My husband and I are currently saving to buy a house. We just downloaded an app that will budget our expenses each month...like, down to the peso. Everything. I silently grieved the lavish orchid and pineapple embellished crystal totem-style Hawaiian glasses full of top shelf rummed-up mai tai’s at my favorite oceanside bar, Duke’s. Yeah, I grieved a hundred little vices I adore. The truth is, I CAN go out with my girls and have 10 mai tai’s if I want to. “But not if you wanna buy this house, babe”, he said. He. The voice of reason, kindness, patience, and all in this world that could ever want to make his wife happy. And yes, I do faintly recall pounding on the door of a stranger’s beautiful house on my dream street in Bellingham WA, and begging them to consider us first, to buy. They were not QUITE on Zillow yet, but rumor had it they were about to list. I pined away over that house as we drove away with the windows down and the evergreen breeze on my face, “I would give ANYTHING to get this house, babe”. Anything? Anything but Mai Tai’s.
It sucks to marry a way better person than yourself. You actually have to grow up, shape up and revisit the well taught good manners...virtue and all that shit. Seeing as how my family loves him more than they love me, I figured I’d better dust off the ol’ honorable character and do some work on myself. Ick. But old habits die hard. Because back when I had money, I knew where I came from...JUST enough to know that I couldn’t exactly buy that La Jolla high-rise just yet but I could march my marginally famous ass down to the local Von’s and buy the “expensive toothpaste”now!! Yeah you know the one that practically reads you your favorite bedtime story before you fall asleep at night?
Oh the joy of the nicer toothpaste. The nicer coffee. The premium gas. 20 bucks for parking, who cares! No prob, bob. Yes, I had reached the enlightening realization that “saving money just wasn’t for me”! I don’t care what anyone says. The freedom and less of not knowing where your next check is coming from is just divine. I wasn’t a slave to the self-inflicted pressure and mind games one plays, gathering each piece of their quarterly pie, sweating the small pieces, where they were all to go and then staying awake each night, wondering if they were all decided upon correctly. “I’m 23 cents over in my Sundries envelope! I might as well just go cut my own finger off”. Funny enough, I’ve seen the filthy rich and (America’s version of) poor, play the same
games with themselves. I was blessed beyond blessed in the tours I’ve acquired in the last decade on all have ended on the best of terms. So I truly had no one to blame for this developmental bump in the road but myself.
We recently feel back to San Diego after our family holidays in the snowy Washington mountains. My husband despises any flying vehicle, and rates turbulence right up there with Chinese water torture or perhaps, having broken glass shoved up his nose. The rosary comes out of the v neck sweater collar, and I see him praying to himself silently. I always grab his sweaty hands and think to myself (oh seriously! Stop being such a baby. Besides, there’s no better way to go). But what I say is, “It’s okay. I’m here. And you are not alone”. He nods. He’s scared. But always makes a valiant effort to put the earbuds back in and return to The Jerk, on his iPad.
The last week has been like an unexpected crash therapy session, leaving me in a puddle of my own pride-vomit and shame (like I said, not a drama queen at all). My husband has managed to get to the bottom of every single 20 dollar 120 day-late) water bill destroying my credit, to every unaccounted royalty dollar, to expired insurance, to expired insurance, to anything else you could possibly avoid and neglect. “So honey...is your health insurance on auto-pay? How much is it monthly, anyway”? These questions and dozens more were all answered with the repeated “uh...I don’t know babe. Sorry. I’m really sorry”. Hours and hours of being on hold with every collector and company later, I was lying in our bed, soaked in tears, silently praying to myself and feeling like a 6 year old grade-A douche nozzle. “Babe, I don’t even remember ho to take care of my own finances. I feel helpless and worthless. I know I need to change these habits because now, it doesn’t just effect me, it effects US. I’m scared”. He rolls over to my side and holds my sweaty hands and says, “It’s okay. I’m here. And you’re not alone”.