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From Him Mondays: Brokalope.

June 29, 2010
by

Shh…We’re here observing the brokalope in his natural habitat. Do you see how the majestic brokalope moves very swiftly and frugally so as not to disturb his bank account. Notice the empty bags of dollar menu items…And pay close attention to the way he drives only within two miles of his apartment.

We decided a few weeks ago that Lizzie shouldn’t stay at her job. It all made sense then. Something about an internship, being a full-time student and…I’m forgetting something…yes, that she wanted to spoon out children’s eyes when she worked there. {Family portrait studio}

Now we’re three freelance projects deep, waiting for the checks to arrive and payroll is Friday for me.

Perhaps you’re thinking: “Hey, how come you don’t manage your money better?” or maybe, “Hey jackass, no one cares about your financial problems, feed me WEDDINGS, damnit!” And to youse, I say, calm down, por favor.

Truthfully we didn’t have much money left after we traveled to the world Salsa Championship this weekend, we took home second place, wasn’t really worth it without the $10,000 prize. Maybe you didn’t recognize us from the video.

Of course I’m kidding. Really, it was a matter of timing, all of the bills are set up to withdraw in the same week and our cats got sick this week as well. Fleas. Excellent.

To tell you a little about Lizzie’s and my relationship, we started off in Texas as doing really well for our ages separately. Lizzie was a dependent on her mom’s insurance and what not, living at home, full-time student and making bank at a four-star restaurant in Fort Worth. I was in Vegas working full-time paying for nothing but food and entertainment. We’ve always joked that we have waves of wealth. We do have a good savings plan going, but Lizzie swats at my hand like a fly when I suggest dipping in for some buffer. Something about our futures…buying a house…who knows {kidding}.

So anyways, what does my seeming financial irresponsibility have to do with us?

The first time I suggested we get married was the first time we were both overdrafted in our accounts. We just funded an impromptu move to Chicago together. We were driving two hours every day to see one another. Enjoying lavish, kingly meals. Well, Burger King’s a king, right?

So we’re sitting on a mattress on the floor, playing Super Mario on a broken Super Nintendo in our pajamas…with no gas to get her home and no food in our bellies. I felt so…weird, I suppose. Not having a dollar. Actually, having negative-hundreds-of-dollars and no prospects on the horizon for jobs. Lizzie sat down and worked us up a plan for how to get it all done and by the end of the week, we were all good, with money to spare, and jobs lined up for the future.

She never went into the mode of, “How could we be so…” “What were we thinking…” Just got right down to it, and in such a weirdly negative moment, I knew this was a girl who was down for the long-haul. That she loved me even with no money whatsoever. In the beginning, you’re paying for meals, (flights for us), movies, concerts…you’re really just trying to impress the girl you’re into. Then when all of that falls apart (too early, really), and she’s all, “Hey, it’s cool, we’ll figure it out” while eating ramen with you, it’s a strangely epic bonding moment.

We vowed to talk about our finances with each other, even if it was uncomfortable. So we’re back in a (not so dire), but tight situation.

I know there’s a lot of “What does it all mean” and “What is love? (baby, don’t hurt me)” posts going on. I didn’t feel that I was ready to add to that conversation without any serious thought, so I will say, sometimes it’s as simple as knowing this person is with you through good and bad. She’ll stay up til 7 looking over receipts and statements seeing what we can change and cut out in the future.

At times, love can be boiled to just a feeling, I know that’s the opposite of what I’ve been reading, but not the butterflies in your stomach feeling….the “It’s all going to be okay with this girl” feeling.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 7:06 am

    AH! I love this post! Let’s get real, indeed.

    When Josh decided to leave his job and prospects were few and far between, there was an exchange of “How could you ________!?” and “What were you thinking when you __?!” But then something smacked us in the back of our heads and we remembered, what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours.

    So we regrouped ourselves, wiped the tears from our my face, and got to work. We figured out how we could afford to keep our quality of life and still make rent each month. When we looked as OUR MESS, not your mess or my mess, we were able to think more critically and calmly.

    You guys are doing great and you’re perfect for each other. I always enjoy another real couple who ain’t sugar coatin’ shit.

    And sorry about the kitties… fleas are no fun. 😦

    • zegroom permalink
      June 29, 2010 9:28 am

      Unlike dogs cats DO NOT like cars. They bitched the whole way to the docs. Acted like it was the worst experience of their little lives.

      I don’t want to be financially inept and I largely feel pretty good esp with my album going double platinum… did i mention our cats are white tigers and that we take bathes in crystal. For real though I want to adhere to the whole for richer and poorer part (I don’t know about “In sickness” part… eww). I’ve just seen that stuff put a San Andres Fault in a relationship or two (cough speak* mom dad* ) ya know.

      As per usual much love for the feed back-e-o Angie.

      • June 29, 2010 9:41 am

        Cats in the car. Don’t even get me started. It’s always like this:

        Me: “Honey, can we let them out? They’re crying.” (Yea, I’m a complete tool.)
        Josh: “Ange, it’s not safe.”
        Me: (whine summore about how they’ll puke and die if they stay in their cages.)
        Josh: “Fine.”

        And out they go… in five minutes they are freaking the feck out. Trying to crawl under the pedals, walking up our shoulders onto the headrests, or trying to squeeze under the seats. Josh has an immense amount of patience, but in two minutes he has the car pulled over and has quietly and calmly dumped the kitties back into their carriers. Play time came and went so fast.

