You're always a bit nervous your first time. You might not know how to do it right, you might not know how everything works, you might not know how to push all the right buttons. The lighting might not be right, either, and you know there will be someone right there watching you. It's a little embarrassing, too, because you know everyone's been doing it all along and you feel like the only inexperienced one out there. But today I became one of you. One of the crowd. One of the cool kids who knows exactly how to do it. I did it. Yes, I did. I used a debit card today for the first time ever and I'm not embarrassed it took me so long, either! Well, maybe just a little... I was on my way to the grocery store and was chatting with a friend about how I didn't like the fact that, at this particular grocery store, every time I wrote a check I had to pull out my driver's license too. She was appalled. But not because of the driver's license. "You write checks? Why do you write checks at the grocery store?" I told her that I liked the fact that when I write a check it's paid for. It's done. I don't have to add a charge to my credit card. Besides, I've always written checks at the grocery store. That's how my mom did it. My friend expained a little bit about the wonderful world of debit cards to me and it sounded pretty painless. I went into the store and soon was confiding my little secret to Chris, the cashier. "I've never done this before." He looked at me as if I were crazy. Even his braces seemed to be laughing at me. I swiped and pressed and entered and it was all over. It was so easy! I loved it! And the best news is that my bank has this program where they round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and put the change into your savings account. I've been waiting my whole life for this...the more you spend the more you save! I can't wait to do it again!
In between criss-crossing the country, buying and returning school supplies, killing moths and scrubbing eggs off my house, and just generally getting ready for the fall, I realized that I need a new project. I told you I was working on one and here it is. I have a few other non-bloggy plans for myself for the fall, too, you will be happy to know. Let me know what you think about cyberspace's new addition.
Today was the first day of school here. I love the smell of #2 pencils in the morning. Boys #1 and 2 are, amazingly enough (to me, at least), in 8th and 5th grade this year. They were up early on this steamy hot day, with backpacks that had been packed up several days ago with new school supplies. Their lunches were ready to go, and so were they. They were excited to get to school early to find out which friends were in their classes. It's sort of funny--for the last couple of weeks whenever they were asked if they were excited to go back to school the answer was, for both of them, a definite "No." Yet they were excited to get to school. I, on the other hand, have sort of been looking forward to the start of school for a week or so. Looking forward to having some free time to myself without the constant presence of my "assistants", as I love to call them. I love the routine of the school year yet I know that that routine soon becomes a grind. But I was ready to get started too. What really suprised me about today was that when I left the school after having gone with them and checked the class lists, exchanged pleasantries with other parents and teachers, and brought my baked-at-11:30-last-night-sour-cream-coffee-cake to the first day coffee, I felt a little sad walking away. I think I had gotten used to hanging out with my two assistants and it felt strange not to be with them. I also realize that I have a lot of "free time" facing me. They always say, "be careful what you wish for.." But I have a new project in mind.....I'm busy cooking something up. More to follow.
We are having phone problems. When someone calls, they hear about half a ring on their end, then silence. The call doesn't go to voice mail. We hear about half a ring, then silence. If we grab the phone quickly enough, we can get the call before the person hearing the silence on the other end gives up. I called the phone company this morning and after 20 minutes or so was connected with a friendly guy named Steve. He listened to the problem and then told me he was going to run a check on the line and call me right back. After waiting another half hour for Steve's call, I had to leave my house for an appointment. This afternoon I tried again. I called the same number and was on hold for 45 minutes. Why does it seem that it is impossible to get in touch with the phone company on the phone?? About 35 minutes into it I decided to try calling yet another repair number I found online. Using my cell phone, I finally got connected and, with the hold music still playing out of my home phone's speaker--I wasn't taking any chances--I spoke with Theresa who told me that Steve had checked the line and said everything was working just fine. "It's not fine," I said. "There's still a problem. Why don't you put me on hold and call my number on another line?" So she did. "You're right," she said, "I just got half a ring." Geniuses, all. So tomorrow, if you need to call me, feel free to call me at home. I'll be here from 8 until 12, at least, waiting for the phone guy.