Saturday, January 10, 2009

things i never thought

Today I find myself with a huge chunk of morning alone-time. Mera is doing a training today downtown and won't be back until after two, so for now it's just me and the dog and a house full of projects. (And coffee and books and computers and the bath tub too... it's not all chores.)

I've been a little depressed with things lately. Mostly my work, which I believe I was chastised for whining about not too long ago by at least one of my sweet, concerned readers. Well what are you gonna do? I'm experiencing a non-lethal malaise because I'm living in a system of drudgery in which you're lucky if you can choose where and how you do your drudging, but the standard terms include drudging 40 hours per week, from 9-ish to 5-ish.

I started reading this book called Growth of the Soil which I mentioned before... I haven't finished reading it yet because it seems I never have time really to read... and I started fantasizing that I was doing my drudging on a tiny farm nestled in some Northern European mountain, drudging with my hands in the dirt, drudging with my animals and building barns and things. I fantasized, but I still drag myself out of the bed every morning and take a TriMet bus downtown to work in an office with no window. At least I have an office.

My big dilemma last time (or the time before last?) was anxiety because I thought my boss was taking a new job and that I'd get stuck being boss. Poor me. Well, that didn't happen, someone else got the job she wanted and things have been settling back down from angsty to depressing. I need to get over it. I had a med change, my doc added Celexa to my Wellbutrin, but it made me grind my teeth and clench all the muscles in my head, neck and shoulders, so I stopped taking it. I don't need new meds anyway, I think I just need an attitude adjustment.

In better news, I've turned corners with Mera that I never thought I'd turn with anybody. Big example: we went down to the bank this week and opened a joint account. We combined our finances. I have always been opposed to this maneuver and have never even considered it with any other partner. Even when I was "married" to CB, we never discussed it at all. But everything is different with Mera. Everything.

The thing is, I make a lot more money than Mera and I decided very early in our relationship that I would do whatever I could to help make things easier for her while she's in grad school. Even before we lived together, I started picking up certain expenses and doing extra chores just to take some of the weight off her. Now that we're in the house together, I've taken on a larger and larger share of things (often to her great consternation) and she's been able to drop from two jobs down to one and work slightly less there as well.

The problem is that I started to identify a little too heavily with the role of the moneybags person who could swoop in and make grand offers. "Let me take you out tonight, baby!" "Let me buy the drinks!" This attitude of being super-flush even started spreading to other people, I found myself picking up the tab for my friend Leo who was unemployed and even her new girlfriend one night (who is NOT unemployed).

I ended up running out of money, dipping into my savings and freaking out a little. All because I got cavalier. I started out trying to help Mera and it turned into something entirely different. So it suddenly seemed like the only solution was to join our money and put us both on even an even footing. It's not MY money anymore, it's our money. It's no longer my role as Miss Moneybags to say "Baby, let me take you out tonight!" Now we'll decide together if we can afford to go out. Now she won't have to swallow her pride and ask for a loan when her tiny paychecks don't stretch far enough -- the money will be right there and it will be OURS, not mine.

When I used to think about joint finances, it seemed like a terrible idea. I can't even remember anymore what my reasons were, I just remember thinking it was out of the question. Now that Mera and I have joined ours... I don't know... it feels like the only right thing. I feel more bound to her than I did when we registered our domestic partnership: more bound and more secure. Seeing both our names on the new checks from the bank gave me a much greater sense of our status as a unit than even the partnership documents from the county.

It's pretty cool.

1 Comments:

Blogger south carolina girl said...

that is cool, you can trust each other enough to open a bank account together. that sounds like a very nice thing i would like to be able to do with someone someday but i can understand the aversion to doing that, absolutely can understand...

7:38 PM  

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