Please sir, I’d like another mint.

The other day I went into my bank (which shall remain nameless except to say it may start with the letters W as in “What the..” and F as in “F*ck”) to make a deposit. The nice teller, who was just so nice and nicely asked me if I was having a nice day and was the third person to call me “sir” in a smiley, nice, nice way before I even got to the window at one point mentioned, nicely and as if she was trying out for a high school play, that I had been a customer at the “WF Bank” for 31 years and that WF appreciated my business and for that she has a “little gift” for me because they appreciate my business so, so much. So along with my deposit receipt and with an extra nice smile she presented me with…a mint. “After dinner”, as opposed to “breath”, I believe. Small, generic, in a white wrapper with the word “Mint” printed on it (in an inoffensive Kuenstler script) to distinguish it from perhaps a discarded wad of chewing gum.

In a single, smooth motion she both thanked me “Well, we appreciate your business, sir” and, having nicely centered the mint atop my deposit receipt, handed both to me through the opening, with enthusiasm and a hometown, midwest smiley, head-cocked niceness that even though my teller’s name was Fatima, made me feel like…well everything was going to be alright. What could I do but smile back, say “thank you” and accept this “thank you” gift? Nicely. The mint. Fatima. WF. All of it.

I have a binder where keep my monthly financial records; bills owed, when due, check boxes for when I pay them and what method I use for paying them (online, BillPay, check). I created the form myself. I could use a spreadsheet sheet, or Quickbooks, but I prefer this “analog” method of fiscal records management for some reason, even though the entire rest of my life has been digitized. I’ve been using this method for about 31 years but last year I printed out a photograph of a neon sign I found on the web and put in on the cover of my binder. Lovely, ethereal, glowing, blue upper case letters saying “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT”.

I have placed my “thank you” mint nicely in the pocket of my binder along with next month’s bills.

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