Friday, June 1, 2007

Just keep swimming... just keep swimming...

Had I written this blog two days ago, the eventual tone of the note would have been quite different. Things were dark and looking for the silver lining in all the clouds was more than I was able to manage. Two days ago I was in Wisconsin (having delivered the dogs and kids to my mom's house) looking at the place that will be our next home. I had had a couple of nice interviews on Tuesday and went to La Crosse to purchase a washer and dryer at Home Depot because the only way I could buy the damn things was to put it on a credit card. Financially, we're exhausted. In fact, after getting a $1300 repair bill for the truck in the queue, exhausted is an understatement. We've repaired our roof - $3650, fronted Ogre the cash for his rent and to re-pay the loan his roommate made to him for his security deposit - $650 plus $250 to fix HIS car and the truck repair was the icing on a big old slice of shit cake. Were it not for the ability to draw advance pay because we're PCS'ing, we'd be completely done for. Completely.

I've spent the last two weeks - ironically since Mother's Day - trying to impress upon Ogre the importance of working and how much it sucks to be broke. He needs a job. He knows he needs a job, but he hates job hunting and doesn't have the all-encompassing fire I remember having in my 20's to make as much money as he can. I remember always looking for a bigger paycheck, you know? We fought tooth and nail about everything for two weeks; two, long, solid weeks. It was hell. I've decided that I need to just let go. I have given him the rope and he will either use it to make a ladder and pull himself up or he will hang himself by being so financially over his head he can't possibly get out. He's accepted a job offer and has some idea of how hard he has to work to cover his other costs. I am hoping for the best. It's all I can do. I think he's starting to get it and I hope he gets an offer from UPS as well. He's said he'd do both jobs and I think that is necessary.

In a nutshell, he is my son. I love him so much it hurts. Sometimes he disturbingly shows many of his idiot-father's undesirable traits and that drives me even more crazy. I had to tell Shrek that the bank is closed. He will now need to sink or swim. It's his lease and his lease is his problem - not mine.

If you asked me what I like least about being a parent - that situation would be it.

In other news (or as if that wasn't enough), we had a complete houseful of guests. I've got nothing against chaos, mind you, but WHEW! When you normally have two little boys, one very quiet teenager and their cantankerous parents, a graduation party really ups the activity level. And, of course, plumbing problems resulting in an emergency visit from Roto-rooter (my disposal doesn't like chicken! Who knew?) at the same time the damage assessment is still being provided on the damn truck makes it hard to appear calm, cool and collected, know what I mean?

Me: "Yeah, the plumber's here. It'll be about $180."
Sarge: "Well, the truck needs a new Universal Joint and a new rear-end (axle?). It'll be about a thousand." (The estimate increased a couple days later because of some spring?)
Me: "Fuck. Goddamnmotherfuckingsonofabitch. I mean, no worries honey. We'll be fine."

I wish the week had been better. The visitors would have been a lot of fun if I hadn't been broke. Now that they're gone I can confess that I didn't go to Meijer Garden with them to save the cost of my ticket and Anatoly's. Yes. It is that bad. I tried very hard to enjoy the visit but was, truthfully, wracked with guilt and money stress the entire damn time. But, if you visited, thank you for coming and I hope you can come again ( even the one from Canadialand ;) ).

The worst best part of the whole graduation thing was, as always, the ex- and ex-in-laws. That kicked the stress level up to "Phazers on Kill" if you know what I mean. It's always just kind of weird. I'm kind of proud of myself and especially Sarge for doing it, but man it brings up unpleasant memories.

Graduation went fine - I had no control over it so it couldn't get fucked up. Know what I mean? The Queen is our family's first honor graduate and I am very proud of her. She was a bit let down because she was within .5 points on her GPA of the Cum Laude designation and the pretty silver stole, but the white was hard earned and she's amazing. Now she's in Houston participating in all sorts of debauchery. She's earned it and I'm not even there so I don't have to look the other way when Tim and Mikey corrupt her despite Sarah's best efforts. Tal (you know Tal? She's a reader ;) ), I'm sure is too busy laughing to intervene on my behalf but she will tell me the stories later or else I'm sure.

Spinning... spinning....

The worst part is the feeling that time went so very, very fast and so many things just went wrong! I feel like I went on a cross-country trip in a Top Fuel Dragster with no brakes. For the drag racing haters uninitiated, Top Fuel Dragsters hit a speed of 350 MPH in about 330 feet.

The other day, I told Sarge that I felt like I had hit rock bottom emotionally and financially about three months ago and now it was feeling like some asshole was underneath the floor sawing a hole to drop me even further in. The house we'll be living in in Tomah didn't meet my expectations. I am hoping that because the cleaning crew hadn't been in it yet when I toured it looks better now, but not optimistic. The master bedroom is very small - not likely to hold our furniture. The kitchen is very, very small - but this is typical of those houses. Worst - the woodwork is nasty. I hope the cleaning crew was able to fix it up but if not, I'll have to try some tricks myself. So I have to get rid of my china hutch and my patio furniture because it won't fit. I have to buy drapes - checking at JCPenney indicated that would be a $300 outlay that I didn't have. And I still had no job.

We also still have no offer on our house. We may or may not be getting one - eventually. We've got buyers that have now seen the house 3 times, love it, etc., but they also have a house in GRPS to sell that isn't even listed yet. I sent an e-mail trying to light a fire under my realtor that took me twice as long to write because I feel profanity, while desired in this case, is not exactly appropriate. She still hasn't responded.

The movers are here Monday and Tuesday.

Not exactly a 180 but close...

Like I said, had I wrote this post two days ago it would have been pretty depressing. Nothing was looking good at all. In fact, things appeared to be headed from bad to worse.

Then a small sliver of light: I found these and these on eBay. I won both auctions scoring the drapes I needed (and yes, it's a need because the sun shines right into the patio door so the place would be crazy hot without them and the privacy would be nil). These match the living room furniture and cost me less for both than one or the other would have cost me in the store. One small step for the house, one giant step for Lisa's perspective.

And, finally, I've been offered and accepted a job. It's a marketing position with one of the two major health care systems in the area. It's something a bit new for me and yet a bit familiar too so I'm trying to focus on how much I expect to like it rather than the massive cut in pay I took vs. my last full time job. It's a different market. Wages will be different. And the people I'll be working with seem awesome. I'm very, very excited. I've got the nanny lined up for the summer and we should be able to cover the stupid mortgage for a little while at least. I don't know how daycare will go up after the nanny goes back to school in the fall but I think we'll be okay. We have breathing room. I'm even kind of excited about the washer and dryer now. I did get a good deal on it (nowhere near the MSRP) and they're big! Big = fewer loads of laundry. I hate laundry.

I feel like someone is reinforcing the floor and pointing me toward the exit now. Thank god.

Sorry for not blogging for so long. Thanks for sticking around.


Morten said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tal said...

He says these thing in love, as I'm sure you know.

I am SOO happy for you Lisa! It really does seem as if things are looking up, despite the hardships of the last little while.

Worrying about money is likely one of the worst things in the world I think. I'm glad some of the worry has been lessened for you.

As for the laughing, I just read the bit about Houston out loud and had everyone in stiches, including a dismayed Tim, lol.