I usually beat Nora home from work, so I get first crack at the mail. That’s sounds like an advantage, but of course, it’s almost always junk.
If there is anything personal, I put it on Nora’s desk to open. Everything else, I read and recycle, or sometimes I skip the read part.
The other day, she received a generic-looking letter that looked different enough from a credit card offer letter to cause me to open it. It was a form letter informing Nora she was late on her Visa payment and owed a big penalty fee.
I was shocked. We both adhere to the sacred doctrine of charge everything but pay every cent off before the grace period ends. It’s one of the simple everyday – yet often-overlooked – financial benefits of living in modern-day America.
Nothing to do but circle the letter’s accusatory sentence with a fat sharpie and tape it on the front door to confront Nora when she got home from school.
Sure enough, it had its desired effect. “Whaaaat? How could that be?” She mumbled, as she tore the letter down. Off she went to check her online bank records.
I never followed up to find out what happened, or how it was resolved. I hoped she called her bank and groveled and pleaded to have the fine forgiven. That’s what I had done (with success!) the couple times in my life when I had gone all airhead and missed a payment deadline.
I didn’t ask because I was feeling a little rotten about the letter hanging. Nora hadn’t said anything, and it wasn’t exactly a Hester Prynne-level of shaming, but it gave me a niggling of guilt.
How much better could our marriage be if I discretely put the overdue letter on her desk, and hung this note on the door instead?
OK, that’s probably over the top. How about this:
I’m not sure how believable that is either, but I gotta tell you, that’s a lot of love I’m talking about there.