Wouldn’t it be grand if we were all born with trust funds stuffed to the gills with cash? Or that once you got married, the government issued you a big ol’ whopper of a check with a note saying, “Hey, we know marriage is hard enough and since us here in Congress are all so pro-family, here’s a few million to keep you breeding and happy.”
Hey, a girl can wish, right?
I bring out my ridiculously unrealistic fantasies because Mr. Mix and I are just getting over one heck-of-a-brawl over money. I cannot express enough what a killjoy the subject of money is for me. I think I can speak for ALL women that nothing squashes our love lava faster than hearing our man squawk, “you’re spending too much money!”
For the record, I really don’t spend too much money. The issue was more about extra expenses occurring that weren’t expected (they never are), and frankly, me needing to feel like an equal partner in our financial decisions in spite of the fact that I’m far from the breadwinner. Did I mention Mr. Mix can be a bit (what’s the word, what’s the word) CONTROLLING when it comes to money?
Always a turn on, let me tell ya.
I know my dilemma is nothing new. While I work part-time, I’m basically a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom). There was a time in our lives when I did work full-time, and by the time I was done paying for daycare, transportation, meals, and clothes, we ended up actually more in the red than the black. So we decided I should go back to school and get my MSW, so that someday – when the kids are both in school full-time – I can actually earn enough to really help our family. On nights and weekends, I tutor, but that pays for a few extras and nothing more.
Frankly, I consider ourselves VERY lucky that we even have the luxury of being able to living on one salary, that we own a house, and are able to live in a fairly comfortable manner. Nothing extravagant, mind you, but comfy nonetheless. And yeah, we still have some debt we’re paying off (I consider that lil’ chunk the piece of my soul living in expensive San Francisco stole from us). But that’s where we’re wired differently. While of course I don’t like having debt, I’m not going to let it ruin my happy family vibe buzz I’ve got going. We’re paying it off….we live within our means…we’ll get there.
Not so for Mr. Mix & Bitch. That debt haunts him like a Dickens’ ghost. It’s a cancer which infiltrates seemingly innocuous moments, and it pisses me off that he lets it override all the good we have. When he gets like that, he turns to me and says things like, “well, what else can you do to help?” To which I respond, “Well, I’m going to start off by eating bon-bons all day, then take the gardener, Pepe, as a lover, and THEN I’m going on QVC and buy lots and lots of animal-shaped figurines. What the hell do you think I do all day?”
Here’s a list of what I do, in – uh – case you were wondering:
Short Order Cook
If you were to total all these jobs up, I’d be earning around $80,000 – $110,000 roughly. But because this is all unpaid work, somehow society – and occasionally my husband – will deem these contributions as less than.
Well, shame on him and the rest of you who buy into that.
Do you realize that approximately 70% of the work done in the world is unpaid labor, and the majority of that work is done by women? I KNEW that Gender History degree would come in handy someday. Although I must say that at the end of the day, I don’t think this should be a gender issue because I’ve known some stay-at-home-dads who have suffered through the same issues. Regardless, I can’t tell you how heart-breaking it is to not feel fully valued by your partner. And so, I told him that…and then I moved myself into my office for about 24-40 hours. Don’t worry, I have a cozy day-bed in there.
Because I think of men like dogs sometimes, and being pack animals, the best way to discipline is through isolation. Needless to say, he eventually came over and I could tell by the look in his eyes and by what he said that he finally understood where I was coming from. And in return, we spent the rest of the night trying to figure out ways to kick up our payment efforts. As much as we all may hate to admit it, marriage is just as much of a business partnership as it is a meeting of Kismet souls.
Am I still a little ticked off that he had the attitude he had? Sure. But do I also understand there’s a LOT of pressure being the breadwinner for your entire family? Yep, I get it. So, he’ll cut me some slack, and I’ll cut him some too. Trust me, we’re far from done with this issue – it’s one of our permanent ones – but as long as we can keep talking about it – and remember we’re in this TOGETHER, this too shall pass.
10. “Nag,” (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts) I Love Rock-n-Roll.
09. “I Got Shit,” (Pearl Jam) Rearview Mirror.
08. “The Good Life,” (Weezer) Pinkerton.
07. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” (The Rolling Stones) It’s Only Rock-n-Roll.
06. “Skills to Pay the Bills,” (Beastie Boys) Beastie Boy Anthology.
05. “Pay to Play,” (Nirvana) DGC Rarities, Volume One.
04. “I Get Money,” (50 Cent) Curtis.
03. “I’m So Paid,” (Akon, Lil’ Wayne, and Young Jeezy) Freedom.
02. “Money Ain’t a Thang,” (Jay-Z and JD) Def Jam 25.
01. “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” (Jay-Z) Volume 2.