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Back When I Was Stupid

by Mike Loftis

Back when I was stupid
Some would call it young
I dug myself into a hole
like a lot of folks have done
Yeah back when I was stupid
I loved my credit card
Get it now and pay a little
it didn’t seem that hard
A brand new car the finest clothes
Man I was living large
I didn’t even need a dime
as long as I could charge
Then one night out with friends
“It’s on me” I cried
then cried again when the waiter said
“This card has been denied”
I tried my others. Same result
Of course I had no cash
and the house of cards that I had built
came down with a crash
So I took stock of what I had
I owed forty grand and some
How did I get in this mess?
I guess by being dumb
Then back when I was stupid
I started thinking smart
I got myself a second job
and cut up every card
I sold my car and bought another
It was old and cheap
The only luxury I allowed myself
between my jobs was sleep
Then one day I reached my goal
and paid off my last debt
It didn’t happen overnight
Three years and tons of sweat
I’m smarter now with lessons learned
and in my hand I hold
A statement with a zero balance
that’s worth its weight in gold


Author's Note: I framed my final credit card statement and hung it above my desk as a reminder of the days when I was stupid.

Posted on 10/12/2008
Copyright © 2021 Mike Loftis

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Charles E Minshall on 10/12/08 at 06:51 PM

Well done Mike. Glad to see your muse is back. .......CharMin

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 10/12/08 at 07:46 PM

I believe a lot of people can relate to this poem! Excellent message given in an excellent manner!

Posted by Nicole D Gregory on 10/12/08 at 07:54 PM

I L O V E T H I S!!!! It is a masterpiece and rings true to all who have ever seen the plight of the apprentice trapeze artist with no net. I wish I had framed my zero balance statements... I wanted no reminders of my past stupidity and used my shredder as a cleanser. Bravo sir! ~N

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 10/13/08 at 03:03 AM


Posted by Megan Langley on 10/13/08 at 02:27 PM

this is awesome! I can't wait to show a friend of mine who just paid off her credit card... she'll definitely appreciate this!

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 10/13/08 at 04:47 PM

Great poem! No better testimony than from one who has been there, and more importantly made it out alive.

Posted by Sandy M. Humphrey on 10/13/08 at 09:00 PM

Excellent...and it seems does it not it takes longer to right the debt than it did to collect it but hooray for you and the lesson learned and the poetic way in which you celebrate. smh

Posted by David Garner on 10/14/08 at 01:26 AM

Wonderful rhythm and simple rhyme make this read fly by. Totally engaging. And climactic. I love the way you resolved your money issues and your poem. Inspiring!

Posted by Tony Whitaker on 10/14/08 at 02:47 AM

What a wonderful well-timed, well-tuned piece. My wife and I will be debt-free when our house is sold in America at the end of this month. This is such a great feeling. So your words are going into my favorites..Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 10/14/08 at 04:38 PM

LOL! Well stated Mike. All too many of this including myself have had to learn this lesson the hard way. Congrats also on the zero balance. :o)

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 10/14/08 at 04:39 PM

Oops! That should have been all too many of "us."

Posted by Jenni Hauth on 10/16/08 at 12:19 AM

How original!-love it!

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 01/29/09 at 06:15 PM

awesome! way to keep up with the meter and rhythm, too. i'm $74k in debt because of student loans. i know it will take me longer than 3 years...it already has lol

Posted by Joan Serratelli on 03/12/09 at 01:02 PM

GREAT write. So many people, both young and old charge, charge, charge and don't realize ho much they are spending. Can i send this to my kid????

Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 05/09/09 at 03:39 PM

I have thoroughly enjoyed this very well written poem. Thanks for creating it! Going in my favorites. :)

Posted by Glenn Currier on 11/30/09 at 05:31 PM

Gees, I can sooooo relate. I like the mixture of humility and pride in this poem. Just to admit my stupidity is a good first step. The rhymes speak your sense of humor and ability to stand back from tragedy. And your description of the "hitting bottom" moment was excellent. Thanks.

Posted by Mo Couts on 06/29/11 at 01:38 AM

Congrats on being debt free and yay for you!!!

Posted by Mary Ellen Smith on 09/30/13 at 03:43 PM

Missed this one in 08, but loving it in 2013...a good lesson in any year.

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