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Skipping to the Present

Exuberance and ignorance rarely last in combination. Either the ignorance is erased by a voracious desire to learn or—more often—a need to recover from disaster. Exuberance usually goes away of its own accord as the familiar becomes either stale or just plain frustrating. The trick is to get enough done before that happens to make going back undesirable.

The web is just such a beast. I was once too concerned about privacy and security to engage in any financial transaction from my computer. This included purchases, personal banking, even subscribing to a magazine. Now I can't imagine making a payment to my car insurance/credit card/student loan any other way. It's just too damned convenient. I tend to be just enough of a curmudgeon to let the first generation fall face-first into the mud so I can cross the puddle on their backs.

In my measured haste, however, I've been burned on more than one occasion by failing to receive those necessary email reminders from my car insurance/credit card/student loan company informing me that a payment is due. Oops. There are only so many occasions when that holds water as an excuse for nonpayment. Usually the number is one—or less.

I realized fairly quickly that notices do get lost, but my check is never "in the email." Hence, convenience still requires vigilance.

But wait, I thought. I used to receive a paper notice of my next payment. And wasn't there supposed to be a statement of last month's activity? Had I explicitly given them permission to stop sending me the traditional forms of communication? Honestly, I still don't know.

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