Thursday, July 15, 2010


Right before we left town two weeks ago, I heard a car in the driveway. I looked out and saw a sheriff's car. My heart immedeately began to race. Had something happened to David at work, and they were coming to deliver the news? My stepson was somewhere in town. Had he committed some terrible crime? I raced to the door. The male and female officers approached my door. I was shaking. The dog was barking, and my kids were asking me a million questions.
I met them at the door. They were holding paperwork. They asked my first and last name. I stated who I was, and they handed me some paperwork. They began to explain to me that apparantly, I owed an old credit card, and the debt had been sold to a collection agency, that had taken me to court, and now was placing a lean, or a sheriff's sale, upon our household items, if I did not pay the debt, in full. I stated that I had about $200.00 in the bank, and could certainly not pay the debt right then, and there. They understood, and told me, that before a date was set so that a sheriff could come into my home, and inventory all of our worldly goods, to be sold to satisfy this debt, I should try and set up a payment plan with them.
You gotta be kidding me. Really. This, on top of everything else going on in my life. I remember the credit card. I had been pre-approved for it, when we first moved here. It had a $400.00 limit. I applied for it, because I was scared how we lived paycheck to paycheck, and now with a baby, I was worried that we would run out of cash, and I wanted to have a credit card, for emergencies.
And emergencies is exactly what we had. I purchased food and diapers with that card, when we didn't have a dollar to our name. I maxed it out, and sadly, was unable to keep up with the monthly payments. The $400.00 limit balooned to over $1200.00. That is what the sheriff was now telling me that I owed, or my household items would be inventoried for sale in an auction. That actually made me laugh.
You my home, I have a futon that was in our previous rental. It is nailed shut, because it is falling apart, and cannot open anymore. That cushion is so old on it, that I cover it with blankets and throws, coordinating them with the change of the seasons. The sofa that is also in our living room is, shockingly, the same ugly green, bamboo print sofa, that was in my living room in the house I grew up in. My parents purchased brand new furniture when I was 4. They gave us the sofa, that they still, surprisingly, had when we were moving here. One of the legs broke off in the move, and it is actually propped up by several telephone books. I have a slipcover on it, so you cannot see the dated, groovy,seventies print.
Our coffee table and side tables were given to me by my sister's sister in law. They are banged up and outdated, but they do the job. I have some old 60's style chairs that flank the 3 legged couch, also from our old rental. The television is about 15 or 16 years old, and still has a VCR slot built into it. Again, a give away, from my sister.
We have a 70's receiver and and turntable. The speakers, also a giveaway, are probably about 20 years old. The bed in our room is just a box spring, and a queen size mattress, on a frame, that we purchased when we moved here, for $200.00. It feels like it cost about $50.00. I have two old chairs doubling as night tables, that were actually from my Nanny's house. I painted them white, years ago, when they were in my apartment in NYC. The dresser in our bedroom is the same one I used as a little girl, in my childhood bedroom. There is also a funky chair that I pile clean clothes on, that my husbands grandfather gave us. He got it out of someone's garbage.
In the girls room, we have some shelves and a dresser, purchased from Walmart. They serve a purpose. Cheap particle board. The drawers become overstuffed, and seperate. Charlotte has bunk beds that we purchased from Big Lots. I think we paid $175.00. Olivia is sleeping on my old bed from my apartment in NYC, and that bed was given to me by my old friend Jimmy.
The only thing that I think they might be able to sell is my kitchen table and chairs. They were a housewarming present from my in-laws. More like, "Mom and Dad...we need a table and chairs, so could you buy them for us, and call it a housewarming present, because we can't afford one of our own!!!!"  The table is worn, and the chairs are falling apart, from 7 years of use. David has had to glue and nail the chair legs in, over and over. They were purchased at a discount (cheap) furniture outlet. We eat our family meals on it everynight, together. The girls use it to do there arts and crafts. We eat luch on it, The girls linger over breakfast on it. Homework is done there. Holiday meals have been shared there.  This table and chair set is invaluable to my family. They could take it. It is really the only thing of value we have.
I made a payment arrangement. We now will pay $25.00 a month, for god knows, how long, until we have finally paid off those diapers for a baby from long ago. We will be paying for those dinners, and milk I was forced to put on credit. Meals we ate, at my table.
My family's table.

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