Wednesday, March 4, 2009

You CAN'T buy LOVE...but you can buy me a beer.


Damnit, I waited too long after my buzz to say all the shit I really wanted to say, now the moment has passed and I'm onto water (apparently my FACE needs to be more hydrated, says the facialist). Now I'm talking down the devil who wants me to eat a box of Thin Mints and surfing Craigslist for apartments I can't afford. But crown molding is SO appealing....

AFFORD; the topic that I was really looking to rant on this evening. MONEY, DEBT, ....feeling the fucking enslavement when you don't have enough.

I never, ever, thought I would be that girl that gave a SHIT about how much money my Love had. That was until I thought I could have babies with him. AND, I'm certainly not the kind that wants to fashion baby food out of brown bananas and Cream of Wheat.

Until now I figured, I'm an artist, we'll both just live in out little bohemian worlds, making crafty meals and walking barefoot. Thrift is chic anyway and we'll have enough to afford a good coat of paint when we need it. We'll really enjoy fancying up plain rice with concoctions of rare seasonings and we'll be good with eating sparsely while laying in the grass somewhere and identifying shapes in the clouds. We'll have enough love and passion for our art forms that it'll take up all the time and everything else will prove to be trivial We'll be the perfect example that doing what you love pays off, eventually....bliss will mean pure body, spirit, and mind.

....oh yeah, that was all until I really wanted to get an effing glass of champagne and some tomatoes and mozzarella at a bar, using money that (neither one of us) had at the moment and thus, we spun off quickly into a frenzy of anxiety and threw down the tightly tangled ball of stress and watched it unravel with sharp words and ultimatums. Oh shit, we're not it Kansas anymore. Kansas seemed so sweet until that fucking tornado and house nonsense didn't it?


All the "we'll live on nothing, until we make it" BULL started smelling like hair grease and Christmas cards where our parents would have to inform everyone that we were lending all of our creative talents to cardboard signs and fancy crack pipes.

When the fear of having NOTHING buries its gnarly little head in your brain, it doesn't make you cherish what you have- it makes you realize that's all you'll ever have if you don't shake a fucking tail feather, shake it so hard your ass falls off. Without the shakage, there is a possibly for; no home, no kids, no health care, no vacations, no wedding rings, no getaways, no happy hours, no fixing up. NOTHING. Nothing functional and human.

So after my head spun twenty five times and my tongue forked in various directions spitting ACID at innocent people, My Love handed my a card, that he made, that said, "I know all I can offer you is my love right now. I know I can't buy you things, but I promise you it will get better. I love you, I love you, I love you."

Yes, please stone me. For I am a heinous bitch with unreasonable expectations. The truth is, it ISN'T about THINGS at all....it's about being able to do all the normal human things without there being SERIOUS strain because of it. It's about feeling OK.


His note made it clear- we have to work through things.....and if I were to choose love or money, I will ALWAYS. ALWAYS. choose love. Even if it means we have to be creative to make PB&Js romantic.


Tell me, how do you deal with the financial strain? I know I'm not alone here, especially now.

45 comments:

sleepyjane said...

I live with my bf, J, and he's just stared his own business. So I'm feeling the strain. As soon as I feel that resentment bubble to the surface I squash it immediately. I also hold onto the thought "It WILL get better".

sid said...

Hmmm ... never had to worry about finances. I just spend. It's not that I'm Paris Hilton it's just that other people are taking care of the more important things like food etc. All I have to worry about is car payments.

Jen said...

You aren't a heinous bitch for having a momentary freak out over finances. It's hard not to in this day and age when money issues are splattered everywhere you turn. The important part is what you realized from the situation. You chose the right answer and you gained a new perspective, thereby proving your character. :)

How do I deal with financial strain? It's a paycheck to paycheck thing. I pay my bills the best I can but I can't let debt rule my life. I've spent too much time in the past worrying about it. The key is being happy in the meantime, until money isn't as big of an issue as it was before. (In my humble opinion, that is...)

