The Wide Angle: I take issue with money

Published 6:30 am Saturday, September 12, 2020

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I’m not afraid to say it: Money scares me, or more appropriately, paying large sums of money scares me.

Obviously, paying said large sums of money is part of adulting and as a registered, grown and moderately mature male, this is something I have come to expect.

Nevertheless, the idea of writing a check out with multiple digits over the count of three makes me a nervous wreck.

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I remember long, long ago in a galaxy (South Dakota) far, far away, my parents left me with my first semester tuition I was to give to South Dakota State University before the start of the aforementioned semester.

I hovered over that check like Gollum over the one ring of power. I could feel myself losing weight and my eyes bugging out.

Later in life, when purchasing my first car, I remember the incoming heart attack much more keenly than I did the thrill of owning my first ever car.

I can’t even begin to tell you what it was like purchasing our own house, faced with all of those things that came with it: dread, cold sweats, warm sweats, sweat sweats.

With the purchasing of the homestead, it became very apparent to me that at some point more bills were going to be required. Shingles would need to be replaced, a furnace would go out, water would end up somewhere it wasn’t supposed to be.

After the first couple years, I managed to stow these headaches in the part of your mind that let’s you conveniently forget important things until after you should have remembered them.

As I have mentioned before, we are looking at doing some remodeling and adding onto the house next year. This led me to be mildly apprehensive, but more so excited over the possibility of really making the house ours.

Then … the air conditioner.

Earlier this year, during one of the warmest parts of the year, the air conditioner fan quit spinning and inside only kicked out warm air. Obviously, the last thing you want on a hot day is warm air circulating through the house.

We shut it down, contacted the appropriate air conditioning people and followed that up with lugging our roughly four-ton window air conditioner down from upstairs and together, along with the true rulers of this house — Nemi and Buster — we hunkered down in the living room for a couple days.

Not long after it was repaired, again during a very hot stretch, it went down again and like the first time, was followed by lugging the air conditioner, which had somehow expanded to the size of a dump truck, down the stairs again.

This is where we got the bad news — that the air conditioner has reached the end of its time. There was a leak somewhere and considering the age and struggle to find it, all parties agreed we needed a new one.

After much thought we decided to get it done this year, which I find somewhat ironic that we’re thinking about doing this during the recent plunge — or at least the estimate. The price is about where we thought it might be, so there’s no concern there, and we’re in extremely good hands.

Except, the check still has to be written and this is where we wrap around to the start and my fear of big numbers and giving those big numbers to other people.

I always expect the worst after passing numbers around: the stock market crashes, the house falls through a sinkhole, aliens invade — you know, the usual concerns.

I know I shouldn’t be that concerned, but I inevitably am, more so than those times I try to use big words like “inevitability” fearing it will instead be spelled in such a way as to coincide with a fungus.

What can I say, my mind works in weird ways.

Either way you look at it, it’s a needed repair and not altogether unexpected and we’re looking forward to starting estimates on the other house stuff so we can have the fun time of visiting the bank and talking about more big numbers.

Stupid numbers.