I have a life concept I call "the idiot tax".  It's where I do something dumb that ends up costing me money I didn't want to spent. Typically, it involves a locksmith, or an ER, or a new electronics purchase - you get the idea.

Right now, I'm stuck in the middle of an idiot tax situation.

So, Saturday morning, I had an 8:15 appointment to donate blood.  It's been a year or so since I've done it, but they finally got me on the phone and I relented.  It's not that I mind donating, not at all - but I have been so busy in every other aspect of my life, this was lower on the list.

Now, they had a hard time hearing my blood pressure, and I was afraid I was going to get booted for it being high - basically, this same thing happens at multiple doctor's offices - they take it on one side, can't hear it.  Take it on that side again, can't hear it.  Take it once or twice on the other side, can't hear it.  Finally another nurse comes in, takes it, hears it and it's high.  "Is it always this high?", they ask.

"Usually only on the fifth time", I reply because my arm hurts and I'm annoyed.

Anyway, that hurdle cleared, I gave them a pint of my finest, scarfed some Cheez-Its and a juice box, then went on my merry way.  I stopped to pick up breakfast for me and my mister - since it was close, I hoped to go to H&S Bagel on 17th.  Highly recommended.  I parked across the street, and as I was crossing,  a group of six came up the sidewalk and entered the building ahead of me.  Damn.  As they were new to the bagel ordering experience, it took a minute.  When the second of the three couples reached the counter, a man at the end of the line handed the guy three bucks and asked if he'd order him a plain pumpernickel because he was in a hurry.  Rude.  That sounds like a you problem, sir.  But they did it, and whatever.

I got my order  - bacon and egg on salt with a side of spicy cream cheese, sesame toasted with olive cream cheese - yes, we like salt.  Paid for that, got a coffee for the man, and headed out to my car, which was in the process of being ticketed.  Apparently, in all the years I have been getting bagels, I didn't notice that the lot was a pay lot on the weekends (and that actually might be recent, because what are the odds that in all the times I parked, I never looked to see what the payment was?).  Now, the lot was completely empty, and I was there for less than 15 minutes, so what harm was I doing, really?  I asked the dude to please not ticket me, but he told me that it had already been electronically submitted and it was out of his hands.  So I took the ticket, and shoved it in my pocket, and took my bagels home.

Metropolis-powered?  Fight the power!

I have submitted a request to have it waived - I should have mentioned I was down a pint of blood, having just left the Red Cross, but I don't think that would have mattered.  I am waiting a reply, but I am completely certain I'll be paying a fine.

And you may wonder, what's the going rate on a parking ticket in Nashville these days?   Well this one is $85.  Yeah.  I was just as surprised as you might be.  

Anyway, that's my idiot tax.  

The bagels, for what it's worth, were delicious.

And I donated blood.  According to the Red Cross, I've donated seven gallons.  Which, if you imagine seven jugs of milk, is a lot.  Or ice cream, or whatever you like.  It's not a tank of gas, but it's a lot of blood.

I started donating when I was seventeen, so, really - if I were a steady donor, I'd be way over that by now.  But there were my years of deferral because of anemia (turns out if you have a heavy period, it can make you slightly anemic).  And years of laziness.

Anyway, that's that.  I don't even have a bruise - the gal that stabbed me did a good job - even if she couldn't hear my blood pressure.

It's February, which is a short month.  You still have to pay for a full month of internet, even though you get stiffed a few days.  Oh well.

I managed to get through most of January without a lot of sweets.  I think it's knowing that if I really, really want something, I can make the decision to have it, but I don't HAVE TO HAVE IT, but I have that safety net that says, BUT IT'S NOT FORBIDDEN...

Anyway, there's that.  

Beyond that, onward and upward.  I'll keep you posted on my parking debacle.

And if I don't have to pay it - I may just go early one Saturday to go buy all the pumpernickel so Mr. Late and Important doesn't get one.

Yeah, that's a plan.