Wednesday, August 31, 2005

HOOPED

It all starts with a conversation with my wife. She is going to a party. She wants to look nice. She wants a new pair of earrings. But as soon as I consider the thought of how much they may cost, I have a shooting jolt of tension that runs up my back and comes out of my mouth. My gut reaction to everything these days is, "we can't afford it." It's just money, but it can paralyze a relationship, nutritional health, and my psyche. So broke-bobby ain't too fun to live with.

Who is to blame these days? My grand corporate poobah (who shares my name) - Bobby RabinoRitch (I read he makes about $300,000). I'm a CBC staffer - a working journalist not pulling in many loonies to begin with. And then, two weeks ago, we get locked out of the jobs we love, and our pay cheques have gone garbo on us. CBC has the money, but we can't see it.

We are engaged in a difficult, dispiriting time for Canadian public broadcasting. I can marinate my mind in the debates about contracting out, pubic service journalism, and corporate commitment, but all that I can think about is money. How much do I have in my pocket. How long will it last. What will I say no to my wife about tonight.

Even before this lock-out hit, I've been what you call a cheap-skate. Financially finicky. A sourpuss scrooge. But this lockout has sucker-punched my paranoia about finances with a one-two punch. It's all I think about. So I'll write about it too. I promise real numbers. Bank balances and receipt totals.

I have to put it out there - oprahsize my demons about inner-financial panic. Because money is much more than dollars and cents. Which is why now that my wife wants to buy a pair of hooped earrings for this party on the weekend, I have insisted on buying them for her. Just so I can control the amount of pennies spent. Pity her, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm hooped.

Daily Debits:
$4.33. Bottle of Drano. Canadian Tire. Plugged bathroom sink.

Bank Balance: $2,602.73

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