Perfect tote to take to work, but only if your boss doesn’t speak French.

My motto is ignorance is bliss. I prefer to keep my knowledge on a “need to know” basis, especially when it comes to my finances, and my attitude is always it’s better not to know too much. As long as the bank isn’t sending notices about my spending more than I have in my account, I figure I’m good. I’ll also admit that I have never balanced my checkbook in my life. Am I proud of this? No. But it’s the truth.

Wonderful hiking sticks, lovingly made by local artist

What’s ironic is that people praise me on my business acumen and ask me how I learned how to run a successful business. The answer is that I really know nothing about business and honestly don’t know if the shop is financially successful.It’s successful in the sense that I love what I am doing and it’s cheaper than therapy, but I’m not sure if it’s successful in the traditional sense. I never wrote a business plan for Chifferobe and have an accountant look after my profit and loss and paying my taxes. Every month she gives me a printout of my statements for the month, I glance at it, don’t understand what I am looking at, get a sick feeling, and put the report back in there manila envelope. Other shop owners tell me that such and such a day was better or worse than the same day last year, and I just nod my head. I have no idea. It must be better because I am still in business, right?

Valentine’s Day is coming

Today for some strange reason I decided to take a look at my on-line bank statement. Terrible idea! I scrolled down and recognized most of what I saw: charges from vendors who supply merchandise to the shop. But there was a recurring deduction from a company I could not identify. I looked them up on line and found that they were a service company. I wrote them a note asking what service they performed for my business, and received no answer. I flew into panic mode. I was positive it was a scam and that they were bleeding my business dry, and I wrote them a nasty note demanding they stop billing me and refund what they have taken. I still don’t know if they are legit or not, but I do have a very sick stomach and need a Valium. 

Beautiful old china tea set

My idiotic behavior is not a new one. When I had my first real job in NYC, I opened a bank account at Chase Manhattan Bank. This was in the days before debit cards, so I had to write a check for everything I bought. I was hopelessly overdrawn every month, and the bank manager called me into his office. He looked at me and said something to the effect of “You don’t look like a moron.”  I thanked him, and he showed me how to keep track of my spending in the handy check register. It bothered me more, however, seeing how little money I actually had than writing checks in the register and being fiscally responsible. I continued like a moron and bounced checks wiily-nilly. In my imagination I was rich!

Taake Freeman Clayworks’s advice: Live Big in 2024

I should probably go back into therapy about my fiscal irresponsibility, but that would cost a bunch and I’m not sure I can afford it. I always look on the sunny side (because I am a number seven on the Enneagram) and after my nausea dissipates, I will forget about this scammer undermining my checking account and go back to not worrying. But first, a Valium.

New shipment Moroccan glasses