In yesterday's post I said I had "no idea" what the problem is, and of course that's a dirty lie. I know perfectly well what the problem is.
Every time Carl or Wally gets some emotional twitch they go and make some drastic change in their lives that ends up COSTING ME MONEY!!!
- 1999: Carl and I visit NYC. Carl's never been there; he is in awe and sees muchos opportunidades for employment in his field. Conclusion: We have to move to NY ASAP. Sure, sez me. I always wanted to live there anyway. So I quit a nice, secure, good-paying job and sell the condo that I could actually afford, and pack up like a Gypsy and move to NYC. Get an apartment that costs me a ridiculous amount per month, take a job I hate, and meanwhile, Carl never gets off the ground with this dream job he thinks he'll get. He can never see past the short-term. The extremely short-term. As in, somebody pisses him off today, and he's outa there. At least that's what he did in NY. I suppose that would have been a good time to break off the marriage altogether, but having just been through a divorce a few years before, I couldn't get my head around doing that again.
- Similar impulse a year later. Carl is miserable at work, as am I. The only one of us who was happy was Wally. But Carl gets upset because someone makes a disparaging remark about the place we moved from. He misses his family - the one that makes him miserable. At any rate, we buy a house "back home" and move there a year after moving to NYC. I didn't have a job; I didn't even have the reasonably nice car I'd sold before moving to NY. I finally found a used one I could barely afford and it lasted three and a half years before finally dying. I was so despondent during the first month or two, I began to think about killing myself.
- On 9/11 I was at least working. It was a temp job but permanent hire was a certainty. But I was very preoccupied. Wonder why? So I applied myself very little to my job, even after getting the permanent gig. My performance was truly crappy and I got fired. It was the first time in my life that had ever happened. Not the first time I'd left a job with less than favorable reviews, but certainly the first time I'd been flat-out fired. That led to more than a year of temp work, and it wasn't always steady. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, later in the year I ditched religion and things started looking up the tiniest bit. I got a long-term temp job that did me pretty well. But it wasn't the answer to everything. The depression started to lift just enough to get me out there on the job hunt again. Finally - a good break, and that led to the job I had from '03 to '06. Great benefits (even though I had to ultimately take Carl off my coverage because the minute I got insurance coverage he started having his phantom stomach and chest pains that no doctor could ever find a diagnosis for).
- Since I've known Carl, he's worked for: OHH, S&S, TB, RHG, TMG, CPRV, PH, a couple of other places in NYC, back to RHG, GC, BSP, CCD and now CB. That's at least 14 different jobs, and we've only been together for 10 years. My track record isn't great either: JRA when we met, then BHRV, BHRNP, CPUN, temp jobs, PST, PH and the place where I am now.
- Together, we've lived in 4 different places. If it weren't for Carl, most likely I'd have stayed in the condo and might even still be there, who knows? The BHRV job might or might not have lasted. I can't blame Carl - entirely - for my less than stellar work ethic over the years. But without some of the strife between him & Wally, and the money worries, I might possibly have been less preoccupied and scattered, and may have done a better job. Thank the ordered universe I've finally gotten it together to the point where I'm not late for work all the time and have the ability to assess the consequences of an action before I commit to it.
- But it's still difficult to buckle down and move ahead because of all these constant changes that cost me money.
- As for Wally, I can't blame him directly for a lot of that. Much of the situation we're in right now is because of Doug. Doug, who kicked Wally out when he could have hung in for another year or two until Wally finished high school. But no, he sent Wally back to Carl and me, just as things were going pretty well. Then he cuts off the child support, which I don't have the time or energy to go after. And at about the same time, Carl gets another of his "let's move to a better place" impulses, and as usual, I go along. I don't regret moving to this town. It's much better suited to me; I feel like I've flourished, at least socially. I like the job I do and the company I work for. But bottom line, we should be doing better, rather than struggling. We wouldn't be struggling so much if Carl had just behaved like a grownup. He was making good money and all he had to do was ignore the owner and the manager of the company. He knows he had a good thing going and was better off there, but doesn't want to admit it yet. True, the place could go under; they were in trouble with regard to taxes and other issues, but other than a late paycheck once in awhile, that didn't affect Carl directly. Week to week, he made GOOD money. True, the place he's at now has benefits. But here's the thing: Carl NEVER stays in one place long enough to make insurance a reality. He's had insurance twice and either dropped the coverage or quit the job shortly after getting it. If he dies, I'll have to go to his family to afford the funeral. If something happens to me, Carl and Wally will be substantially enriched. Of course, Wally would blow the money immediately; Carl would save it but not find any way to invest or supplement it.