. And having visions of my husband having a secret problem that I didn’t know about. Hittin’ the bottle in the wee hours while I’m at work or something. But I should’ve known that that was never John’s style. He had a little incident while drunk in his Marine Corps days that turned him off a long time ago. That and cheating are the two things I never have to worry about with John.
It turned out the story was really innocent. He had stopped to get gas and bought the ticket at a gas station. The place was packed, with really skeevy-looking people. And while John isn’t afraid of anyone, he had enough sense to know that he did not want to get mugged with Zachy in his arms. He had the $1K, plus a substantial sum of my pay on his person, which equated to a pretty healthy sum. He was being protective. And smart. And he went to the liquor store that I used to stop at on the way anywhere to get a Diet Coke. They knew us there, because we would stop because they were never crowded. And he knew this. And so he drove a little out of the way to cash the ticket in where there weren’t skeevy eyes watching him fold the wad of bills into his wallet. I find it all incredibly cute, actually.
So the moral of the story is that we had $997 more than we had when he went to the pharmacy. I felt like I had to do something with the money, so we took a trunk-full of diapers to a local charity for single parents who said they were in desperate need of size 3 diapers. You know—Karma and all. And I replaced the Christmas tree. And paid some bills, all with free money.
If I were a religious person, I would’ve said someone was looking out for me.