Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh Disposable Income, How I Miss Thee

I would like to thank the dollar for pretty much canceling Christmas on me this year.

I mean, what's not too thankful for? I won't have to wait in harried long lines to check out things in stores. No rushing to the post office to make sure things are being shipped out on time. No staying up late, wrist cramping from writing out and sending holiday cards. No papercuts from fast and insidious wrapping on Christmas Eve.

Yes, the lack of money this year will ensure my child doesn't get a visit from an old man sliding down my chimney in B&E fashion into my home. No having to leave out milk to curdle, or cookie crumbs to attract mice or bugs.


Perhaps I can persuade my 6 year old we have become Jehovah’s Witnesses and no longer need to celebrate Christmas….or birthdays….any other gift giving event?

That crisp linen and cotton piece of greenery has made sure that by eliminating it's abundance in my life, that there will be a Bob Cratchet Christmas in my life this year. No gifts or grand feasts. Just a whole lot of false cheer in the ghetto.

It's amazing the power a 5 x 2 1/2 inch piece of paper can have on your life. You can't do anything without its permission.

The buck DOES stop here.

Not only does it stop, it runs in the opposite direction.

Baroque(adj.) - When you are out of Monet.

The last year for me has been a financial roller coaster. Getting hours cut back from a well-paying job I loved to then getting laid off. Filing and collecting unemployment at a fraction (I always hated fractions) of what I made and trying to keep a roof over our heads, food in mouths.

The Hallelujah moment of getting a new job, FINALLY. A job I actually sort of enjoy. Nice and understanding people, but small in corporate structure.

So it was a couple bucks an hour shy of what I had made before, that shouldn't be a big deal right? I cut out my inner city commute time, I was only 20 minutes away now. No more sitting idly in gridlock, bumper to bumper with the angry uncaffeinated masses. No, this seemed blissful, easy.

"Seemed" being the operative word.

Have you ever tried to dig yourself out from underneath yourself? To try and catch up has been like running up an escalator going in the opposite direction. Like you are moving forward, yet a strong invisible force is pushing you back, keeping you in place. Likely laughing quietly to itself. Bastard.

Visions of dollars and change spiraling down into the drain as everything taken in is suddenly sucked away. No Sugar Plums dancing my head. Nope. Just vanishing notes of currency. Like magic.

Suddenly all that help you were getting when you were out of work, disappears. No more assistance in getting food or healthcare. No, you OBVIOUSLY are suddenly independently wealthy in the eyes of the government, even if you bounce every other check you write.

On paper it seems feasible. That you can squeak it all out and be A-Ok. Until that whole math thing comes into play (again, I've always loathed and despised math).

Oh Math, you vile and evil temptress. You start in all loving and sweet, multiplying my hourly rate by the hours I work. Lulling me into that ever false sense of security before you start to slowly subtract from my lifeline.

FICA, State Tax, Insurance, Social Security. You and your gaggle of friends, giddy as you slowly suck the life out of each paycheck. Like a sparkly Twilight Vampire. All cute on the outside with your dollar sign, and then BOOM! All life gone.

It has me stressed beyond belief. In every other aspect of my life, everything has fallen into place. I am the happiest I have likely ever been. And this, this seemingly minute issue has me losing sleep at night. Dodging phone calls as though the Black Plague were to enter my blood stream should I pick up that receiver.

Rent, Utilities, Phones, Car Payments, Insurance. Not to mention gas, food, child sports, school and activities. It's all slowly taking its toll. Eliminating any hopes or memories of disposable income.

Searching and applying for a second job, one that may in fact help to bolster my income slightly, but take away time with my son, my love; essentially my life.

Oh Disposable Income, how I miss thee.

1 comment:

  1. hope writing about your money woes made them seem slightly less intractable...
    i know i've grown as a person by simply reading this...
    good luck dealing with the universe and all it throws at you...

    p.s. maybe you could just write something for your son? children are far more forgiving than we give them credit for :)


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