09/16/2011 05:33 pm ET Updated Nov 16, 2011

'Today I Opened My Last Unemployment Check'

The temptation was to frame it, since it marks one of those transitions in life that merits being remembered. But I needed the money more than a memento, so I took my last unemployment check to the bank and deposited it -- $367 for some necessities. Food, rent, gas. My last unemployment check was $160 less than my usual weekly benefit, but still a welcome boost to my sagging finances. How I will miss those Tuesday trips to the mailbox and then the bank, one of the few regular events in my upended, irregular life!

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