The Price You Pay

Our house, as seen from inside my car, partly obscured by the shattered remains of my car window.

This past week was all about the cost of things. The cost of health. The cost of luxury. The cost of living. Fortunately, for all its annoyances, it wasn’t such a big deal. When counting what you’ve paid, it’s always good to be mindful of what you’ve received in return.

For example, early this week, I woke up, popped open my email and was greeted by this message from one of my neighbors:

Subject: Your car

Hi Chris
Not sure if you are up yet, I believe your car was broken into last night. I think it is your car.


I looked out our bedroom window and saw that he was correct. My passenger side front window was smashed and… nothing was stolen. An attempt to take my iPod charger was thwarted by my unbreakable counter-measure: it was connected to a tape adapter in my tape deck.

My white iPod charger sits on the sill of my car's broken window, still connected to the tape adapter.

Clearly, these were criminals who hadn’t quite gotten up the nerve or brains to properly pull off a smash and grab. They also went into my glovebox for… more nothing. A stupid criminal truly is the best form of security. I’ve now taken all visible possessions out of my car, and will probably keep my charger in my glovebox from now on. I think the bright white charger drew the lazy eyes of the scofflaws. I suppose that’s the biggest downside to having luxury items: having to protect them. It’s a good argument for controlled consumption, simply to keep life simple. Having a car is sometimes a wonderful convenience. Mostly I find it a hassle. Perhaps one day I can be rid of it, and then I won’t ever have to worry about it again.

A line of sign here arrow tags on a wooden surface.

Speaking of being robbed, we also filed our taxes this week.


I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your server.

Seriously, though. This year was no biggie. Our returns offset our payments quite nicely, so we came out ahead by a little bit. Having a small business makes tax time a bit more complex than it would otherwise be, but our accountant does a superb job of taking our mess of papers and turning them into a nice stack of forms with clear instructions and addressed envelopes. I don’t mind paying taxes (I’m a filthy pinko liberal, after all), but I mind the act of paying them. It’s such a complex and opaque process. My mind quite literally locks up just looking at those terrible forms. It seems such a shame that the IRS has no motivation to stop using forms that are so bureaucratically worded as to be completely impenetrable.

But the sting of taxes is nothing compared to those of baby’s first inoculation. Blackbird got a quick and easy oral dose before getting four jabs to her legs. What impressed me the most was how little she cried afterwards. Honestly, the whole thing probably got me more worked up than her. Alisa and I agreed that she did better than most kids years older than she is. But inoculation is a team effort, and Blackbird has been pretty wiped for the last day or so. Her immune system is clearly on high alert, and she’s getting a taste of what it’s like to be sick. Nothing major, just a raised temp, some crankiness, and a bit more sleep than usual. When she’s being entertained, it’s all smiles, so I’m trying to put all of my overbearing, protective dad instincts to the side. I think my mother’s fretfulness is coming out in me now. We’ll see how that develops with time.

But in spite of all these little costs that life extracts, we’re doing well. My car is fixed, mom and Blackbird are enjoying our summery weather, and we’ll be able to pay our bills. I think Blackbird has the right idea for dealing with situations like these: if you can’t get the boob you’re looking for, any old hand will get the job done until you do.

Blackbird sits in mom's lap, sucking on mom's hand where the thumb and forefinger meet.

3 replies on “The Price You Pay”

  1. This took me back to the good ol’ days at 340 Melwood, when crackheads would break into our apartment and just take the spare change we had on the fireplace mantel thing.

Comments are closed.