After several years of marriage to Michele, I remain mystified by two things: 1) what in the world are all those bottles she has in the shower? and 2) When it’s time to pay the monthly bills, her behavior changes. It’s like a chameleon changing colors or the vampire growing fangs as the moon comes out. It’s the issue of bills that I will concentrate on here.

Let me begin by saying that Michele is the bill payer in our family. I’ve paid a total of zero bills. Wait, that’s not entirely correct. Years ago, I did pay a cable bill because I didn’t want her to see that I purchased a pay-per-view of Big Busted Secretaries Mud Wrestling in Fishnets, but that was the only time.

After years of intent observation, I have developed what I call the ‘Bed/Bill’ theory. Simply put, the time the bill payer in the family goes to bed is in direct proportion to the amount of money you have in the bank.

Below is what I’ve drawn up for us. It’s all based on the time I go to bed, which is 7:30PM. Keep in mind, your chart may look considerably different and this should be used only as a guideline.

If Michele comes to bed with me at:

7:30PM: This has never happened. Who am I kidding?

9:00PM: Probably two or three minor bills need to be paid. No reason to panic.

10:00PM: She’s struggling to pay at least five bills and checking the various accounts to see where she can do some creative shifting.

12:00AM: We’re in dangerous waters now. The bills are spread out all over the floor and the grunting is getting louder. The empty wine bottles are piling up in the garbage can.

3:00AM: I shoot out of bed and throw back the curtains looking for the bad men from the bank to come walking up the steps with hand trucks to haul us away. Then, I breathe a sigh of relief, realizing that the bad men from the bank don’t take possession of anything, except maybe a coffee cup, one minute before nine in the morning.

Don’t always rely on facial expressions of the bill payer as a mood determinant. Some are very slick and really tough to crack. However, there are ways to tell when particular bills are delinquent. For instance, if my wife has one of our cats on his back, each leg strapped to a different corner of the kitchen table, trying to insert a rectal thermometer, then we must be in red with the vet. Also, when she hears me firing up the electric pencil sharpener during this critical bill paying period, she’ll race in, make a nosedive for the plug and yank it from the outlet. When this occurs, by my deductions, we must owe the utility company. By the way, is it just me or has it ever crossed your mind that with any utility company, there’s a persnickety, old man just sitting by a switch, snickering and salivating, waiting for the stroke of midnight of the day your bill is due and delights to the point of orgasm in flicking that switch, rendering your entire house dark…and cold?

I’ve confronted Michele on my ‘Bed/Bill’ theory and she looks at me like I’m crazy. Yeah, right. Like I’m the one who has twenty-four bottles of conditioners, lotions and exfoliating creams in the shower. But, I’m the nutjob. Sure.

Anyway, try putting my ‘Bed/Bill’ theory to work for you. I think you will find more than a kernel of truth in it. Please remember that family bill payers can become very temperamental, emotional and fragile at that certain time of the month. Treat them with kid gloves, don’t startle them or make any sudden movements and, whatever you do, wait until the crisis passes before sharpening any pencils.


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