Okay, I am sorry. I love clichés and alliteration. So sue me 🙂
According to my handy-dandy online dictionary/encyclopedia: ‘Dollars to donuts’ is a pseudo betting term, pseudo in that it didn’t originate with actual betting involving donuts, but just as a pleasant-sounding alliterative phrase which indicated short odds – dollars are valuable but donuts aren’t. The phrase parallels the earlier English betting expression ‘a pound to a penny’. (referenced here)
Dollars to Donuts you have experienced the same thing, or something very similar, to what I am writing about today!
It may very well be an old people thing – like hearing OUR parents talk about walking to school in the snow, ten miles uphill both ways, in bare feet… but damn, I sure remember life being different , both in my childhood and earlier adulthood!
Today’s rant is brought to you by
<<<the letter H and
the color green.>>>
What set me off, particularly, was the need to order checks. We use our debit card extensively. But since our move (albeit temporary) to Arizona, I have found myself having to write checks – for utilities, mostly, but to the tune of four or more checks a month. SO I needed to order checks. The bank now charges almost $20.00 for checks (and, yup, I can remember when you could get free basic checks from the bank. Some still do, apparently, but I avoid the big chain banks like the plague…) so I decided to prowl around online and see what I could find.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I could get checks, fairly inexpensively, but had to pay EXTRA for deposit slips and the check register. To say nothing of having to fork out for a checkbook cover as well! Holy Overcharge! And that great price quoted on the first page of the website? It was for 25 checks! Yeah, right, who orders only 25 checks at a time? Ye Gads and Gollywomps! So I upped the order to 150 checks…and deposit slips… and a checkbook register… the hell with the checkbook cover (an additional $15!) I will use my old ratty one. SO I toddled through the ordering process, and went to the final shopping cart. Shit! $14.71 for SLOW shipping (up to 21 days) $38.98 for priority shipping! For 150 checks, 100 deposit slips and one measly register.
Then, I had to scroll through SEVEN pages of crap (e.g. additional promotions, advertising and bullshit) to get to the final shopping cart amount…$28.60. While there, I discovered that although the checks I chose showed a monogram of an “A” I apparently had to pay another .99 cents to change that to an “H” … and there was $1.93 on there for sales tax. Not mentioned anywhere else, I checked. And to add insult to injury, they tried to add address labels to the shopping cart – providing me with two options, the shopping cart WITH the labels and the shopping cart WITHOUT. The address labels were touted to”only” cost an additional $3.99 for 140 labels. But the bottom line, with added shipping and added sales tax, would have added another $8 to the tab. No thanks. AND, no thanks to the check order too! I’ll use money orders!
Yup, folks, life was easier in the 20th Century. No one mugged us for our Ipads or Iphones, we could ride bikes somewhere and leave them unlocked, we left the house in the summer after breakfast, checked in at lunch and returned for dinner – and although Mom had the phone numbers of all our friends’ mothers, we didn’t have to tell her where we were going. We were “in the neighborhood…” (NOT the ‘hood, dammit!) When I wanted to go to my best friend’s house, we coordinated by phone, and my Mom drove me to Linda’s. I was there for meals, I played with her half-dozen brothers and sisters and, gasp, a Rottweiler that everyone loved, and little kids rode.
So, is everything worse now? Nah. Although it seems like it some days! Some discussions were totally taboo – like molestation or child abuse. It happened, like teen pregnancy, but it wasn’t discussed. Not in the “nice” families. We respected our parents, usually, because we knew they worked hard to care for us, attended PTA meetings, took on the duties of Scout leaders, walked us to the bus stop, and helped us pack when we ran away from home! The only time I ever saw my beloved Daddy smack one of us was when my sister talked back to my Mother. A BIG no-no in our house.
Life WAS easier, simpler then. So now I am a parent and grandparent, and that “old world” has been washed away, overcome by pollution, countless wars, government too big for its britches and guns on every hip. My kids are consumers, enthralled by the latest gizmos, working long, hard hours to support a lifestyle that would have seemed obscene to the middle class in the sixties and seventies. And being middle-class is harder and harder, as poverty sneaks its way into homes that have never seen need or hunger before. Yeah, I am pretty bummed, a lot of the time. Living la Buena Vida is sometimes a pipe dream, and harder and harder to actualize in the 21st Century.
But I DO have la Buena Vida. I have a partner who loves me, dogs who adore me, and a gentle non-invasive lifestyle. There are many things I wish were better, or different, or easier. (Hell, don’t we ALL!) Yet for the most part, despite this rant, I am content, at peace with life, if not myself. I’d like to be better; better educated, a better parent, with a better temperament. Nonetheless, I continue to learn, to strive and to improve, and to enjoy my days. I don’t know what the ultimate goal is, but here I am anyway, stumbling on with good-natured laughter at myself and the world. After all – this is life; Dollars to Donuts none of us get out of it alive!
And while you are counting – did you count the cliches in this post?! 🙂