Monday, November 7, 2011

Of Money and Ice Cream

I hate money. I hate how it screws up one's daily disposition, social relationships, and personal welfare.

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. In fact, I could honestly say that we were very, very poor. My parents got married when they were still teenagers; my grandparents hated them both for following their hearts and committing way too early. I remember that my parents rented a very small house--it could probably be called a bahay kubo with today's standards. I remember vividly when I was a kid, about five or six, when my mother told me that we wouldn't be able to eat anything except rice, mantika, and toyo for an entire week. I didn't have any idea then that we were damn poor because Mama worked so hard just to support me and my siblings. A decade later, my parents got separated because of money as well; my mother's business skyrocketed and she ended up being able to buy house and car for us; my father hated himself for earning less and found his ego when he found another woman who appreciated him.

As a college student, I lived on hefty weekly allowance; I was able to indulge in my guilty pleasures: I bought a lot of stuff, dined with friends in good restos. As a graduation gift, my mother told me that she would shoulder my monthly condo rent. Life was a beach. 

Mid-2000s, the momentum of Mama's business started dwindling. New business competitors arose, and she told me she wouldn't be able to support my condo rent. That time, Luigi suggested that we move in to a small apartment so that we could share expenses and spend less. It was hard for me to swallow my pride because I wasn't used to living a simple lifestyle.

Eventually, when my expenses couldn't keep up despite the ascetic lifestyle we imposed for ourselves, Luigi had an idea that would change our lives: he told me that I could do a sideline that could earn a lot of money. Nothing illegal, but doing it would mean I would work even on weekends. A few months later,  Luigi and I found ourselves moving into a big condo unit which we still call home to this point.

We both have regular jobs, but we rely so much on my sideline that it's probably the source of more than 50% of our monthly expenses. Luigi eventually became comfortable with the arrangement that I spend more money than he does. It was not really an issue to me because I believe that our love is unconditional. I give what I can give.

In the past few months, my sideline started to regress. I found myself struggling to keep our finances stable. The issue was that I had been keeping these financial problems to myself. And so today, Ifind myself feeling stressed out, worrying about funding a check that needs to clear soon and about the upcoming expenses this week.

And when I get stressed out, I find myself eating. I told Luigi a while ago that I want to eat ice cream. He was watching TV, so he was quite nonchalant. I needed some air so I went out to get the ice cream. I got an 800 mL Reese-flavored Ice Cream. I started digging into the ice cream tumbler and thank God, he noticed that something was wrong. I told him that we might have some financial trouble in the next few days. He asked for the details, so I told him. He told me that he's also quite broke and that his salary will come in mid-November. I told him I might need the money before that. The conversation was awkward that I just went to our room and played with my iPad as he continued watching his TV show.

He went upstairs also and apologized for not being able to help. I wanted to tell him that it's just me. I hate anticipating the time when money will just run out. I grew up seeing how my parents worked hard for money and how money shattered their relationship. I'm afraid to have the same kind of failure so I don't really like discussing financial matters with Luigi.

I told him before he went to sleep, Don't worry. We'll find a way.

I went back to kitchen and continued eating the fucking ice cream.

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  1. I always think that partners shouldn't feel awkward talking about finances and money. Just stay positive and that too shall pass...

    God bless!

  2. Oh wow, I feel like you speak my language. Our economic crash just came a little earlier. I was in high school, I think. Now, it terrifies me when my money's about to run out. I think situations like these screw boys up in epic proportions.