Jane Bland, Episode 3: The Jetsons, Unlimited Credit, Catalogs, and Death. Merry Christmas!

I was getting a little pissy the other day because here it is, almost the year 2001 and I’m still not living like the Jetsons. Where’s my Rosie the Maid, my AirCar and my Automatic Dressing Machine? Sheesh…MasterCard sent me a new card a few weeks ago with an obscene limit. I could even afford the Jetson’s lifestyle now. But, when I go shopping, all I find is this stupid little robot dog that everyone from Sears to Wal-Mart wants me to purchase, except I won’t because I have no use for it. Where is Rosie the Maid?

I’m Jane Bland, and because I get up and go to work everyday, I now have an unlimited amount of credit.

Which is stupid, really, because I’m not going to use it. Har! I fell into that “credit” trap once (or twice *blush*) before in my life. I’m not gonna do it again. I’m not. I’m not!

I can remember when the only credit I could get was from Fingerhut. They sent me desperate catalogues for months, and they all said, Jane Bland! This Could Be Your Last Catalogue! Don’t Miss This Opportunity For NINETY DAYS SAME AS CASH!!!!!! What kind of concept is that?

Hey, I can’t afford it now, and in ninety days…I still won’t be able to afford it, but by then it will have been used and non-returnable, so I may as well spend the next 24 months paying for an overpriced (fill in the blank) because Fingerhut deemed me “their most valuable customer.” At 24.9% interest. And be sure to mail your payment five days early because if it doesn’t get posted in time…oh dang…a $25 extra fee.

Fingerhut doesn’t sell Rosie the Maid or the AirCar or the Automatic Dressing Machine, either. In fact, this is not a dig on Fingerhut catalogue either, it’s just that nobody does. (I have actually got some cool stuff from Fingerhut in the past. My favorite salad bowl came from them as a premium gift. It’s pretty. I made Anna Mary salad in it for Thanksgiving. But if you’re listening, Fingerhut, you can stop sending me catalogues now.)

Catalogues, they are worse than HTML email, I’m telling you. My favorite part of the day each day is going to my PO Box and retrieving my mail. Some days, I’ll get five catalogues, the gas bill, and a “have you seen me?” insert for the promotional grocery store ads. And what do I pay attention to? Why the catalogues, of course. I got a catalogue the other day full of chocolate and nut gifts. Just looking at it gave me a sugar rush and the amount of salt on those nuts made my ankles swell. I couldn’t eat dinner. All I wanted was those chocolates and nuts.

I’m Jane Bland, and I’m pre-menopausal with unlimited credit. You’d think after all this time I’d deserve more than this.

OK, enought griping and groaning because Rosie the Maid isn’t here. Neither is Astro the Dog (Rastro! tee hee). No, my dog has a swollen eye and thank goodness for that obscene credit limit because I have to take a trip to the Vet in the morning. Of course, Astro (Rastro), if he were my dog, would have a glitch in the motherboard. For sure he would if he were my dog. Sheesh.

It just occured to me, Jane Jetson didn’t have a downside to life. Oh no, Jane Jetson popped out two kids and could still fit into those outfits that were pinched at the waist. Plus, she had Rosie the Maid. Oh wait, I’m mistaken, she did have a downside, sorry. She had George Jetson for a husband.

Jetson! Get In Here! Poor, beleagured George Jetson. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a boss like Mr. Slade.) Never caught a break. Well, one break. Jane, with the pinched waist, and Rosie the Maid. Combine those two and you have one perfect break. Except that Jane spent all his money and Rosie had a permanent glitch in her motherboard. Well, at least his AirCar worked.

Well, I’m going on and on about this because it’s the (Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza) season and I’ve been recently subjected to shopping overload. All those people in years past who have helped me out during the season, and now that I have an unlimited obscene amount of credit, I want to repay. How does one do that?

I’ve always ascribed to the notion that it’s fairly impossible to repay a kindness. And that the hardest thing one can do is accept, rather than give. I have been on the receiving end a lot in my life. Fortunately, that has taught me how to graciously receive. Gotta have both sides for a full life, that’s what I think.

Several months ago, a dear friend of mine, who we’ll call Kevin, because that was his name, was driving back from Las Vegas, to attend the funeral of his son’s wife’s sister, who at age 16 had been killed in an auto accident. Kevin was rude, crude, and often lewd, and I loved him because of that..he and his family. He had an engaging nature. Kevin was killed in an auto accident on his drive. His daughter Krystal, age 16, called me the next morning to tell me, “so I wouldn’t have to hear about it from someone else.”

Kevin had been working out of town because his local business had gone tits up. Not because he wasn’t good at his business, but because his business has over saturated this particular area. Everyone in his business was scrambling to support his/her family. (No Rosie the Maid, no AirCar, no Rastro. Happens.) And because of a soft shoulder on a back road, and because he was too stubborn or fat or whatever to wear a seatbelt, he was killed.

Four years ago, when Kevin’s business was doing gangbusters, and I had been “let go of my job” at the first of December with two teens in the house and no hope of a job other than flipping burgers because at the same time I lost my job my truck broke down, and my heat was shut off because I couldn’t afford the gas bill, Kevin showed up on my doorstep with a receipt (be home tomrrow, the guy from Questar is coming to turn your gas back on) and three fifty dollar bills (go give your boys a christmas.)

And this year, because he was such a stupid fucker for not wearing a seat belt (we’re all still pissed at him for getting killed, but he would understand) I get to show up at his widow’s doorstep with three fifty dollar bills and her gas bill paid and say “go give your kids a christmas.”

It’s not often we’re given the opportunity to repay a kindness. Most often, it’s a pass along. You know, I do something for you, you do something for her/him, everone benefits. But this time…this time…I get to repay. What a great Christmas.

Well, I still don’t have Rosie the Maid or Rastro, but I’m having a great holiday. Hope your holiday is too.

I’m Jane Bland, and this is my life. Stay tuned.

Beth Lock

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