Squishing About in My Brain

Posted on: February 21, 2009

I haven’t blogged in awhile. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I find there are periods of life where nothing but negativity comes out when I attempt to express myself or look on that elusive “bright side” people like to harp upon. So, I’ve just kept my mouth shut, aside from a few very frustrated remarks on Facebook.
When it comes right down to it, here’s the deal:
I chose to have a child “out of wedlock”, even after the father left me, and chose to rear said child alone anyway. (I did the right thing. I will never regret her. EVER.)
BUT this meant a great deal of letting go of dreams and hopes for the future I HAD planned. What I had planned became irrelevant as soon as I decided against an abortion.
The future I planned was NOT the following: to raise a child on welfare, and then without welfare when I had a job that was “too well-paying” for assistance, but not well-paying enough to make ends meet. I did not plan to be 39 and still borrow money from my parents, knowing that THEY aren’t made of money themselves, especially with one of them retired. I did not plan to have no savings, ever. (Okay, I exaggerated: I HAVE a savings account…it has $.011 in it, and I have held onto that balance for 9 months at least. Rah, sis boom bah.) I did not plan to have bills I cannot pay, no matter how much I plan to be and want to be financially responsible. I did not plan to have to choose between gas to go to work and bouncing the rent check, or bouncing the rent to be able feed my child at the end of the month, and paying the bank fees out of the NEXT check if I can get them to pay on the check anyway. (Which they no longer will, regardless. But they USED to do it for me. Why not? It benefitted them to the tune of at least a hundred dollars a month! Desperate poeple are GREAT for business!)
I was SO THRILLED in January because I ended up with $17 left in my checking account for gas, to hold me over until my check got deposited on the 2nd. $17 versus being overdrawn—I practically wanted to have a party to celebrate my success! I was SO proud.
Oh but wait…car registration of $212.00, due January 12, paid a month late out of necessity. So, really…$17 counts for nothing.
And before anyone starts harping on my money-management skills: to manage, one must HAVE money. If you looked at my balance sheet, you would wonder how the hell we eat after the most necessary bills DO get paid…and that’s just bills for the car and a roof over our heads. And, yes, I DO live the cheapest accomodations possible for two people.
Sorry, but I have heard it all, folks. All the “It MUST be your fault!” BS, all the “It must be YOU that is the problem in the equation!” BS, the “YOU must be doing something wrong!” BS…
Ahem…back to what I was saying…
All the things people list to me as things we can do without, we already don’t have: we don’t have cable; we don’t even have TV reception anyhow because we would need cable to get a signal where we live. We don’t have cell phones that we pay for; my daughter is 15 and the only one of her friends without one, and I only have one because my boss pays for it, and rumor has it that THAT arrangement is going to end as well, so we won’t have one at all, as I cannot afford to put any money toward one. We don’t eat out. We don’t buy expensive or unnecessary groceries, or presents for friends’ birthdays or Christmas gifts. We don’t get our nails done, our hair cut, or go to the eye doctor or dentist regularly. We only go to the doctor if we are so sick it is impossible to carry on with our daily lives over for a week. Our internet connection is through our basic phone service, which does not include long distance. Long distance calls to my mom get made on that cell phone that will be disappearing soon. No one else gets called. Ever. Even my mom knows to leave a message that ends in, “Don’t call me back! I will call YOU back!” I do not have a retirement account or investments. I do not have a college account for my daughter for college…although I guess I could give her the $0.11 savings. If she isn’t bright and lucky enough to get assistance to go, I cannot send her. And yes, that DOES make me feel like a failure.
And guess what, folks? I work a full time 9-5 job, and get paid what amounts to a good administrative salary in this area of the country.
And the ends still do not meet. Ever.
And, yes, I AM grateful to HAVE a job in this economy. I KNOW people are getting laid off left and right. I KNOW how hard things are. But I have to tell ya: I saw a blurb about how this “new, lower-standard” of living we are in may last for awhile…and I LAUGHED. I literally laughed until I cried, because THIS IS NOT NEW FOR ME! I HAVE BEEN LIVING LIKE THIS FOR MOST OF 15 YEARS! People are having to sell their boats and their second cars and take pay cuts and not go to movies or eat out as much? PUH-LEEZE! Jesus Christ…I cannot even imagine such a GOOD reality for my life.
Done ranting. Don’t bother to leave bitchy comments…shitting on people at the very bottom of the societal ladder is just cruel.


2 Responses to ""

I am so sorry that I didn’t see this earlier. :hug :hug :hugI know what you mean about making it paycheck to paycheck. We do it as well. My husband works a full time job and I work a part time job and it just doesn’t cut it. The social systems in America are laughable at best. Hopefully Obama and a more liberal Washington will be able to help us and FAST! If you ever need anything come and find me!!!

Bless your ever loving heart. I was torn between crying and laughing… the way you are able to keep your sense of humor is COMMENDABLE. When you said you could give your daughter your $0.11 savings account. It’s so sad, but guess what… you still have eachother… you and your daughter, and you have your health (albeit with a few more aches and pains), and… you have a new friend. That’s the good news. Someone that cares, someone that has strong soft shoulders to lean on. Bad news… he (me) is in about the same shape as you are, financially.Since you were so specifically honest about your finances, I’ll share with you, information that not many people know. I currently have about $15,000 in the bank. I owe OVER $80,000 on many different credit cards. I was making the minimum payments by transferring balances from one card to the other, until I got to the point of being virtually at the max on all the cards, so I spoke with an ‘advisor’… stopped making the payments altogether, and am now in the process of attempting to ‘settle’ with the ‘banks’, for less than what I owe. In about 5 or 6 months, I will know if I am going to have to declare bankruptcy or not.I NEVER DREAMED I’d be in this position. Oh… I lost my house last year. This is the first time in the last 30 years that I haven’t owned a home.Up until about 3 or 4 years ago, I was ‘stylin’. I was turning down work, and making MORE than enough money to pay my bills, and live… not in luxury by any means, but at least very comfortably.If I don’t get a decent job soon, I’m not sure what’s gonna happen. The $15K, if I’m VERY careful… MIGHT last about 5 or 6 months.I may have to look for work somewhere else, like Austin Texas still has residential homes being built and sold… one of the only places in the country that does. I don’t want to live anywhere else. I was born here, and I want to stay. This area is PARADISE. It is my home.HOWEVER… I am well aware that if I DO end up moving away, I will make something good out of it, and who knows… maybe it will end up being a good thing. I’m soooo lucky I’m an eternal optimist.Plus… I KNOW the phone is gonna ring, and it will be a client who wants to have me build them their new dream home, or a substantial remodel/ addition.Sorry for ranting on YOUR blog. You can spank me, or punish me in whatever method you desire, when we see each other next.Very Fondly, Ned

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