Wow. I had one of the WORST starts to my day today. It was bad. Like, standing-in-the-kitchen-talking-to-two-male-coworkers-and-later-realizing-my-blouse-was-completely-unbuttoned bad! Thank god I wear camisoles these days. And that incident was really just the tail end of the bad morning. I woke up late and exhausted (A has decided it’s fun to wake up at 3:30am again these days; such a party animal that girl!). It was raining out but warm and raining, which is my least favorite combination. As if I didn’t sweat enough on my rushed commute to work every morning, wearing a trench coat in 60 degree weather in February is just gross (although, it was probably a good thing I had the coat on since apparently I never buttoned my blouse). Then, the real aggravator – I could not find my February Septa TransPass. I looked everywhere for it. I looked so long that I missed 2 buses, which obviously added to the already bad morning. I know it’s gone. Things never “just turn up” for me because I am nuts and I have a place for everything. If something isn’t in its place, 99% of the time it is gone. It is a fact of life – I generally do not lose or misplace things. In fact, I racked my brain today to try and remember the last thing I truly “misplaced”, and I think it was my cushy wrist pad at work about a year ago.
A Septa TransPass is like gold. Philadelphia is not a city known for its cool technologically advanced transportation systems. Just come here and ride the Broad Street line and you’ll see what I mean. We don’t have reloadable metro cards – we have tokens that come in bags of ten that say “Septa Goes Green!” all over them, meanwhile the floors of the subway stations are completely littered with these same small plastic bags. Way to “go green”, Septa. We can get monthly passes to ride the subways and buses, but needless to say they aren’t registered to a person and could never be replaced, traced, or cancelled. At the end of every month, B and I wait anxiously for our new TransPasses to come in the mail, and I have to admit it’s always a thrill when mine comes before his. (This being Septa and all, you just never know when you’ll get screwed one month). I know it’s wrong, but I love watching him sweat it out waiting to see if his will come before the 1st of the month cutoff! If your pass doesn’t come you might as well give in, and if you lose yours, forget about it. Septa has zero interest in helping you get it back. So to lose it on the very first day of the month means I’ve just wasted $78 for the month. Like I said – highly aggravating.
This is a perfect example of something I call “Stupid Money”. Ever wait until the last minute to buy someone a gift off their bridal/baby registry, and nothing good is left so you try to overcompensate by buying a bunch of random things that add up to more than you were planning to spend AND you have to pay for expedited shipping so it gets there on time? That’s Stupid Money that you just spent. You could have avoided it by putting the event on your calendar or by putting “Buy Gift for Jane Smith!” on your To Do list. Stupid Money pops up a lot at Christmas too in the form of expedited shipping. Or, have you ever taken the gamble and not left enough time to get somewhere and then had to splurge for a cab? Stupid Money. You could have gotten there on time using public transportation if you planned ahead. My personal worst was when I cut it so close trying to make a train to NYC last year that I thrust my credit card in the Quick Ticket Kiosk, grabbed my Philly to NYC ticket and ran to the platform. I completely left my NYC to Philly return ticket in the machine. It was a goner. Major Stupid Money.
After this particular incident I decided I would track all of my Stupid Money for the year in an effort to shame myself, hoping this would keep me from wasting money in the future. I will admit that it hasn’t saved me millions, but I absolutely dread adding a new number to the Stupid Money list and I do think about it each time I get an invitation to someone’s bridal or baby shower or have to be at a doctor’s appointment across town at a given time. It’s a constant reminder and I recommend trying it out if you feel you spend a decent amount of Stupid Money. Unfortunately for me this time, it’s not able to predict losing my Septa TransPass. I’ll be running the numbers this week to see if I should pony up for a new one, or just stock up on those “green” bags of tokens for the month. When are we getting a modern transit payment system?!