Well, that's how the f-ing cookie crumbles, I guess. I have to admit that--through luck and/or great effort--I have managed to piss out every other bill-related fire that cropped up this summer. Gas, electric, cell phone, insurance--some of them got mighty close, but I handled them...until the electric bill in late July, which was quite unexpectedly taken care of by someone from whom I would never have expected such a gesture. (Nor would I have asked; in fact I was going to ask ComEd for an extension, but it had to wait until I got my paycheck--and the bill was dealt with a day before that.)
But changing jobs interrupted the trickle of money into my checking account. The 14th was my last payday and I'm now 17 days past that. I have $0.11 in the bank.
Besides the person who helped with the electric bill, there has been another tremendous source of help, upon which I shall not comment. And there have been other offers, which I am loath to accept because these are people whom I've never met in person.
At this point, though, it won't help. There's no way to get money into my checking account faster than will happen naturally.
The payday loan requires a pay stub; they won't call a phone number to verify employment. I cannot get a pay stub yet because payroll will only be finalized today at 5 PM, and as it's my first paycheck I have no other pay stubs to print. I don't work at Best Buy any longer, so those stubs are inoperative. Payroll probably won't be finished processing before Wednesday, and that's assuming I could even print it then.
$ANONYMOUS offered to send me a Franklin. It can't get here before Wednesday, regardless of how he sent it.
Mrs. Fungus gets paid on Wednesday.
I've been juggling bills like spinning plates all summer, trying to eke out just a couple more days here and there to get this or that bill taken care of, just hanging on until payday...and yeah, I'm starting to drop the plates. There was probably no way to avoid it, because of that 3-week gap...but I'm doing it just as I'm starting a full-time job, and just after Mrs. Fungus started a new job. So I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be able to catch the next one that starts to slip. The middle time here, I've gotten the help I needed to make sure I could get to the new job and stay employed in it. Without the expectation of repayment--and with one exception my promises to repay the debt have been met with dismissals: "Just help the next guy along the line, when you can."
But let me say it here: I am very, very grateful for everyone who has helped us, or who has offered to help, in our time of need. Grateful and humbled, and humbled mightily. You know who you are, but I don't think you know just how moved I am by the goodness I've seen displayed, by the blessed feeling that it conveys to me. You all have acted as the instruments of God's love, and I simply cannot ask for any more than I've already been given.
I am a very lucky man. I say that every night when I get into bed and look into my wife's eyes before I kiss her goodnight...but I am lucky beyond that, lucky to have the friends that I have.