Saturday, December 21, 2013

The 12 Costs of Christmas

So for the past couple of years I have been contributing to the blog, I have typically done a Christmas post.  While somewhat creative, I have felt I have exhausted my efforts in parlaying tennis themes to Christmas themes, and just thought….Why the hell not vent?

My guess is that most the guys that read this blog are middle-aged guys, working hard, supporting a family, love tennis, beer , and most likely “enduring the costs of Christmas”.  So perhaps I can share my day that led me to drinking Mamba Taxis at MiCocina at 4 PM to get back in Christmas Spirit.

It first started off by taking my car into the shop at 8 a.m. for the 3rd time in two weeks for maintenance and repair.  I won’t bore you with the details, but don’t make the mistake of buying German automotives that have 3 initials.  I have owned them twice.  They are great to drive, but like a woman that is fun to drive, they are high maintenance. 

I then headed over to the mall to buy the iPhone 5s.  Excuse me, iPhone 5s’s, that my wife, daughter, and son decided to reserve for themselves for Christmas.  Best Buy was having a sale for $75 off iPhones, so why not, right?   Since I handle the finances, I had to go over there and pony up, not only for the cost of the phones, but also for the data plans that must accompany such phones.   My wife sees something for sale and feels compelled to buy, not thinking through the recurring, on-going costs.  I know.  I have a car, that although is paid off, has an on-going recurring cost.  But I bring home the bacon, I get a break there.

So far, I have been lucky.  My daughter wanted the iPhone 4s two Christmases ago, and being the hard-nose bad ass parent I am, I made her beg, and told her the only way we would get it, is if she paid for the data herself.  So she saved her hard-earned baby-sitting money and gave me cash up-front for 2 years of data.   In the meantime, I decided to upgrade to the iPhone myself, and gave my 5-year old Blackberry with no data plan to my wife, and my youngest son who was 10 at the time, got a basic no data phone to call for emergencies.   I know.  I’m cruel, and paybacks are a bitch.

I get the song and dance of how school is now having the kids access various study material on-line, and that they need lightning fast internet with so much data access per month, yadi –yadi- yada. 

So I find myself at Best Buy, buying 3 new iPhone 5s’s, and having to convert my wife and son to new data plans.  I really don’t care about the cost of the phone.  It’s the increase of my recurring cell phone bill of $100/month.  If you think about what we pay to stay connected.  Over $200 in cell usage, $100 for home phone & internet, and $100+ for Direct TV.  When you include surcharges and taxes, that’s close to $500 per month or $6,000 each year to have communication throughout the household.   I’m sorry, but is it really worth that much to “stay connected”?

I then had my 90 year old father calling me about something he was needing as I was writing an $8,000 check to Kenneth Mauhn – Property Tax collector for Collin County, before strategically exiting from the house from “honey-do’s” so I could go sneak off to the gym and walk on the beloved treadmill since my knees can no longer handle running on the pavement.

Anyhow, after my so-called “work-out” of treadmill walking, sauna, and steam room, the only way I could stay half sane, was to go see my buddy Juan and MiCo and have some nice stiff Mambas to sooth the pain. 

So back to the blog.  Maybe instead of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, we can come up with the “Twelve Costs of Christmas”.   I’ve got #4 with “….4 data plans…”

Can you help me with the rest?.......