      • June 29, 2010 12:57 pm

        HAHA you guys are CRACKING me up. Our cats do the same thing…Angie, where they’re all under the seats, flicking off the cars behind us in the back window….really, when did they get so nuts. We have had to bathe them a lot recently, because of the fleas, and that’s a hell of an experience. You haven’t really lived until your arms are covered in scratches from bathing a still-clawed cat. Yeah..lovelyy.

    • June 29, 2010 12:58 pm

      DEFINITELY true: OUR mess. Definitely.

      • June 29, 2010 1:01 pm

        omg, cat baths. we’ve only had to do one of those before.

        charlie got stuck in a shopping bag, got so scared, and peed himself. HAHAHA!

        i mean… awwww… poor baby.

        josh filled his hand with liquid soap and covered the poor cat in it, filled the sink with warm water, and dipped Charlie in it…. like he was baptizing a baby.

        when we realized it wasn’t working, we cloaked ourselves in bath towels taking turns dunking Charlie and scrubbing him clean. wtf were we thinking?

        and i just emailed you and now i’m leaving my THIRD comment here… a little excessive, huh? heehee

  2. June 29, 2010 7:34 am

    Thank you for such an honest post. I have to agree – I feel a deep love for Marrvelous every time I think about how we stick together through the good and the bad.

    We also dealt with my unemployment last year, and his unemployment at the beginning of this year. It definitely can put a strain on a relationship, and even now things are tight – especially with an upcoming wedding that we’re footing (and I admit, we love going out to booze)

    But the real difference is how we are able to sit down and talk about our finances – and yes, that can be sooo uncomfortable sometimes. But we do it, and we stay on the same page, and we figure it out, one day at a time.

    And I am so ready to do that every day for the rest of my life.

    (Oh – and unexpected vet bills are THE worst!)

    • June 29, 2010 12:56 pm

      Definitely! “Oh….you want this beloved little furball to live comfortably without pests? That’ll be…YOUR SOUL.” Damn lady…

      I totally agree, STAY on the same page from the get go and it’s not awkward to be like, “Oh yeah…and I have a major shoe-shopping problem…spent about half our savings already…on shoes…” You just fess up about one minor mistep of a purchase at a time and keep it honest. It’s easier to tell on yourself then and it keeps you accountable in the “should I buy this” territory.

  3. June 29, 2010 9:18 am

    LOVE this post! It’s a really great way to show love without just talking about the good like we tend to do on wedding blogs.

    Michael and I are actually in a similar situation. We had money when we were both still dependents, but then I graduated college, he graduated culinary school, and life (and student loans) hit us. We bought a house, and had our share of things gone wrong, but we’re working through it and getting ourselves up and out of the hole.

    It really is a true test to the relationship when you have to handle financial setbacks, but I truly believe that all of us who experience this and make it out still together will be better and stronger for it 🙂

    • June 29, 2010 12:53 pm

      Definitely get it. We’re trying to plan ahead, since we already have these setbacks here while I’m a student and what not, to not go buck wild when we both have full-time-sized incomes. It’s really easy though, you forget about things like student loans and the bills start rollin in and all of a sudden, you’re broke. you know? Definitely agree about the test of a relationships, why is money so important? Ridiculous.

      • June 29, 2010 1:45 pm

        Blah…I agree! I actually hate money as of recently. Michael and I dream of how awesome it would be to live the hippie lifestyle. Sadly, neither of us have the personality for that 😛

  4. June 29, 2010 9:34 am

    I love this post too (sometimes I feel like I’m parroting Angie but I always seem to agree with her!). Money is such an uncomfortable subject. I hate it. Wish it wasn’t such a big deal/part of life. Neither of us make too much money. I left a soul sucking job for a much happier, lower paying one. I love how you wrote about this bonding you two, knowing youll be together figuring it out and eating ramen. I wouldn’t trade our happy life for a more well paid unhappy one for sure. You two seem so great together, i love it!

    • June 29, 2010 12:51 pm

      I definitely get the parroting Angie thing, haha. When I get to a post after she has I’m all…damn…yes…agreed….can’t…speak full sentences….because don’t…know what to add…haha. You’re both GREAT. Definitely, girlie. I left a barely-pays-anything job for an unpaid internship that I LOVE and that’s helping me along with my part of our future….and actually, it costs money for gas and what not, but Isaiah gets it.

      There’s one really cool dynamic that I always see other couples do, that we do the opposite of, and that’s that we don’t really have to explain anything to each other financially. Everyonce in a while we make a stupid decision, but for the most part it’s not like, “Okay but baby I need new shoes..” We know the other person needs new shoes? It’s pretty evident, you know? Why sit there and make your love explain/beg for new shoes?? WHO MADE YOU GOD?! JEEZ?! kidding. No, but for real, just skipping the whole arguing over money thing helps us alot together.

      Thanks so much! I’m glad things are working out for you, lovely! Got it all under wraps!

  5. June 29, 2010 12:17 pm

    So very true. We’ve both had our freak-outs and major upsets. I think it is knowing that we’re with someone who doesn’t question staying, just holds your hand and says, “We’ll figure something out” even when they’re sweating bullets, too.

  6. June 29, 2010 10:41 pm

    I think if you can talk honestly about money – you’re good as gold! Mr B & I have a terrible habit of using our credit card like a savings account. Eg – We’ve just paid down the $4000 balance over six months. So now we have like saved $4000. So what should we spend it on. Yeah – not real responsible! Oh well.

    P.s. You and Angie and that cat comment thread – cracking me up

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