Friday, November 30, 2007

The best things in life are free

But screw them all, I'd rather have the money.

Have I mentioned lately how we're broke? How we have literally no money whatsoever to our names? Creditors breathing down our necks? Let's put it this way:

If I died today, they'd have to bury me in a refrigerator box in the backyard, because that's all we could afford.

It sucks to live this way. Money has been one of the major problems in our marriage. We were raised with very different ways of looking at and dealing with money, and we have pretty much followed in our parents' footsteps. He looks at it from one point of view, and deals with it in the way that he saw growing up. I look at it a completely different way, and I handle it (when I'm in the power seat) in the way that I saw growing up. Notice how intentionally vague I'm being? Not pointing out which one of us is parsimonious, and which one burns through money like kindling?

Let's just say that having no money, earning absolute shit wages for what I do, owing lots of money to lots of people, and constantly worrying about where I'll find enough money to fill the gas tank and/or pay for daycare, etc. has not been great for my anxiety. I freak out about money. Husband is much more philosophical about it, if that's the right word. It's been this way since the very very very beginning of our marriage. I'll always contend that it started with the washer and dryer.

When we moved into our townhouse, two weeks before the wedding, it was brand new and had no washer or dryer. Since it was a long way to the nearest laundromat, and all those quarters can really add up, we felt that we would be better off buying an inexpensive washer and dryer set. So buy we did, a very cheap set with no bells or whistles. It cost about $500, all told, and we put it on my credit card. Not a biggie. I paid off my balance every month, and I had a stellar credit rating. It all sort of somehow escalated from there, what with moving and kids and cars and a house that needed "fixing" and trying to pay of his old debts and a million other little things that kept adding up.

You know that commercial where the guy is showing you all these nice things he has - big house in a good neighborhood, nice car, riding lawn mower? And then he says "How do I manage it?" with this big shit-eating grin on his face? And then he says, same big frozen smile, "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs!"

That's us.

I hate it. Hate it hate it hate it hate it with the fire of a thousand nuns. If I could fix one thing about my life, it would be our debt. It's an absolutely soul-crushing pressure every minute of every day. Screw fixing the Bear's asthma or my mom's MS or selling our house or losing fifty pounds or having perfect eyesight or perfect hair or world peace or whatever it is the kids are wishing for these days. No. I just want to pay off our debt. I don't mind working hard for a living. I don't mind having to budget for the things we need. I don't want to be rich. I just don't want to mired in debt for the rest of my life. That's all.

Anyway, it's just bothering me today, a lot. It sucks my will to live. Hate to bitch about something so trivial, especially when there are people in the world who have it so much worse than I do. Who am I to complain, really? I have a roof over my head and food for my children. We have health insurance and good jobs. It's not that bad, considering.

It's just that I teach a bunch of spoiled rich kids every day, and it's so frustrating that they have all this money and can't appreciate it, and here I am, struggling to stay out of the poorhouse, and I don't have a quarter of what they do. The world is not a fair place. At all.

Fuck. Phone ringing. Another creditor. I bet I know what they want...

1 comment:

Julie said...

It does suck, worrying about money. I read once about a survey that asked how much more money your family would need so that you wouldn't have to worry. And virtually everyone, no matter what their income, said they needed about $20,000 more (I think).

So the 6-figure salary types still worry about it, I guess. Still, I wouldn't mind finding out about that kind of worry.