Monday, November 30, 2009

Spilling My Guts

So, after not talking to anyone before making the decision to short sale the house - I promptly proceeded to tell nearly anyone who remotely asked how things were going. Ugh. I have GOT to learn to keep my mouth shut. Hopefully, I have, as this guilt settles in.

Of course, I think spilling my guts to my entire family and a few close friends is probably better than Mr. Man's approach - where he has not even told his own father. The dear man heard that we were going to Italy and responded with something to the effect that he was glad he no longer had to worry about us and our financial stability. Hah! Maybe he knows more than Mr. Man discloses...if not it's quite ironic.

While I do think it's appropriate for me to NOT tell the whole world about our situation - besides the Internets of course, there was a moment where I think it became entirely appropriate to spill it.

For Thanksgiving I got to go home and visit my family. Mr. Man couldn't come, which was sad -but worked out in the end because we're using his time off for Italy. Anyway, my cousin and my aunt (who live together - even though Cousin is 27) came down for dinner too. Don't get me wrong, it was great to see them. But they do have a few quirks that I find hard to stomach.

For instance, they firmly believe they are poor. And overtaxed. (these people have gone on 4 vacations this past year, once to Hawaii and 3 times to the Oregon coast, and they do NOT vacation cheaply; they've also renovated their home in multiple ways over the past several years; etc., etc. they are not, by any stretch, poor)

Well, as we were playing cards my cousin was lamenting over her finances and the fact that the government takes so much of her income. "it would be better to just be poor" Those were her words. I couldn't take it any longer. I was 98% sure that she made more than Mr. Man and I combined, and here she was lamenting her wealth because she has to pay taxes (like we ALL do, except, I suppose, the truly poor). So, I spilled my guts. I'm not good at confrontation, but I'm getting better. So to her "it would be better to just be poor" I responded, maybe...but then you might lose your house. LIKE I AM. The thing was like it didn't register. So I went further - I asked her how much she makes. $50k per year, but the government takes $12k of that. Uh huh. So - honey, YOUR NET income is about $2k shy of my GROSS, combined, income with my husband. And let's get more detailed. She pays $300/month for her share of the mortgage on the house she shares with her mother. And they split the bills.

I'm sorry - how is it that you're poor? I don't care if I offend anyone reading this - if you make $50k per year and only have to pay $300 per month for your living expense, be it mortgage or rent, you ARE NOT, at all, poor. Okay? If you think you are, then just stop. Just look at what you spend your money on, and realize that some people don't know how they'll buy their next meal. And we're not talking a meal at Olive Garden...I mean potatoes. Or rice. You know, real poor people food.

The thing is - I don't think I'm that poor, really. Sure, I'm broke. And we have definitely cut back on niceties to try to make things work. But we're not poor. We have lived in a beautiful house for 2.5 years. We drive 2, very nice, one brand-new and one almost new cars. We CAN afford to eat fruits and veggies, even if we can't really afford to eat out. We CAN afford new clothes once in awhile, and we ARE going to Italy, for crying out loud! Oi. So, just know, that I know, despite our situation, I'm still very lucky and even though my bills currently outweigh my income, I'm not truly poor. And that's what I'm thankful for. As dire as our situation may look on paper, we're still living a very nice life. We're still together. And we're not selfish, careless, or foolish enough to believe that we are poor.

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About this Blog

I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

Or see my first post here. That's why I started this blog.