I am the spender of all the money.
All the money.
Not “all” as in, “oh there is just SO much of it dahling I’m simply exhausted just thinking about it. Someone fetch me a Perrier…”
“All” as in “….aaaaand there goes this week’s paycheck. Sorry electric bill, you didn’t make the cut. Better luck next week.”
It’s kind of like Brewster’s Millions, but on a much smaller scale. I spend the money and have nothing to show for it. I swear that at least once a month I’m sure that my bank account has been hacked and all the money has been stolen by some criminal in a land far, far away (who for sure is disappointed that, after all his hard work targeting me, and stalking me, and figuring out my tricky username/password combo, has only stumbled upon enough money to buy him a week’s worth of groceries. As long as he uses coupons.) I’m seriously genuinely shocked that all the money has been legally withdrawn by none other than moi. And that all purchases are legit (if you consider daily coffee a legit purchase, which, fortunately, I do.)
It’s completely insane how much everything costs. There is baseball, and soccer to sign up for. Gymnastics and dance. New cleats for growing feet. Baseball gloves for growing hands. Recital costumes. New tights because the old ones have a hole in them. Field trips that I didn’t realize were coming up. Bills that I DID know were coming up. SO much food from the grocery store (because these kids insist on eating 3 squares a day), not to mention the money that I have to put in their school lunch accounts. And all the freaking snacks. And the wine (that’s for me, not them.) The amount of money that pours out of our bank account is ridiculous. But what is my option? Extreme couponing? Somehow I don’t think that having a garage full of laundry detergent and stool softener is going to help us very much.
My husband is as baffled and horrified as I am (and with good reason since the poor man works his tail off!) Sometimes he looks at me suspiciously (while I sip a hefty pour of two-buck chuck) as if he thinks I’m somehow embezzling money from the family fortune. I often point to my eyebrows, (unprofessionally waxed by my own unsteady hand) as “proof” that I’m not spending money foolishly and needlessly (although whether or not my eyebrows “need” a professional waxing is up for debate…) I say loudly, and indignantly, “Look at my eyebrows! Go on, take a gooood long look. Not a pretty sight, is it?! Don’t you think that if I were living a personal lavish lifestyle while the rest of you eat no-name brand cereal for breakfast I would at LEAST get my eyebrows waxed by a licensed and qualified person?! Do you think I like walking around like Bert? Do ya? Do ya? Huh? Huh?!” He doesn’t, by the way. He doesn’t think I like walking around like Bert.
I try to convince us both that we aren’t the only ones who are like, “what the heck?!” as we try to balance our checkbook. That we aren’t the only ones who feel like we are one bad week away from living in a cardboard box on the corner. But, truthfully, everyone else seems to be so totally fine and in total financial control of their lives. I’m afraid that if I asked someone if they are horrified at the cost of living they would look at me all wide-eyed and say something stupid like, “well, we have enough money saved in our high yield bank account to last us about 3 years, should we ever decide to leave our jobs and travel the world for a short time.” And then I would be forced to pull out all the moves that I’ve learned from watching Beverly Hills Ninja and stealthily attack them while yelling random crazy things about how WE have enough money stashed in the cabinet to last us three days, as long as we don’t leave the house.
Luckily (depending on how you look at it) I am unfazed by this crazy, where-the-hell-does-all-the-money-go, absurdly expensive life. I live with one foot in the land of “la-la-la, I can’t hear you…” and the other foot in the land of “everything will work out fine.” Kind of like, eh, whatever, it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. It’ll be fine. This state of mind has worked well for me so far. I’m sort of half way between reality and denial…maybe leaning a little bit closer to denial. Like, I’m not actually IN denial…but I can see it from here. That sort of mind-set. And THAT is something that money CAN’T buy.