I was so embarrassed, but I knew you would see the humor in what I did. I was at Trader Joes buying groceries and they had a wine we love but it was quite expensive. Just like you said in the Good Book dealing with Nelly [your inner child], I stood there calculating the price and caught Jesse (my inner child) reaching for the bottle in spite of our commitment to staying on a budget. As I unconsciously reached for the bottle she said, “Oh big deal, how long has it been since we’ve had a bottle of this and it’s Eric’s birthday and we’re celebrating tonight.” I’m not sure, but I think I actually whispered a “no.” (There was a man in close range and I would not have wanted him to hear me talking to myself.)
Then Jesse said, “Why are you being so strict? You always get on these kicks and you get just like your mother!” I responded, “Oh don’t go there missy.” And she said, “Come on, it’s okay to go off your budget just this once. Do it for Eric.” (Now all this “thinking” time I’m just standing in the wine section pretending I’m looking over the wines, but I was really battling with myself because I really wanted to get that special one.)
Then I remembered how you had to have a talk with Nelly in public over buying or not buying something and you used your cell phone. So I got mine out and pretended to reach someone (a woman was now in the wine aisle right beside me). “Hi Jesse, what d’ya want?” (Then I gave time for her response as if there was a real person on the line.) What was a shock to me was it was so easy to communicate with Jesse using a real phone because when I paused for the response so the people in the aisle would think I was on the phone, it was so easy to hear Jesse in that silence.
She said, “what d’ya think I want? I want that wine.”
“No, we’re not going to get it and you need to quit arguing with me. I’m the boss,” I said out loud into the phone. The woman closest to me heard that sentence and she gave me a mother-to-mother thumbs up look! I smiled a “thank you” back at her and said into my cell, “Listen honey, we can talk about this when I get home, I don’t have time to argue right now.” (I noticed the woman was still perusing the wine selections but staying close to hear my conversation.) So I decided to give her more entertainment (I majored in drama in college). “Don’t forget the reward I have for you this weekend, but this. . .” I started to say, “. . .this arguing has to stop!” But my phone rang in mid-sentence!!! You forgot to warn us to have our phones turned off if we’re going to use them to talk to ourselves in public!
It has been a couple months since that incident and we have stayed on our budget and deal only in cash which has been one of the most important eye-openers for an out of control spender that I was becoming.
I highly recommend the Good Book and even though I wasn’t in debt, at the rate I was going I very well could have been in the shoes you were in before you wrote your book. You have changed my life and I thank you for that.
Pam here: The GOOD Book: Get Out Of Debt is not just for people in debt, it will help you develop a loving relationship with your inner child and the rewards for that are endless and priceless.