It’s been a trying week: a what-I-call-a-viper-law firm is after me for not one, but two “debts.” It’s stressful to have some unknown man ring my doorbell at 8:45 p.m. one night – I didn’t answer – and then come back Sunday and throw a roll of legal garbage in my front door. It wasn’t even a case number, just the vipers sending their pleasantries. Why?

This has to do with a rear-ender in June of 2014! Yes, almost two years ago. My insurance company sent them a check and they sent it back saying they wanted more money, now the vipers are coming after me for the extra $1,500. If my small knowledge of law firms is correct, even if the insurance company does even some close to the extra $1,500, the client will get only 1/2 of it. Why do they – either the viper or the client – bother for basically $700? I don’t know, and I do know that it’s causing me hives.Consequences abound.

A young woman showed up at my door yesterday afternoon wanted me to rate her on her presentation of selling books. A cookbook I inquired about was $66!!!! (Pauleese!) She told me she’d made some mistakes and now was going door-to-door to ask people to buy books so she could get a commission and go back to school. This is a young – maybe late 20s – woman with six  – six!!! – children, and her husband is in prison for life. Yes, she’s paying the consequences. No, I didn’t buy anything. She left without looking me in the eye, one of  the presentation skills she was to be graded on. I guess you only get good eye contact if you’re listening and a prospect; when you say “no,” the eyes divert to the sidewalk and away she goes.

The young UVA student was just sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a North Korean prison for stealing a state flag for a friend’s mother! He stated, “I made the worst mistake of my life.” He’s paying a stiff, stiff, stiff penalty and the consequences will last him – torture him – for the rest of his life.

The second reason the vipers are after me is for a credit card debt I closed down in 2008. It’s past the statute of limitations for collections, and something I’d completely forgotten. My financial mistakes in the early 2000’s have come back to haunt me. I’m paying the consequences – who knows what they’ll be, if any – but I have to take responsibility for my actions.

Have you made mistakes? (Rhetorical, obviously.) Credit card debt is not the “worst mistake of my life,” or maybe it was…I can only hope. It’s a minus-36 on the UVA student’s scale of 1-10! Did he think when he was stealing the flag for a memento for a friend that he’d be stealing government property in North Korea and would pay a hefty “fine”? Probably not; didn’t think he’d get caught.

Did the young woman going door-to-door consider her future with six children, as a single mother and no job when she was married – if she actually did get married – and got pregnant six times? Probably not. Who’s paying for those children now?  Who will fend for their future? The children pay for the mother’s actions and consequences for the rest of their lives. Sad.

What was I thinking using a credit card that I couldn’t pay off at the time? I don’t know, that was 13 years ago. I have learned a valuable lesson or three, though: live within my means, spend only what I have or know I can afford, pay my accounts promptly, and never borrow money I can’t pay back. (Also, find Guido to knock on the viper’s door at midnight and see if they like it!)

Consequences are always with us: do the work and receive good consequences; slack off and pay the consequences at some juncture.

Here’s to a mistake-free future – not that I think that can happen.  I do hope any mistake is nothing like Otto Warmbier’s in North Korea and simpler than my credit card debt.





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