Today is a really big day for me. I can’t even begin to tell a person how I really feel right now. I have literally been looking forward to this day for a decade. Unfortunately, now that it’s finally here, all I can do is blog about it because Tobyjoe is at the Big Nerd Ranch in Georgia. Plus, I don’t feel well enough to celebrate and it’s too cold outside to go shopping and buy myself something pretty. I’ll outgrow that something pretty in no time anyway. But, man! Do I ever want to take y’all out for donuts.
I used to joke with Tobyjoe. I’d say, “When I finally reach that day, I’m going to rent out a bar and throw a 10 thousand dollar party! No! I am going to send both of us to India, Sri Lanka, and then Spain. We’ll eat fish along the Mediterranean; watch the sunset over Taj Mahal. We’ll dip our feet into the Indian Ocean. We’ll sip the finest wine you’ve ever had.”
Here’s the skinny. I have owed money to various credit cards since I graduated from college. The amount I owed was never outrageous, like, I never owed close to the maximum on each card, but it was unruly and scary. Part of the reason that I held onto jobs for so long, jobs that I didn’t want, jobs that made me unhappy, was because of said debt. And I came up with all sorts of conspiracy theories about how credit card companies keep the man working, unhappy, and enslaved. And for me that was true. (Granted, now the pregnancy is what keeps us working. But that’s a good thing. That’s not like owing a massive corporation a bunch of money.)
Over the years, I would pay the amounts down to something manageable and then BAM! buy myself a trip to Mystic for a much needed weekend away. I would buy Tobyjoe an iPod because he made me smile. We would move across the country and then back again 6 months later. I just wanted to be happy. But the happiness I was buying – the temporary sanity – came back to haunt me every time.
About a year ago my husband told me to stop paying rent and instead start dumping every cent I possibly could into my debt. I got rid of one of the cards within three months and the other one loomed over me like some tyrannical ruler. Slowly but surely I watched its total go down. Each time I gave them money I felt like I was winning and they were losing.
Of course the entire time I was diligently paying it off, they were raising my maximum to numbers so high, I could have bought a car. And not some shitty American made car, but a really fancy European one. It was insane. The amount they have vowed to give me could be a down payment on a house (with an astronomically high interest rate). I almost hate them for doing this to people. Although, I guess they don’t raise a maximum that high for those who aren’t good clients. I am a good client, no, I am a great client, which is why they owned me for a while.
Yesterday I gave MBNA (now Bank of America) a check for 2,500 bucks, paying it off entirely. That amount goes through today. Amid all this pregnancy sickness, I feel wonderful. As of today, February 5, 2007, I am 100% debt free. That means I owe not another cent to another credit card company. I owe not another cent toward any loans. I owe nothing to anyone. I am free. I am finally, finally free.