“Fuck you money” is a hard nut to crack. There’s a halfway point which comes first. I’ve never heard it articulated before. I’m making up a phrase for it right now. I’m calling it “fuck this money”.
“Fuck this money” is the indefinable amount of resources you need on hand so you can look at a problem and say “fuck this”. Then you hurl money at it until it’s solved or you get around the roadblock.
I just spent some “fuck this” money.
Shortly after Christmas, in the middle of a blistering cold snap, our washing machine started acting wonky. Then it died. I found myself in our laundry room, carrying a toolbox, and shaking my head in misery.
The good news is that it was on a “water catching tray” (I don’t know what you call those things). It had functioned flawlessly so there was no water damage to the floor. (Score one for team preparedness!) But that just meant I had to stop up a few inches of cold slimy water in the tray before I faced the thankless task of figuring out what the hell went wrong with the infernal appliance. I’m sure it was a fixable problem. The agitator wasn’t agitating, the drain wasn’t draining, etcetera, but it had been working recently. If I spent several hours tearing into it and experimenting, plus a few days waiting for parts to come from wherever I might find them, I would’ve (probably) cobbled it back together.
I just didn’t want to deal with it. I’ve had a rough winter and I’m only human.
You might like tinkering with such things. I don’t. To me, there’s nothing quite so infuriating as repairing appliances. This is the era of cheap shit from China and thus the design is always half assed and hard to fix. Crappy parts reside in stupid places. There are little plastic tabs where bolts belong, glue where screws would be more serviceable, integrated circuit boards made of unobtanium that link everything to everything else, parts out of stock, etc… It’s always a fiasco. This particular machine was a mere 17 years old but wasn’t particularly awesome. It was dirt cheap when we got it, it has never been great, and we’ve used it hard.
So, I took a deep breath, dug deep into the fiscal and mental preparations I stored for just such an event, and said: “fuck this”.
I closed the door on the machine and told Mrs. Curmudgeon I wasn’t even going to try to fix it. She should select virtually any washing machine she wanted. Unlike my usual cheapskate nature, I’d buy it and smile while I cut the check. I even sniffed around Amazon hoping I could buy a full on white good appliance without ever setting foot in a store. (That didn’t work… for now. Give it time.) The local selection was not quite what Mrs. Curmudgeon had in mind but she too said “fuck this” and compromised on a choice from among the meager selection. Why? Because she wanted it replaced now. I dislike laundromats and Mrs. Curmudgeon hates them with a with hot loathing. We’re a bit low on funds now but we’ll get by.
It would be cooler to say I tore the goddamn thing down and welded a doohickey to a hand fabricated flapdoodle that bypassed the thingamajig and that managed to resurrect the POS. But sometimes it’s ok to say “fuck this”.
Rather than moan over the expense I’m trying to see the silver lining. We couldn’t have done that in years past. There was a time when a broken refrigerator was a tragedy and a car repair was a disaster. Not so much anymore. I’m still a cheap bastard. I don’t say “fuck this” often. Decades on the knife edge made me wary of “wasted money”. In fact, the key to using money like a “get out of jail free” card is to not need it that often.
But I sure do appreciate the option when I use it. How many snowflakes will never enjoy the magic of tossing cash at a problem because they never did anything else? For them, I see that “fuck you money” will ever be elusive. For me, I have hope. I don’t have “fuck you money” but, for now, I had just enough “fuck this money” and that’s a step in the right direction.