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In Triplicate, Please.

Last night, Earl approached me with a task that needed to be done. It’s something that I absolutely dread because it strikes terror right to the bottom of my soul, but what has to be done has to be done, is what he tells me, so I suck it up and go into the computer room and ready myself for 30 minutes of sweat, worry and nerves.

It was time to balance the checkbook.

Earl and I have a really good way of working our finances. Everything we earn gets dumped into accounts that we have equal access to. Our philosophy is that we both contribute 100% of our income to kitty; there is no “mine” nor “his”. Everything is “ours”. And yes, that includes the Acura.

It’s a really good system that I highly recommend for everyone in a committed relationship, except when it comes to balancing the books.

You see, in today’s world of instant accessibility through the marvels of modern technology, it’s really easy to buy things. Bright shiny things. Things that beep. Things that remind you of your childhood. Things that bring you a smile.

Back when ebay was a reasonable place to do make a purchase I bought lots of stuff there. I’d always neglect to write the transaction down, since Earl is the only one with access to our financial records (thank God), and then checkbook balancing time would come along and I’d have to explain a dozen or so transactions to PayPal that weren’t recorded. I’m pretty much over the whole ebay thing these days, plus I strive to make sure I print out receipts if I spend money so that he can record it. But I still get all twitchy and nervous when he announces he needs help balancing Quicken.

So, I yell out an amount and he clicks a little checkmark next to it in the electronic register.

“$12.95”!

“For whom?”, he asks.

“Uh, um, put PayPal.”, as it’s really some foreign company in a different hemisphere. Then he asks me the zinger.

“What category?”

I turn red and say “porn”. Being a smartass, he’ll usually say something like “twink, kink or bear?”

So I respond with something equally fun like “two out of three ain’t bad”. Once in a while, I’ll just say “other” which causes him to cock an eyebrow and then turn back to the computer. “Did you get to keep the download or is there a time limit on it.”

“I have 17 more days of unmitigated enjoyment.”

And it goes on and on until the numbers match up and Quicken makes a little ka-ching noise. He then drops the Purchase Order Threat on me in which I will have to submit a purchase requisition to him, in triplicate and he’ll sign it with approval if I’m deemed worthy.

Hey, if it gets me something shiny or better yet, a “two out of three”, I’m game for anything.