14 Jun

A rare Sunday off, now, a family run to the mall. Sundresses for the girls at H&M.

I stop in the over priced fat lady store otherwise known as Addition-Elle, to lust after my own sundresses. I chance upon two skirts I like, some underwear. Normally I would have cringed at the 50.00 price tag on the skirts, perhaps bought one since I’m rapidly running out of clothing.

I left with nothing.

I lost my job in March, one I hated, but one which kept us at a reasonable level of cash flow. I’ve replaced it with one I don’t mind, which is stress free, but that pays, how do I put this, like shit. My money goes straight in the bank, do not pass go, don’t collect 200.00. And I’m ok with that-I can spend money pretty pointlessly, and we have bills.

But sweet fuck, I feel like I’m 15 again and begging my father for money for clothes or shoes because I’ve grown. I used to have to do that-convince him that I needed jeans, or running shoes for school because I couldn’t play basketball in bare feet. He never just knew what was needed by looking. And I always felt like shit having to ask, having to be treated like something secondary for needing something.

No one is doing that now, but I can’t shake this itchy feeling, like I’m a pet or something. The lack of control, of no longer contributing as much-it’s eating at me. Walking through a mall full of stuff I absolutely cannot have-it was almost degrading, and in no was freeing. Seeing things my children my want, or having to constantly say no to their asks even though I like getting them the odd little thing here and there, it hurt. It felt like I couldn’t provide for them.

My parents rarely if ever had extra money around for toys. (Of course, they also had a house that looked like a house so….) But I always wished I could occasionally have something, a surprise, once in awhile to just be given what I wanted and asked for. So doing it for my girls is like that.

I can’t do any of it anymore, and it just eats at me. I don’t feel successful, I don’t feel secure-I feel like that child who never had anything, who had to ask and ask and ask.

It just feels so bloody humiliating to have nothing after working so fucking hard to have something. Sure, going to the mall isn’t like making the big leagues, but it was the security of having an income I could rely on. Feeling like I was doing something right.

Anymore, I’m just not sure.


9 Responses to “Lira”

  1. Gabriel... June 15, 2009 at 2:53 am #

    In the short term, find a new mall. I’ve been having money issues of my own lately because I’m not just dating someone, I’m dating her monkey as well. I took them out for an IMAX movie and popcorn last month and it cost a hundred bucks… or two weeks groceries. I don’t think, right now, I could afford to take her out to a chip stand.

    But I’ve found free things to do… like feeding the seagulls, finding new playgrounds and taking a ferry ($8). And there’s a cheap theatre nearby with forty-year old seats and mono speakers.

    You told me something a while back about how I should relax around the monkey because three-year olds only see people as a jungle gym, they don’t really care about how you play as long as you play. Or something, I might have only been barely conscious. I think the same thing applies to their clothes. I think you’ve got a few more years before the mall you shop at is really going to matter to the girls.

    As your girls become more independent, and as your recovery becomes more secure, you’ll be able to take a look at moving up the salary ladder again. Until then, stay away from places that make you feel like you do now…

  2. Hannah June 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    I don’t know what to say other than that I understand, I do. And that this too shall pass.

  3. March June 16, 2009 at 6:38 am #

    I so felt like you when I became an unpaid sahm. and in many ways I still feel like that. that you have to “explain” or “justify” any purchase you make for yourself or for the kids. it has taken me a long time to feel relaxed about buying myself a cup of coffee.
    it does feel humiliating to go from having that freedom to do whatever you want with the extra money to not having that freedom.
    it does get a bit better with time, but it does not go away. at least it has not for me.

  4. thordora June 16, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    Yeah, Gabe, you’re right. It’s more the perceived sense that I’ve lost my autonomy that drives me insane.

    Looking at LPN programs right now to try and change that.

  5. Kay June 16, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    2 words until finances get better – THRIFT STORES. Oh, and clearance racks. Still gives you that thrill of buying something, but at $1.50 instead of $150.00.

    Right now, DH and I are both out of work, barely hanging on to the house, and not sure what comes next. There’s not much out there in the job market, but he’ll get something. As for me? After working (other than maternity leave) since I we got married 13 years ago, my ass is going to school. And I’m terrified of that little girl asking daddy for money feeling that’s going to come when he’s the only one bringing in a paycheck.

    I keep telling myself it’s going to be worth it in the long run. Maybe I’ll start believing myself soon???

  6. DD June 16, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    It’s been hard for me too, to suddenly have my income slashed 25%. It sucks that the little treats I enjoyed and took for granted (my $4.00/day mocha) had to be replaced by instant coffee until things improve.

    The only caveat? I do like walking out the door where I’m currently working and not having another thought about it.

  7. The Informal Matriarch June 16, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    I always live like that lol. I’m sure it would be hard to get accustomed to but you can still be very happy with not buying a bunch of things. Things don’t last and they don’t define you. You can work through this!! Buying stuff is just that…buying stuff. Your kids can be happy without a lot of it.

    What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.

  8. thordora June 16, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    I guess it’s more of the perceived status of it-going from being the main income in the house, feeling responsible for myself and being able to contribute, to having to ask for money for a latte treat. I really prefer my local thift store, and go there often since 20.00 buys a lot.

    It’s just the idea that I can’t that drives me batty. I spent my adolesence being unable to, and having to beg my father for things like clothes and food. Having that same feeling again, well, it’s been enough to prod me into getting off my ass about a nursing program.

    So it is a good thing after all. 🙂

  9. Jennifer June 17, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    Thirft stores suck for fat lady clothes.

    Try Penningtons, they tend to be much cheaper (not as nice though) than Addition-elles.

    I completely hear you. I can’t afford groceries currently. But Glen is coming home tomorrow, and it would be nice to BBQ steaks. The weekend brings a trip to costco (because we are out of meat, and store bought meat is gross) and a trip to the movies for the girls. We can’t really afford it. I’m hoping that I do well at the farmers market today.

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