Jules said...

The whole money thing sucks! I married for love. My mom told me that it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich boy as it is to fall in love with a poor one. I found that NOT to be true.
We deal by being on a strict budget and staying in a LOT and renting a LOT of movies and buying cheap, but delicious, wine from Trader Joe's.
And slowly but surely our debt is going down. I see an end to the debt tunnel in the years to come!!

Susan said...

You are normal to be nervous and have those thoughts sometimes, at least I hope you are because it happens to me as well. For me and my boy, the constant threat of job loss looms over our heads and if I have the math right, student loan payments are going to overlap our unborn children's loans - and I'm not having kids for a while. But I have been with my guy for 9 years and I can't imagine being with anyone else, no matter what.

Shannon said...

My significant other and I budget and make sure everyone of our bills are top priority. Then, it's groceries, gas, etc....then it's fun money. If it's too tight that pay period for fun money, we just have to wait. Sorry you're going through the slump right now, but it'll get better! And you guys are taking the exact mentality you should be taking, so good for you :) Love is WAY more important than money.

theoddduckling said...

After the roommate kind of disappeared, I most definitely started feeling the strain. Were it not for the fact that I've all ready taken care of my tuition for this semester and next year it'd be ramen and microwave pizza.

- Kendall

Rose and Jill said...

I'm sending you an email about this because the comment would be too long
-R

Curly Su said...

I've been writing about some of the same stuff on my blog. It's scary. I don't know how to deal with it - for myself, and also in terms of a relationship. I was always of the 'money doesn't matter but your soul does' camp, but then... sometimes I just want to be able to go to the grocery store without worry.

Ack.

It'll work out, right? Cause...it has to?

Ellegant said...

It's true. Incredibly hard to admit, but true. Love trumps money any day.

tmamone said...

I know what you mean. My original plan was me and my fiance will make it work with me working at my current job (at a public library) while freelance writing on the side, and she works as well. Unfortunately, with what we both make right now, we're flat broke! So now I gotta either find a second part time job or find a better paying full-time job.

Maybe "Caberet" was right, and the money does make the world go round.

A Margarita said...

I eat fancy meals . . . at home. Friends and I take turns cooking dinner to mix it up. I skip on the multiple drinks when going out. And NOT giving into sales at my favorite stores are some of the ways I've had to cut back. But I thin kit's okay to treat myself once a month with an expensive meal/clothing purchase/mani-pedi.

The Passionate Book Worm said...

I'll be honest. I try to be creative and make the things I have work and still be exciting and 'new' but seriously, it sucks crap! I'm so tired of stressing over a 60 cent cup of coffee. Hopefully I can keep my head above water until everything gets better.

Cal said...

Romantic PB&Js? Easy! Cut those little sammies into hearts. Or you could go the more sexual route with shapes, too, if that's the kind of romance you're in the mood for (just make sure you eat the edges you've cut off...that is the financially responsible thing to do anyway.)

L.L. said...

We are always broke. Always, always, always. When we think we're going to have extra, something always comes up!

I think it's worth it being broke if you're keeping food in the house, the rent paid, and the gas in the car. That's where our money goes, so I feel if I'm going broke taking care of that, I'm not really broke.

I also think it's important, when in a relationship, to re-examine the whole 50/50 thing. I make almost seven dollars more an hour than my hubby, so I pay extra for things because with that gap, I just can't expect everything to be 50/50. It's not fair.

Relationships just don't work if the money becomes an issue, so have the tough conversations and make plans. That's the key to success in both areas!

just me said...

I need the finer things in life, but I've never thought I'd marry a guy who could afford it -- at least not right now.

That's why me and Beyonce are independent women.

Bon Don said...

Love wins of course, but it is nice when we both can afford to splurge sometimes.

Write up your alley said...

For Valentine's Day, my bf gave me a love letter written on wrinkled, college-ruled paper. It made me cry.

