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Debt Collection

Syd owes me money. He racked up nearly $40 in fines at the Alameda Free Library, which I paid because they were about to send me to collections as the responsible adult. Syd has not been here since I got the notice in the mail and paid it, so we haven’t discussed it in detail yet, except for me briefly telling him I paid it and that he owes me money. I would like to say I did this calmly, but that would be a lie. That’s a lot of fines and therefore a lot of flakiness. This makes me mad.

Naturally, he replied that he doesn’t have any money. Which is probably true. I’ve never managed to get it together to do allowance money. I give him money from time to time for BART or lunch or movies. He is close to getting a paying job at the Lafayette Library (ironic, isn’t it?), but no money is coming in yet.

So I have a little problem. I need him to learn to take care of his own debts, for obvious reasons. I can certainly ask him to work off the debt in the yard or something, but he spends so little time here anyway that I don’t want that time to be all full of yucky stuff. I can wait until some relative gives him cash for his birthday or Christmas or something. Advice would be helpful…

All of which reminded me that I was a funny kid. I did get an allowance. When I was Syd’s age, I got $10 a week. I bought gas, mostly, and movies. Also my high school staple breakfast of doughnut and Coke. Wonder why I’m still alive. From time to time, I had to borrow money from my folks for, you know, more gas. I posted the running tally of what I owed and what I had paid on the fridge as Janet’s National Debt.

I guess I’ll have to pass on my own tradition.



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June 2012
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