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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Money and Neighbors and Friends...Oh My!

The worst part of being in financial trouble for me is the local service providers we know personally, and to whom we owe money.

I play the piano. It's actually really important to me. My kids have been taking lessons for a couple of years too. Their piano teacher is a friend of mine. Her kids are in the same class at school as my kids. She's wonderful, talented, friendly, smart, and a terrific teacher.

And now I'm afraid to talk to her.

Her studio policy is that we prepay by the semester. Last year, I didn't have the money up front, so I paid her a few hundred dollars every time I could until we were caught up. She was wonderfully understanding. In the spring, she asked returning students to make a commitment for the fall and pay a deposit. She waived the deposit for us, because, again, I didn't have the $200.

Over the summer as the unemployment situation dragged on, it became obvious to us that there is no money for piano or any other activities this year. I sent an email to the piano teacher apologizing profusely and explaining that we would have to suspend piano lessons. I didn't hear back from her, but that wasn't surprising, because she spends the summers out of the country.

This week, she left a message on our voice mail, wondering where our daughter was during her lesson time. EEK! She never got the email! And now she's got a hole in her schedule for not one slot but TWO students--because of us. Ugh. I feel rotten. But I just don't have the money.

I will call her tomorrow. I will.

We also owe the local dance studio for last semester's fees. The owner, who is our daughter's instructor, is a neighbor of ours. I feel so icky not being able to pay her. For the record, the check that I wrote at the time the payment was due bounced because I wasn't managing my (lack of) cash flow very well. We will pay her, but we need to save the house first.
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