I am 43 years old and I am sitting here waiting for my dad to call me up and yell at me like I'm still a little kid. Turns out there was a lapse in our auto insurance. I don't know what yelling at me is going to do to help anyone, except that maybe he'll feel better.
Daddyman and I know what a gigantic deal an uninsured driver is! We know how bad it could have been - and we know how hugely lucky we were.
I know. My stomach hurts like a mother f**er. I want to eat everything in sight - I am not doing that anymore, but I really, really want to.
I am not asking my family for financial help. This is a financial mess that Daddyman and I are taking care of. I don't even really care if I get my dad's emotional support - OK. That's a lie. I just don't want him to yell at me.
I wish that I could explain to my dad what it's like to try to raise a family in this economy. When my parents were young, they were lucky to go to college. Both of my parents have graduate degrees. They were also of the generation that after college, they found a job and there they stayed until they retired. It seems that almost everyone of that generation did that very same thing - one job, one career - moving up the ladder in one company, if you were lucky.
Now, I don't know ANYONE who has had one job for the last 10 years. Everyone I know moves around.
I am trying to budget, but our jobs are so piece-meal. I pay our bills and I juggle the finances and I sometimes steal from Peter to pay Paul. And - luckily! - everything is OK. It's not great, but it's OK.
My parents cannot understand why a budget is so hard to figure out! I have some income that is steady, but a lot of it comes from all over and at randomly different times.
I thought I was alone in this financial stress, until I started talking about it to friends. Oh, was that scary. Do you talk about money to your friends? I certainly was brought up to believe that money was secret and private and NOT polite conversation. Even people with "real" jobs. It turns out that almost everyone I know that is in my age group is doing the same thing. And we all work our asses off to make certain that everything looks like smooth sailing and stress free living on the outside.
No one talks up big purchases, but we take pride in bargain hunting and consignment shopping and the great coupon deals we get at Target. We smile and laugh and share potluck dinners - each bringing something to put on the table. None of us go out to eat anymore. Few of us shop as often as we've done in the past. The gadgets are fewer and farther between - we claim to be "looking for quality and craftsmanship." We proudly state that we are "older and wiser."
What do you think? How do you live? Is it going to get better? Does attitude mean anything?
I read The Secret, and I do believe in the power of positive thought. I do believe in the power of prayer, in this way: God gives us the opportunity to create the reality that we want - but rarely just drops the new car in our front yard... although, we have our fingers crossed and we're searching the skies.
I hope that all of that works on my dad. I am really, really dreading the conversation that has to happen.
(I know. Grow the f*** up! but still...)