Guess who's a deadbeat again! If you guessed Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, shame on you! But you would be 100% correct.
Last week I got my electric bill in the mail. That's how it comes, you know. In the mail. Of course I ripped it open immediately to commence remuneration. Incoming bills gather no moss here at the Mansion. In and out. That's how it's done. Not like Farmer H, when I met him, who would wait until two days before the late date to pay. "You're only giving them the use of your money to earn their interest if you pay early!" Of course, that was back when interest actually earned money. Still, I like to get it taken care of. Back when I was single, and fairly wealthy with no dependents' electronic habits to support, I would pay off all my bills for three months when I got my summer teaching checks. Over and done.
I glanced at that electric bill while I was fishing my checkbook out of my 20-year-old purse (it's leather, and wears very well...), and noticed that it seemed a bit exorbitant.
"Huh," I told myself, "I know it was hot there for a while, but I haven't been turning down the air conditioner." Even the separate bill that comes in the same envelope for the BARn seemed high. "That Farmer H needs to stop working over there in the heat of the day! It's wasteful to run the air in a tin building. This is almost TWICE as much as last month's bill. Wait a minute! It IS last month's bill! PAST DUE? I'm sure I paid that bill. I always pay my bills! I KNOW I paid it! Let me see...here in the checkbook...WHAT? I never paid last month's electric bill!"
Yep. No entry in my check register for an electric bill at the end of August. You know why, don't you? IT WAS FARMER H's FAULT! How could you not know that?
Here's the deal. We took The Pony out to Oklahoma on Wednesday, August 17th. He moved in on the 18th, we had a National Merit dinner on the 19th, and got home late on the evening of Saturday the 20th. On the way home, I asked Farmer H if HOS was feeding the animals that day.
"No. I told him we'd be home. I'll feed them when we get there."
"Where has he been putting the mail?"
"Oh....I don't know. Maybe in the truck. Or the BARn."
"You DID tell him to get it, didn't you?"
"I told him to take the trash up Wednesday night..."
"That's not what I asked. You didn't tell him to get the mail, did you?"
"No. I think I forgot about that."
"Well, I hope it's there! It's time for the bills. The Acadia bill should come."
I was thinking of the Acadia, because it's a newer payment. We haven't had a car payment for quite some time, and we'd only had about 7 payments so far on the Acadia. So I'm always looking for that bill. I don't want to mistakenly throw it out, thinking it's junk mail from Commerce Bank.
When we got home, Farmer H stopped at EmBee and got the mail. There wasn't much. I was surprised that we had so little, after being gone for four days. The bill for the Acadia wasn't there, but it came Monday. So I paid it, and mailed it Tuesday, and then the credit card bill came the next day, and I paid and mailed that. All was right with my bill-paying world.
Except I never got the electric bill.
Yes, Mrs. HM pays all of her bills the moment she gets them. But she doesn't pay them if she doesn't get them. That happened years ago with the electric bill. Never got it. That same time, I missed my back-to-school letter from the superintendent, with the schedule for the first few work days. I was complaining about not even getting notified when to come back, and how my mom saw it in the paper, when the other teachers said that THEY all got a back-to-school letter. Huh.
I don't know if the mailman misdelivered it, or if somebody took it out of the box. One thing's for sure: nobody paid my electric bill for me in August.