Financial planning has always been a topic near and dear to my heart. It involves less hallucinogens and guilt these days, but I’m still the one who knows where all the bank accounts are, and more importantly, how to extract money from them. My darling Mr. H says “Dee buh dee buh dee?” and gets direct deposit. I am the evil overlord who makes sure his student loans get extracted on the 12th of each month, as opposed to the 12th of never, his previously preferred date.
Normally, our system works well. I improved our credit scores over the years through the folksy homespun wisdom of paying the bills. To allow some illusion of mutual control, he is a guest user on my Amex. It generally doesn’t occur to him to spend money anyway, just as it didn’t occur to him to pay bills. He’s too busy thinking about complicated pieces of code. I don’t spend that much either, since I was brought up by people who believed “Why buy it if you can make it out of chickenwire?” If I must, I prefer to splurge on things I didn’t get in my youth: things like well-made shoes, hotel rooms nicer than my house, and x-rays performed by a licensed technician.
But the other day, I caught him playing with a Bugaboo stroller. This stroller is nearly $900, or about the GDP of Madagascar. It operates on the principles of the Rubik’s cube or a Transformers toy, so after a lot of flipping and clicking, you end up with an amphibious assault vehicle or Optimus Prime or a detachable bassinet. I’d always just assumed that only assholes who live in Park Slope or the aggressively European couple we know would get a Bugaboo, but damned if he wasn’t communing with one. My poor innocent, attracted to the engineering and oblivious to the social status baggage.
The saleslady pounced and demonstrated, including stealing someone else’s kid to show off the turning radius. I’ll admit that it’s lightweight and impressively easy to spin, but it’s still a little SUV-sized and overpriced for my taste. Then again, I spent a lot more than that on the Democratic party in 2004, and I did not get a foot muff for that investment. I got no muff at all.
Now he’s fairly adamant that the parasite should get trundled around in this contraption. The problem is that I had planned on trundling the parasite through Europe in my abdomen, because I want a goddamn last vacation before she starts playing at nonsense like breathing. Once she’s here, I had assumed that she’ll sleep in a file drawer and get carried in a pillowcase with air holes, just like the good old days. I thought about playing the “we have no money” card since he will never actually look at an account, but this will create problems with my recreational goals. So I see that I have no choice but to weave a convincing Bugaboo replica out of chickenwire if I want a chance to eat my weight in croissants before June. Damn you, the Dutch! You and all your industrial designers. Or perhaps I will just go on vacation by myself and leave Mr. H to push the cat around in the Bugaboo. That way we can afford to do both. What would Madagascar do?
Oh, today in cats: Flop-bott of the bottom system. That will probably end up costing an extra student loan payment.