Tweet In an effort to get Big V to *see* the grand scheme of bill paying, what we owed, what we spend, what we should save for, I passed everything over to him. "Here you go," I happily announced. "YOU deal with it!" And he did. Just not in the way I would have liked. You know, in that, gee we have this electric bill due which means maybe I should pay it and not buy a new lawn mower kind of way. That's what I get for handing over my pay check and my trust.
Fast forward a couple months and I'm in a panic because the electric is surely going to be disconnected and I'll have to light candles around the house in order to see and the baby will knock one over and it'll catch the house on fire and then we'll all die.
So, I've done what any normal mature adult woman would do in this situation and I've taken the financially responsibility of this family back and placed it squarely on my shoulders. And I've whined and complained and cried and thrown tantrums and pouted the whole time.
That's because Big V doesn't exactly work a full time job. Big V works a kinda-sorta full time job. Sometimes he works full time and sometimes he doesn't. It's just the name of the game. Construction: and thousands are in the same position as he is. Sometimes he kinda-sorta doesn't get paid all the way. That's because they have to wait for the customer to pay before the workers can get paid. And then I get frustrated because it's really hard to pay the electric bill with a promise that maybe next week he'll get all the money owed him and then we can for real pay the bill. (Big V refers to this as "making good." As in "I only got paid half of what's owed me, but they'll be making good next week sometime.") Meanwhile, mortgages are due and babysitters need to be paid and school registration fees are waiting and I'm looking at a column of actual real money versus a column of someday we might actually get this money. It's hard. (Ask anyone in this economy who is employed in the construction business.)
And then I think of my parents who worked so hard the entire time we were kids, and still do. My mom always had two or three jobs, as did my dad. They worked together as a team to get things done. My dad would work first shift and my mom second so they could save on daycare costs. (Well, let's be honest, no one in their right mind would've watched four kids spaced five years apart. Unless they were crazy. Which we did actually get a crazy person once who watched us. But that story - filled with hands immersed in boiling water, dangling small children from one leg over a balcony and stuffing a child in a bin filled with plastic bags, is for another day.)
We turned out okay. I mean, not that great, obviously, but okay, considering the lack of dietary variation. (My dad made hamburgers every night except Thursdays when he made pancakes. Ask me why I don't like hamburgers or pancakes: because I overdosed as a child.)
I guess my point is to me it's obvious. As an adult you come to the table with a certain expectation, and to me that means you work a real, full time job. One that pays. On a regular basis. And if you don't have that then you do whatever is in your power to get as close to that as possible. I don't care if you work two part time jobs, or three. As long as you're working and pulling your own weight. This explains why I've always had more than one job, because I expect me to abide by my own standards.
I've always worked jobs where there was a paycheck on a certain day, and there were sick days, vacation days, really great insurance and a 401K. Everything was always steady. Everything was always dependable. For the entire year. The idea of working in a business where there is no security, there is no guarantee of pay, is foreign to me. I have friends who work on commission alone and I just don't understand how that's done. How do you budget? Plan? Guarantee an income? It's so scary to be working in a business that slows and speeds up and then comes to a halt. It's simply unchartered territory to me.
I suppose there really is no humor in this post. But financial struggles are rarely cloaked in humor. Now a post about my Bisquick loving mother - that just might have humor in it. Bisquick biscuits, Bisquick shepard's pie, Bisquick impossible pie, Bisquick coffee cake, Bisquick dumplings....