During this time, Jeff and I were always on the brink of broke. Paycheck to paycheck became my paycheck and only half of Jeff’s paycheck. Juggling money became my specialty.
There were days when timing was everything. Money was scheduled to come in, but money was also scheduled to go out. These were the days I would clearly and emphatically instruct Jeff, “Do not take any money out of the bank today or our such-and-such check will bounce.”
There were days when at 4:00 PM, I would check our account to be sure we were clear, and discover my paycheck had made it in, Jeff’d withdrawn $20.00, and our check hadn’t cleared, yet.
I would go into a tailspin. Jeff would either assure me without reason or concrete evidence, “Don’t worry. It’ll all work out.” Or, he’d point out that we didn’t actually bounce anything, so there wasn’t any problem, and there was no reason for me to be upset.
I was the self-appointed queen of the coin. Jeff was reigning king of the remote. The thing is, he’d fall asleep and change channels. He’d be searching for something during a commercial and hit a button that crashed our dish. He’d doze off and turn the TV off.
I’d wake him up and ask him to give me the remote. He didn’t ever want to give it up. Jeff would insist he was awake now, wouldn’t be nodding off again, and he would get everything or the show we were watching back to the right place.
It had been one of those teeter-totter banking days and Jeff had done what I’d asked him not to – took $20 out of our account. He’d also not done what I asked him to do that day – call the doctor about a new dizziness and increased pain. I must have been more convincing than usual regarding the TV remote, because, apparently, Jeff conceded on that one point. Granted it was the only particular point left to address that he or I could do anything about right then.
Our 2004 email treasure began this way…
Me: Thank you for giving me the remote last night… I know it was traumatic for you, but you handled the separation like a pro! Kisses.
In one hilarious email response, Jeff managed to address all of my previous evening’s complaints: banking, health management and our TV troubles.
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