No expensive dinner has ever made me cry. We ate in this year.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

L.l- I agree with you, however...if youre broke and can't do all the essentials, rent, gas, food, etc...there's a problem

and I also agree that when one half of the couple is feeling a strain that the other should help and pull up the slack...which, actually, I think we've done very well. Definitely good advice though.

ros eand jill- perfect, I'll email you back later today :)

tmamone- when DONT i like to quote "Cabaret"....shit. Liza knew what was up.

Shannon- I definitly need ot reevalute my budget....

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Just me-...until she had to get all shacked up with Jay Z? wtf.

Write up your alley- I think that that's the most romantic when it's thoughtful, we cooked together this year and he made me something really special (posted a few blog posts ago)

brookem said...

it's tough. i think sometimes it's hard to find the balance. you want to be able to do all these great, fun things, but it's just not always feasible when you're on a fracking budget all of the time.

manfriend and i dont live together, so we dont share finances and budget "together"-- but we try and make the best of what we do have... make time for fun things and try to be creative about it. switch off on buying dinner, opt to cook in instead of going out. buy a two buck chuck at trader joe's rather than a $15 bottle at a restaurant. i guess the bottom line is, for me, it's what you make of what you've got. which, isn't always an easy feat, but it's worth it, i think.

The Blackout Blog said...

It sucks now, but you'll have the best stories later. And you'll appreciate your more comfortable lifestyle later, knowing you stuck to your guns.

And I'm with LL! If you're making significantly more, there's no excuse for doing that 50/50 crap!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Brookem- I completely agree with you. AND two buck chuck is awesome...we dont have it in Colorado though :( can someone send me a case?lol

kwərk said...

We're in the same boat, a couple of artists that really want to get it together and start a family soon...but the money is far from a-flowin'.

We joke about it a lot, to relieve the tension it causes. Try to keep it light, and then we try and encourage each other to keep workin' our thing until it gives. :)

molly said...

For me, it's like I don't need a lot of money, but like you said, I want to live a comfortable life where I'm pursuing my passion. It's unfortunate that the creative types often get the short end of the stick. I'm currently looking for a job which makes it super hard to not see the importance of money. I want it so I can live a simple, happy life, not so I can keep up with the jones'. Ah! So frustrating. I would also always choose love over money, but I also believe you need more than love to sustain a relationship esp since money is one of things people fight the most about, so they say. Obviously I'm all over the place, but to wrap it up: I hear ya.

Blogstiny said...

how do I deal with the financial strain? My alarm goes off 5 days a week @ 6:00am, I get ready, put on a monkey suit, prepare myself for the shit sandwich the government will provide me on any given day...then ...as I walk out the door I look at my beautiful wife of 9 years, and think...I would endure 10 times worse for her...my point is, love is always most important regardless of whether you make 0 or a million.

Anonymous said...

you are wise to make such an observation.
financial strife can break a marriage or a relationship.
just ask all the divorced people of new orleans who lost much and ended up bickering in tiny apts.
love has nothing to do with paying for bills, and love does not buy grocery or a nice steak at a fancy restaurant when you want to go out.
so you are v. wise to put this out there, bc there are, believe it not, some fools who think love will make things work between two people when times are tough.
i take my kids to the library, run clothes into the ground, and cook whatever i can at home. but even i have days where i need some glamor! and that's when it's hard.

mn said...

i meant to sign in as MN not anonymous, sorry.
good luck. dreams are imp. and so is finding a way to help pay for those dreams to happen!

Larissa said...

Like others, I've cut back on non-essentials, and have gotten creative and resourceful to keep enjoying certain things in life. Instead of going out on dinner dates, we rent a $1 movie from the grocery store and fix a nice meal ourselves.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

blogstiny- that comment was so sweet it made me cry a little.

mn- INDEEEEEEEEEEED.

Serial Monogamist said...

