Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Surprise Sighting

I was at a get together the other day hosted by someone I didn't know. They had a modest home in a so - so location of the city.

What struck me when I entered was a stack of bills, over 1 foot thick on a chair in the middle of the dining room.

The top bill was a tax bill which was in arrears to the tune of almost $4000.

The host did not seem to be bothered that the group of us were talking and moving around the chair that had all those bills on it.

I pretended I didn't see it. If it didn't bother them, then it isn't a big deal.

D was there and he felt that if he needed to fall behind on bills, the tax bill wouldn't be the one he'd mess with because you can get your home taken for non payment. When you have 3 young children under the age of 6, that is a huge consideration.

Obviously we don't know the whole story. This family could be working with a debt counsellor and everything could be consolidated so they pay one fee each month which would include a contribution to the tax dept.

I just find it unusual for that many bills to be placed in public view, that's all. Maybe they wanted to talk about it but the rest of us were just to polite to bring it up.


  1. Interesting situation. Like you, I'd never even consider leaving personal stuff like that in plain view.

    They obviously have financial problems, but certain things need to be private.

  2. Hi Retirementlover;

    To be honest, I was embarrassed for them. Maybe it was deliberate and a cry for help?

  3. Interesting story. A former neighbour of mine used to do this all the time. That was her filing system - kitchen counter, kitchen table, dining room chair - wherever. The only place the bills didn't show up was beside the computer to pay them, or in a filing system to know they were due/had been paid.

    She and her husband have parted, and yes, they lost their home to the bank.

    I'm not sure if this kind of thing is a cry for help, or just a bold illustration of not being accountable for our fiscal obligations. I don't mean to suggest they're deliberately negligent, perhaps they're just so overwhelmed they don't feel there's anything to hide, nor is there a solution.

    Only once they figure it's a problem, it'll become a cry for help.

  4. Hi middleclassmomintoronto!

    I still find it strange that they would have it displayed to people they don't know.

    Had I not seen the pile, I wouldn't have pegged them as overwhelmed because they seem quite level headed and calm considering they have 3 kids under the age of 10.

    I guess even the best of us can get behind sometimes.