My Thoughts

Two days went by this week before Insider spoke to anyone other than his best friend and his dog. Those were two beautiful days. It was Monday and Tuesday of this week when snow, ice and a stiff wind made leaving the house a painful chore. All was quiet around the house. The phone was not ringing, the doorbell was not chiming and nobody was stopping by unexpectedly. Life seemed to have shut down. To make sure he was still alive, the old guy stepped outside late Tuesday afternoon. There was nothing but peace and quiet, save a few childish squeals from out yonder, as his grandfather used to say. Those squeals were soon followed up by the trusty old train rolling through town. That’s when Insider knew all was right in the world.

Insider spends one afternoon a month paying bills. It’s usually a Monday and is around the first or second week of the month. When the bills come in the mail, he does not even open them. He puts them in his trusty basket on a table he calls his desk in a room he calls the den. He figures there are no surprises. He knows he has to pay the standard bills around the house, his AARP dues, some occasional health insurance crap and that’s basically it. There’s nothing out of the ordinary. Insider’s life is simple. His house has been paid off for years. His cable bill does not include any bells and whistles. The same goes for his telephone, electric and gas bills. Sure, there are months when some are higher than others, but that does not surprise the old guy. Everything’s cyclical. When electric is high, gas is low. When the phone bill rates are raised, the cable seems drop. It’s the cycle of life and Insider does not need to bother himself with the mundane opening of the mail every day. One day per month is just fine for him.

The old guy still handwrites a check, addresses an envelope and affixes a stamp on it. He sees commercials for online banking and all that kind of cool high-tech stuff but that’s not for him. Insider would have to get a computer in his house for that to even remotely happen. The commercials say a few clicks and that’s all it takes to pay the monthly bills. That’s all well and good, but the old guy can take an hour to write out his checks, balance his checkbook with his trusty calculator and hand deliver his paid bills to the post office. It’s not that complicated. In fact, it’s rather simple.