The only thing I've found that helps is lots of sex.

Not kidding. If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend you dig, grab some body lotion, stay at home, and take your clothes off. It's super cheap. You can take ramen breaks in bed.

Now, before I found Mr. Wonderful, well, that was a different story. One I've forgotten, because like many of the newly enamored, I have Amor-nesia.

irunwithscissors said...

thats really sweet!

I deal with it by allowing myself small treats every now and then (a drink with friends or something) so I dont go crazy... and then I break down and cry when I can afford all the things I need to afford. Not helpful im sure... but that the truth... I have just been working two job, and things are getting better. You just have to work harder (and trust me it sucks) but its the only thing that works!

MsPuddin said...

Ugh, I'm so right there with ya, I might actually be in your lap.My boo is broke, I'm broke.We basically eat cup of noodles, have sex and talk about the jobs we'd like to eventually get.Hang in there, love conquers all...right???

harper & beatrix said...

i try to focus on how happy i am, but financial stress is always in the back of my mind. i try to just keep up and be frugal and focus on the happy.

i was dating two (more, but two in question) guys this summer, one with an amazing job and a sort of flat, frat-boy personality and one who really got me but was more or less unemployed. and the thought popped in my head: if the poor one and i got serious, would i be able to say yes to a marriage proposal with no ring?

i never thought i'd be that girl. i thought i'd marry for love, but some days, shared rent and health insurance is looks very appealing.

~beatrix

JoLee said...

how do I plan to deal with financial worries? get knocked up by someone rich. kidding! (mostly)

Je (20-Something) said...

Chelsea! I was reading through your post, and then one of my all-time favorite songs EVER, Burn One Down by Mr. Harper started playing. Just made my morning. ;)

Anyway, I've been stressing about this too. Especially now that I'm in my late 20s and all my friends have significant others who make great money, take them on vacations every month, etc. They're all living it up, and my significant other is trying to figure out what he wants to do (after being a commercial fisherman in Alaska for five years). Since I've been to college and have a career, it's a super big struggle for me cause I want that too in a significant other. But then I do the same thing you did - smack myself on the head and go, DUH. Having someone that treats you great and loves you, is 100x more important than the monetary stuff. And trust me, I'm sure that'll all come with time. ;)

Jessica said...

first off, i LOVE your blog.

second, hold onto the love. money stress is terrible, but it's even worse when you're alone (presents self as exhibit A). money problems will always be there - and a good love it hard to find.

Blah Blah said...

I just sell crack. To children. You make BANK.

personalityandcruelty said...

I deal by reminding myself being employed is better than unemployed, and by thinking about everything I'd like to have someday - complete financial security, enough tucked away for rainy days and then some, a house, another passport because my original is already filled. You'd be surprised how much you can keep your wallet locked up if you just think, "sure, I'd like this extra drink now, but if I save the $8 it's going to cost me, that's $8 more for _____."

Also, love is entertaining enough for me to not want to go out and spend. Even bad days are good days, because either way, they're based on love.

LiLu said...

We've become one of those boring couples who goes home and watches movies at night... try to bring lunches more, etc. No big vacation this year... that's what hurts the most, I guess. But what are you gonna do? (Sigh.)

Christina said...

I wish I didn't have to worry about finances, but I do have to pay my school loans back, and that is what's taking majority of my paycheck! I live with my boyfriend, and he too has bills to pay (uh, he owes his mother money for grad school!). Him and I work as a team - we both agree we can't go out each day to eat, drink, or go to the movies as much as we did before.

It gets me upset, but at the same time, I don't mind staying at home, watching seasons of Mythbusters, Simpsons, and LOST.

Blaez said...

he has a job, i have a job. we can pay our bills and save for our wedding. we spend on what we need not on what we want. because we know that in the future, after the wedding, we will beable to spend on what we want...

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

jolee- HA! Smart lady

jessica- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Blah blah- I'm writing that one down for a rainy day.

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