life’s little victories: the new check register

This may be another one of those topics which require a word of explanation for our younger readers.  Back in olden times, when mammoths walked the earth and the internet was not invented, people used to pay for things by writing checks.  Some people even wrote checks for groceries and gasoline, all the things you buy today with your debit card.  But mostly, you wrote checks to pay your bills.  And you had to keep track of your checking account yourself, subtracting the amount of each check from the balance and, maintaining a running total of what you had available.  (If you didn’t do this your checks would “bounce” and believe me you do not want to have this happen.)

To help you manage your account, your bank would provide you, free with every box of checks, a handy little ledger that fit inside your checkbook.  This ledger was (and is) called a “check register”.  For extra convenience a check register would have three years of calendars printed on the back flap– the current year and the next two– where you could easily consult them while writing your checks.  I guess it was generally assumed that most people would take about three years to write enough checks to fill a register.

Now I, being an oldish person who has a great love for the internet but no trust in it whatsoever, still pay bills by check.  But I don’t write a whole lot of them, so it takes me six or seven years to fill a register.  And over the years I’ve made it sort of a hobby to use the oldest register I can find so the calendars are as out of date as possible.  My last register had 1996, 1997 and 1998 on the back and it made me feel I was “sticking it to the Man” every time I used it.

Then a couple months ago I filled up another register and the best replacement I could find had 2008 as the oldest calendar.  This was bitterly disappointing.  I knew I might have to advance a bit in time, but 10 years was a bit much. I kept my old register for a while longer, using the blank inside back cover as an improvised last page. Luckily a final rummage through the file cabinet unearthed this, a very reasonable successor:keyboardchecheckbookHere’s another of those English sentences that may never have been written before: “Behold the awesomeness of my new check register!”

(Behold also the stylish graininess of a low light shot from the New Phone Camera, run through the Punch filter, contrast turned up 50%, slightly sharpened, and cropped a bit.)

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