I am a criminal.
Well, technically I'm not...but I could have been. You know, if I hadn't taken that EIGHT HOUR CHECK RESTITUTION CLASS in Diamond Bar this weekend.
So I wrote a bad check. I didn't mean to, and it was written when Babe had knee surgery and was off work for six months, so it's not like I planned for it to bounce. Honestly, Your Honor, I wasn't trying to get my $23.00 worth of sports pictures for free. Luckily, you kind folks in the courts system have allowed me to fix my mistake- by threatening to press fraud charges, imposing a $250 class fee and forcing me to drive 25 miles (each way) to Diamond Bar on a Saturday, where I got to spend eight hours with some of the most entertaining (and well rounded) people on the planet.
My personal favorite part of the class? You know, besides the part where I got to miss The Dictator's soccer game? My favorite part was when we got in groups to discuss our specific situation with the whole class. Because really, there's nothing like fessing up to bouncing a $23.00 check at the age of 30 because you're a moron. It's good for the soul.
Our teacher was a nice-enough woman named Bonnie, who kept saying, I suppose to reduce the embarrassment of why we were there, "We're all adults, we're all smart, and we're all responsible."
I disagree, Bonnie.
Erika sitting next to me looks like she's 12, so I'm pretty sure she's nowhere near being an adult. And Lisa across the way...not only is she obviously blitzed off her ass, but she blows your smart theory out of the water. And responsibility? Ha! Sweetie, I bounced a $23.00 check, or did you forget that when I had to say it out loud four times?
I must say though, Tony almost made my class worth while. He is your typical government-conspiracy-know-it-all-middle-aged-loser who has an opinion about everything, and has no qualms with dragging your time out two hours longer than should be just to get his point across. Every single time Bonnie would ask him a question, he over-answered, complete with reasoning and in-depth explanations of his feelings and situation in life. At the end of the class, when we were getting our "Bad Check Certificates" (anybody know where I can find a gorgeous frame to commemorate such an achievement?), Bonnie asked all of us to tell one thing we learned in the horrid class. About the third person in, we learned that if we just said, "budgeting", we would all move along quickly, thus returning home to our beloved families. But oh no, not Tony. When Bonnie asked him, he started his answer with, "Well, my specific situation was a little different because I don't really think I should have been here to begin with..." The entire room breathed a collective heavy sigh and walked out, hitting Tony on the back of the head as we exited.
Surprisingly, Tony is still not ready to "own" his situation.
But I am. I'm a moron, I wrote a bad check, I suck and I'm lucky I wasn't thrown in a river with some rocks. I learned my lesson, believe me. As of this point in my life, I am willing to do WHATEVER I have to do to never return to that horrid class again.
And as for my $273 baseball pictures, they own a very special place on my Wall of Fame. I'll be clearing out a spot tomorrow right next to them for my hard-earned Bad Check certificate.
I am a criminal.