Pay to the Order Of:
Behind the furnace are plastic bins where we keep old clothes, memorabilia, and scrap books from my formative years. I pulled out those bins last weekend to sort through the clothes and get rid of them once and for all. One of the bins I pulled out had a surprise…1991 through 1993 taxes, receipts, bank statements, utility bills, and greeting cards. I’m nothing if not a pack rat. I think you only *need* to keep tax things for 7 years, but still…getting rid of three years’ worth seemed like a good idea.
I sorted through them, putting the junk in a plastic bag and the sensitive material in a pile (my bank statement had my social security number, fer jeebus sake). Yesterday I got out the shredder and started chopping up all the stuff I didn’t want dumpster divers to find.
It took a looooong time.
Here are some things I learned from that experience:
1) When shredders say they take up to 5 sheets of paper at a time, they really mean 3, and then only maybe.
2) No matter how many times you say it, your children will still want to put their fingers down the shredder opening where Whirring Blades of Death live.
3) My phone bill is double what I had in the early 90s, and I don’t make any more local or long-distance calls.
4) My cable bill is triple, although I’ve gained the Discovery Channel and the Food Network. Thanks, Camcost.
5) It’s a good thing I paid off the credit cards I did.
6) Before Sergei, before kids, when I was a single gal in a one-bedroom apartment, my handwriting was impeccable…legible, curly, sweet. That’s what Time will get you. Now I’m lucky to write a check that doesn’t look like a sound wave with a dot over it.
7) Finding the check written to my friend Dan, for the fundraiser before he died of AIDS, made me very very sad. I’d written “I love you Dan!” in the memo. And his beautiful signature was on the backside.
8) One person eats a hellova lot less than 4 people and one cat.
9) My insistence on getting my checks returned back to me, for security and safety reasons and because I paid for the damn things dammit, resulted in 36 months worth of paper checks to shred. It filled one entire large kitchen garbage bag.
10) It’s perfectly okay to keep the remains of your student loan payment booklet, the one that says you’re paid in full.
11) Ditto the car payment book.
12) Those birthday cards you kept will never, ever, have surprises of cash in them.
13) But you will find surprises of photos you hoped would have been forgotten.
Now I’m jonesin’ to find years 1994 through 1999. Somewhere in there hasta be a birthday card with a $20 inside it I'd forgotten about....