|I still think Barbies are stupid.|
I understand there are those who have less and struggle more. I promise, I understand. I was the kid whose family the community adopted every Christmas. I really did get a macrame Barbie toilet paper cover for Christmas one year from some generous stranger. Marty Sunshine grew up even more impoverished, but for different reasons. Essentially, we have struggled. We aren't struggling the same way now. For that, I am grateful. Marty has employment. We have a personal residence. We have cars. Our kids are clothed and have never missed a meal. For the most part, they have outings, though Polly tends volunteer to fund them for her and her brother these days, and that is greatly appreciated.
What has changed is how we spend our money. In fact, as part of the closing process, we were required to drain our savings. Yes. Really. There is a freaky feeling of how will I pay for some small disaster that might happen. I found it caused a bit of PTSD (because I remember these issues all too well from childhood), when the air conditioner and the refrigerator died on the same day last month. That was fun. In the past we had savings to fall back at best, at worst a credit card to fall back on. Now, if something like that were to happen again I would be relying on the kindness of a trusting family member.
During this process, I am not to work. That isn't terribly practical. Unfortunately, we are finding that it really does take both Marty's and my income to pay the bills in this day and age. For the first time we are having to prioritize what gets paid. In addition to to the usual, one of our family members has had several doctor appointments that are not covered by our insurance (and it would have been nice to know this upfront, because we were told this doctor was covered. We are fine by the way.). But now those doctor bills are on payments. Additionally, I called my insurance agent the other day and negotiated a partial payment for something I would have normally paid off completely. That was new. It also doesn't change the fact that the rest of the car insurance money is still due in June and that payment is hanging over us like Damocles' Sword.
The big stuff, the electricity, water, phone, etc. is paid partially when necessary just to make sure we are still able to function. I haven't seen my tax bill yet (yea, still not done), but I am pretty sure I owe. I am not sure how that payment will be shuffled around because I don't see Uncle Sam being as sympathetic as my insurance agent.
Silly, inconsequential things, such as baseball are affected. A Diamondbacks rep has offered me free tickets to any game I want. In exchange he would like me to sit through a presentation on what ticket packages they have. I have explained there is no money in the budget for such luxuries right now and I can't, in good conscience, take the free ones. For that matter, the budget for the Diamondbacks on television is about to go as well. Marty is letting me hold on to that for now, but I know the end is near. Maybe I can find an empty sports bar that will let me occupy a seat once a week for the cost of a glass of water.
Please don't think I am whining. I am not. I have lived through much worse. This was a choice. It was a consequence of tying our credit to an accidental business. I accept my fate--though I wish it was over. We will be through this soon (I hope). There is no official closing date at this time, so "soon" is all I have. Once we are over this hurdle, I hear the rest is smooth sailing. But in the meantime, humility and I are becoming good friends.
Side Note: I remember this when she said it. I looked for a clip, but the story will have to suffice. In the interest of brevity, you only have to read the first two paragraphs to get to the punchline. At the time I thought her comment was funny. It still is, but it is truly all a matter of perspective.