Friday, October 22, 2010

Slowly learning

The day before the housewarming party D and I had a huge fight. What started the fight was of course not really what the fight was about. At all. A small stupid incident set us both off and turned into a day-long battle - interspersed with us getting along for a few hours - that ended up with D storming out of the house and me furiously cleaning the bathroom while muttering to myself.

The fight was about money. Well, about how we treat each other about money. How my deep financial fears and penchant for projecting my insecurities onto him combine with his impatience and severe rationality to make us (mostly me) unable to make financial decisions without a lot of angst. Of course we didn't come to that nice conclusion right away. We had to endure lots of stupidity (on both our parts) before we got there.

The problems are many: First: numbers, to D$, are like the alphabet. Numbers, to me, are scary and make my brain turn off. Second: If I am going to make a decision I have to talk about it for a long time first.  I talk about is how the decision is making me feel - am I mad that I have to make the decision, what are my fears, etc. None of this is usually very logical but I have to get it out before I can make a rational decision. Example: when I needed to take out more student loans in order to pay off older and more expensive student loans, I spent several days saying, "I made pact to myself that I wouldn't take out any student loans for graduate school and so I don't want to take out any loans." I knew in the back of my head that it was stupid not to take out more loans - in fact I knew that I probably would take out more loans -  but the idea made me sick and upset and I had to talk about that before I could move on to the smart decision.

When D is faced with a decision he looks at the facts and decides. Done deal. So he thinks that all the talking I am doing is how I will make a choice -  that I will make a decision based purely on my emotions. During the student loan debacle he ran up some numbers for me (without walking me through it) and acted offended and contemptuous when I wouldn't readily admit that the loans were the best idea and go ahead with it. He thought I was going to refuse to take out loans, and end up spending more money in the long run, because I was upset at the ultimately meaningless act of taking out more loans.

Here is what happened (what happens): D$ feels like I don't trust him to look at the financial information and make the right choice even though crunching numbers is what he does all day long. I feel that D is treating me like I am stupid and is treating me as if I can't be trusted to make financial decisions. Massive hurt feelings ensue. It looks something like this:

MWK: This is how I feel

D$: These are the facts.

MWK: But this is how I feel.

D$: But there are the facts.



Both: *#$@!*#@%!

After the last fight we were finally able to get to the bottom of some of this. I made D understand that my emotions are just as legitimate and necessary to me as his numbers. I think D understands that he needs to let me express my emotions and give me the time to emote without being impatient or treating me like a child. D$ told me how frustrated he gets when I won't listen to him on the numbers stuff and I understand now how hard it would be to have your wife doubt you on what is, to be sure, your greatest skill (that's math, folks. The man loves math).

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Last weekend, about a week after the party, we sat down to talk about money again and to make a budget. There were a few tense moments but mostly we were able to have a calm and civil conversation. We came to an understanding about our finances and how we want to handle them. It was by no means fun, but I am proud of us for getting through it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The housewarming party was a success. My mom, D and I spent all day preparing. Went I went to pick my mom up from her house she had three five-gallon buckets full of flowers from her garden and she spent an hour filling our apartment with multi-colored dahlias in gravity defying bouquets. She even put a tea-cup full of awkward teenage-looking flower buds in the bathroom.*

D$ spelled our last name on some of the sixty cupcakes he made, all of my favorite people showed up. If you don't count me getting a little tipsier than I planned on in front of my new work friend I'd say the evening was a success. So...why did I sob myself to sleep?

My mother's best friend and her husband, who I count as two of my favorite people in the world, brought us a gift from Crate and Barrel. I didn't open it while they were there but as soon as everyone was gone I ran over to open the box and see what was it in. D$ must have been outside because I was alone in the apartment, sitting cross-legged in the hallway. I opened the box to find the platter pictured above. I sat there silently for a moment, petting the copper veins of the platter...and burst into tears.

I pulled myself together for a while - enough time to pay a visit to our downstairs neighbors who were also having a party - but soon had to retreat back to our place to be alone. I pretended to clean until D$ came to find me and noticed that I wasn't speaking. When he asked what was wrong and then pleaded for me to talk to him I finally leaned into his chest and let myself be totally wracked with sobs. He got me into bed and hugged me from behind while I continued to wail and hiccup and shake.

Yes, I was drunk, so there's that. But I was also completely overwhelmed by how much love and support we had in our new house. How lucky we are to even have a roof over our heads not to mention a gorgeous old apartment that we filled to the brim with loved ones. For the first time I hosted the majority of the people I love most in the world in my own home. People who raised me even though no one asked them to, from the man (and his wife) I met volunteering in high school, to my grandma who brought us (homemade) bread and salt and honey and wine****, to my parents, to the five or six other moms and dads I had in that room. All of them helped me become a person and all of them were there ready to welcome us home, eager to fold D into the community that made me.  

I don't think I was able to form any complete sentences to tell D$ why I was crying. He figured it out.

*I SO wish I had photos. They were so lovely. Alas our camera is still broken and the photos I tried to take look terrible.
**I wondered why she got so many packages! D$ has started greeting the UPS man by saying, "Hello, friend!"
***Not all of you...some of you are very far away and I miss you very much and wish you had been there 
****We got SO much wine. At the end of the night we had more bottles than we started with, and we started with a case and a half of wine...most of which was consumed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Watching football

D$: What are you doing, honey?

MWK: Commenting on people's blogs.

D$: Would you like to comment on my blog?

MWK: You don't have a -



MWK: That was a very nice blog.

Friday, October 8, 2010


The housewarming party is tomorrow and are pitifully unprepared. Laundry is piled on the couch, we have NO food or booze and it looks like someone threw up all over our kitchen cabinets. What I am doing today, my day off before the party? Going to the gym, the doctor, and the hair-cutting lady (thank god for that, my hair has been particularly heinous for the last several weeks). Oh, and to get some vacuum bags.

Tonight we clean. Tomorrow D$ makes a triple batch of Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes while my mom and I pick flowers and hit up Costco for vittles.

In other news: I think I am slowly building up a reputation at work for being the girl who chair-dances in her cubicle while listening to headphones. Whatever - I can't help it if Omarian, Lil' Jon, Fabolous (and Mariah, of course) get my productive juices flowing. I did have to suppress a wild fit of giggles when "Get Low" came on the other day - that song is so very NSFW. And so very against how I feel the world should be. And yet: so awesome.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


D$ and I are having a housewarming party next weekend, and today we are cleaning the carpets (an exciting life, I know).

We were discussing whether or not we wanted to move the bookshelves* in order to clean and had the following conversation:

MWK: Do you want to take the Star Trek Encyclopedia off of the main bookshelf for when we have people over?

D$: No, I'm totally comfortable with it being there. If people are going to judge...let them judge me for being awesome.

*We have three bookshelves in our living room and still need one more.