Thursday, December 09, 2010

Expensive Lessons: It's Only Money, Part 2

(In case you missed it, here is Part 1 of this series.  In order to reach the full effectiveness of these lessons, you must study each part.)

Part 2 further presents valuable expensive lessons learned, this time exploring money spent as a consequence of an unavoidable mistake.  Well, all right. This mistake was not unavoidable. But once it was made, there was no other way around it.

Lesson 1:  When I take my granddaughter and her friend to the nearby larger city for lunch out at the mall and an afternoon Christmas concert, I will be in for a great deal of trouble if I lock my keys in the car at the mall parking lot.  My consequences are sure to be more serious, then, if I do not realize this has happened until much later.

Remedy:  I could try to remain clear-minded while transferring important things from my purse to a lighter bag. Specifically, I might run through a mental list of “important things” that should make it into the lighter bag, including car keys.  If I am not able to handle a mental list, perhaps I should write down this list and keep it in a handy place in my car.

Lesson 2:  There are consequences; a chain of cause and effect can be spontaneously triggered. When we are almost to the car, thirty minutes before the Christmas concert is to begin, I will probably experience stress when I suddenly realize the keys are not in the lighter bag hanging on my arm.

Remedy: Fortunately, my friend could take us to the concert, leaving the locked-up keys for later solution. Note that this is not actually a remedy, but a temporary action, a postponement.

Lesson 3: However, because the keys are in the locked-in purse, we would suffer additional stress when we remember that the concert tickets are also not accessible, since they would be in the same purse as the keys. Stress stimulates the flow of adrenalin and causes the heart to pound.

Remedy: Quick thought and action are required in such a situation. The pounding heart and flowing adrenalin can either facilitate rapid thought and action or hinder it. If  I do indeed have my credit card, I will be able to buy three new tickets at the door, for an additional $35, from a sympathetic ticket lady. Perhaps I will even make it to a seat just before the concert begins.

Lesson 4: Once the two-hour concert is over and we have discussed its merits and beauty, we will once again have to face the reality of the locked car across town in the mall parking lot. It will not go away on its own.

Remedy: If I am doggedly persistent, I can eventually find a locksmith who works on Saturday evening. He will probably have very little trouble  opening the car door. Then I will be able to open my purse and write him a check for--you guessed it--a fee of $35.

Conclusion: Obviously, in Part 2 we have learned not to make the mistake of locking car keys in cars. This cause-and-effect chain can teach me to be more watchful of such small but important items like car keys. I will perhaps learn that I cannot let down my guard on myself, even in the season of joy and giving.  I had best keep a wary eye.

**This disgusted kitty picture was borrowed from "Thoughts from the Middle of Nowhere."