Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Paid in full

As good as I am at stringing together hoards of letters to create paroxysms of literary panache, I'm equally bad with numbers. No, that's not right. I'm worse. I'm utterly unequal to numbers in any form. The sum of my output related to numbers divided by absent ability and negative interest is absolute zero... Therefore, when it comes to things like "University tuition online QuikPay payment services with drop-dead due dates," the leaning tower of numbers (student IDs, tuition amounts, health insurance waivers requiring insurance card identification numbers, due dates, bank routing and account numbers, and login and password numbers) collapses on top of me, leaving me half the person I was prior to the fateful transaction.

Truth is, I honestly can't remember numbers. When I read, my eyes skip them. I can't ever tell you if Russia has 10 nuclear warheads or 10,000 (or half of one leaking away...).

So just forget about dates and rates.

And I do.

I forgot my own SSN for three years (put the wrong one on our tax records and never noticed until one day I woke and realized it was the wrong one). I didn't remember the right one for another year! I gave the wrong four digits for my cell phone to the T-mobile contract guy for an hour before realizing I had given a home phone number digit set not my SSN.

I miss birthdays, I never know the balance of my checkbook, I can't count silverware for company (I usually grab a handful and hope it's enough), and the idea that you could know (I mean KNOW) that you've kept a record that matches the bank's for more than a week is beyond my ability to even fathom. I gave up checkbooks and ledgers fifteen years ago when I thought we were in the hole $500 only to panic, add twenty-two wrinkles to my crow's feet and then come to find out we were not only in the black, but ahead! That's how bad my math is, even with calculator in hand.

So imagine the terror I feel around college tuition deadlines. It's like hooking me up to a car battery, standing me under a shower and turning over the ignition. I'm jolted awake at midnight, hair standing on end, convinced I've missed a deadline or forgotten to transfer the funds or not sure if we have the funds in the right account... and on and on. Add one child and the exponential increase in anxiety defies statistical calculation!

Yet here I am, I testify! I have successfully paid for two (count them T-W-O) college tuitions for this fall, without debt, student loans, late fees or mistakes in typing, all online, all without a glitch.

Double the joy, halve the anxiety, all the relief.

And to think I'll be going through this process three times a year for a total of twenty years by the time all five kids have BA's. How many payments does that make? Good thing I have NO idea.


Dave said...

You are soooo iNtuitive, my fellow ENFP! You paint such a word picture... I can see your hands covering your head, random digits caving in all around you, as you hunker down waiting for the avalanche to stop so you can look up again and look for patterns in the landscape! :o)

carrie said...

Paid in full? Fantastic!!! Double the joy is good, too. ;-)

Mary H. said...

Hi Julie,
If it's any consolation, I've taught math for 45 years or so and have never balanced my check book. Even attempting to leave a comment is dicey, since I put my username and password somewhere.
Mary H.

musing said...

I'm not a number person, either, and I work in accounting!

Congrats on getting those payments made. :)

Ampersand said...

I'm a math person, but not a number person, if that makes any sense.

I love numbers, but only in the abstract. :)

I can't imagine the tuition payments you have ahead of you.

Kudos on doing it debt-free.

Robert said...

Hey julie i am a mathophobe lol deep fear of math well actually i simply hate it yea but wanted to sahre that 20/20 had a segment on a guy who makes math fun and easy hmmmm somrone might know what his name was i cant recall just wanted to chime in as a nubers challenged aficionado too.