That Sinking Feeling
Forgot to pay the phone bill. Left it lying around where I’d notice it, but I didn’t have the money to pay it, so pretended it wasn’t there, and if it sort of rattled as I walked past it, I pretended that I had another week or so before the big D.
Kept pretending, until the morning I was reading e-mail and then I wasn’t. Had that mind-benumbed lame-hope moment, like when you’re miles from civilization in a blizzard, and your brain’s Crazy lobe overpowers the Rational lobe, insisting that you have just enough gas to make it to the next town, and when your engine sputters and dies you can just hardly BELIEVE it. Or like when my car was stolen right out of the smallish parking lot of the building where I worked, and at the end of the day when I went out to drive myself home, and couldn’t find my car, I walked around and around the parking lot, zombielike, positive that I simply wasn’t looking in the right place, until everyone else had left and the lot was emptier than the bowl I once made sour-cream frosting in, for carrot cake, but I was thinking about something else and – oops again – ate all the frosting. With my fingers.
The attention-deficit-disordered individual excels at denial. I also excelled at making my car available for theft, because, since I could never find my keys once I took them out of the ignition, I always left them IN the ignition, in plain sight, usually with the windows open. It was a shitty-looking car, and I didn’t think anyone would be able to contemplate it long enough to think about stealing it.
So, on the morning that my monitor displayed “DNS error” — when I was expecting to see at least a few solicitations from Viagra vendors and maybe a promise that I wouldn’t have to sleep alone that night, and that my bed partner would have a key appendage of equine proportions — I prayed to the telecom gods, picked up the phone, punched it “on,” put the receiver to my ear, and heard that scritching sound that is NEVER a prelude to a dial tone. Reeling from shock, I slunk over to the church (Have I mentioned that my apartment is in a church?) (Did you know that it’s possible to reel and slink at the same time?) and borrowed Sara’s computer to e-mail my sainted friend Jane, who has loved me since childhood, defying all logic and good sense; and Jane put enough money in my PayPal account to pass along to Qwest, which I did, online, that very evening, which was a Very Good Thing because there was an automatic payment due the next day, which PayPal, for some reason, let slide through, and now I am $26.37 overdrawn on PayPal.
I blame Free Shipping
Psychology. As a buyer, I don’t balk at shipping fees. I figure they’re worth it, in that I don’t have to go out to purchase the actual item in an actual store, driving an actual automobile, which I don’t actually own one of.
Profit. For most of the items I list, the shipping cost is as high as, or higher than, the selling price. eBay’s “final-value fee” is about ten percent. If I include shipping in the selling price, then eBay takes its percentage on the whole package, so to speak. But if I sell an item for 99 cents plus $6.82 shipping, as happened just yesterday, then eBay gets around ten percent of 99 cents rather than 10 percent of $7.81.
I can’t remember the third reason. I’ll get back to you on that. Meanwhile…
May Whoever Is On Duty bless you and your endeavors. -Mary