This morning at 6:16 AM (That's Pacific Time, Y'all) my darling husband woke me up to tell me that our bank account was overdrawn $555. American. Instantly my mind raced to any forgotten shopping binges that I forgot to calculate into the register, but came up blank since I have been So Darn Good lately. Of course Josh was having chest pain and on the verge of an all-out panic attack, since the 60+ hours a week he is working just don't seem to cover the bills anyway. I reassured him in my calm and laid back demeanor (which means I wasn't fully awake) that I was sure it was some technical glitch and all would be well. He was insistent, as usual, that it was fraudulent activity and probably our whole lives had been hacked. I think he then checked to make sure his gun was still in the drawer by the bed, which is wasn't because he hid it behind the TV for some reason. I have always casually poo-pooed Josh's paranoid ranting about identity theft and mocked his careful worrying, noting how it was HIS truck was broken into and wallet stolen, and not mine (never mind that this was due to the forgetfulness of a certain un-named individual who was not me. For once.) , and in all the years of carrying a debit card, I had never been hacked that I could remember. Although I think there was this one thing on PayPal... but that turned out to be a new pair of boots that I forgot I ordered. And I happen to be universally careless about locking cars, house doors, internet passwords, pin numbers... Josh, however, had survived a series of misfortunes due to fraudulent activities, in spite of numerous safeguards and anal attention to locking and passwording everything he owns, even from me. Before we go any further, I would like you to understand that I really dislike the word fraudulent. Especially before noon. ESPECIALLY in my bed. I feel as if there are legal proceedings going on and I am not even wearing a bra. So while Josh grated my early morning nerves by using THAT word several more times in his adamant protests that we had been HAD by those damned identity thieves running around out there, I was growing more irritable and was still trying to think of a shopping expense to blame it on. I even offered to bet him that it wasn't "fraudulent", which, thank goodness, he didn't take me up on. Mostly because he was too distracted googling "identity theft therapy" and the legal definition of self-defense in murder trials.
After waiting a pain-filled 44 minutes, the credit union call line opened and he was instantly connected to a nice young man who pulled up the details of over $750 in charges placed today through TicketMaster.
Whoooaahohohoho... now hold on. Not only were these charges actually fraudulent (at this point I breathed a sigh of relief for the untaken bet, or lord knows what I would be liable for), but they were fraudulent purchases of TICKETS. Now, if anybody is gonna be bouncing our account for ticket charges, it had better damn well be me. This was like the ultimate insult. Like someone robbing a double amputee to buy a pair of prosthetic legs! I was immediately irked, and simultaneously more comfortable using the word fraudulent. Even in bed, with no bra. I was irate in spite of the crow I had to eat to admit that we had, in fact, been taken by those damned identity thieves running around out there. My first and most important question was to inquire about what the tickets were for and whether they would be mailed to my address. Turns out some jacka** in New York with an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org had bought a slew of tickets to the Rangers games. Not that I wouldn't like to see the Rangers, but it was immediately apparent that no tickets would make it to Bend and no Bendites would make it Rangers games, so any incurred charges were completely and utterly unjustifiable. I was also a bit peeved that I didn't think of the email stliv@whatever first. Oh, and I checked into this goldenpages4u crap and it doesn't even exist. I was contemplating emailing the thief but in addition to it probably being a fake email, I didn't want to risk stliv having access to even more of my information, so I will sic the credit union on them like a hound dog. That is slightly less lazy than Truck. Ok maybe more like a pit bull, or a border collie. Those little guys never quit. Maybe if nothing else, for all of our trouble the Rangers would feel sorry for us and comp us some box seats next time we're in New York in two thousand and never. It's a nice thought.
The really convenient thing about a financial crisis of this caliber is that I can stay in my sweatpants longer while I am making phone calls and doing a little sleuthing of my own, rather than packing any boxes. At this point I have run out of leads to chase and may have gotten distracted by Facebook. But if stliv@goldenpages4u is hanging out on Facebook I should probably know. Josh had to go to work and I am sure that the morning has been almost as stressful for him as yesterday when I yelled at him for yelling at me for calling him at work with unimportant information about a pair of certain teenagers and their wish to get driving permits. I forget sometimes that there are more important things going on in the world that no insurance premium raises and the fact that I am making pulled pork for dinner.
The pulled pork turned out awesome and Josh even said it was the best ever, maybe to reassure me that pulled pork is at least as important as a siding job. After slow cooking in two bottles of beer, it better be.
At any rate, I think I am now out of excuses to avoid getting dressed and going to the credit union to sign an affidavit of fraudulent activity. At least I will have a bra on by then.