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Friday, April 07, 2006

Money Talks

So. JT and I are going to have The Money Talk tonight. We hate talking about money. Hate hate hate it. We've been married 7 1/2 years, and I think I can count on one hand the number of times we've had The Money Talk. Okay, maybe two hands. But still. We each lived alone for a long time, and were very used to (and comfortable with) handling our own finances. The hardest thing about moving in together was not always having someone around where before we'd had plenty of space and privacy. Nor was it fighting over closet space. (JT conceded before the battle ever began.) No, hands down the hardest part about sharing our lives has been Talking About Money. It's only been a few months since we set up a joint checking account, for pete's sake! (Hey--no judgments. You do it your way, we'll do it our way.)

With JT's job situation cloudy (or, as Spike's 8-ball just told me, "Outlook not so good"), he thinks he'll feel better if we talk about finances. That I can do. I can't make Whirlpool keep the design center in Iowa open; nor can I conjure up the perfect replacement job. But I can talk about money. Even if it means talking about deferring graduate school and giving up the cleaning service. Talk is cheap, right?

But all is not gloom and doom here on the street with the trees. I learned the other day that one of my poems was accepted by Patchwork Journal. I'm amazed at how calm I am about this: Oh, yes, another of my poems is going to be published, ho-hum...Like this is an everyday occurrence. Right. Only, not. (Perhaps I've just reached by adrenaline quota for the quarter.) And I've been awarded a small grant at my second-choice school, based on diversity (WTF? Diversity? I'm white, middle class, live in the middle of the country, middle-aged...ohhhhh) and merit.

I think I am a little bummed about the whole graduate school thing, though. (Wanna know how I know? I'm sitting here nibbling on a fingernail--nasty habit--and staring at the computer screen.) I'm waiting to hear from the first-choice school, which should happen any day now. Today would be good. Very good. Or at least far better than Monday.
See, my second-choice school wants a written commitment to attend (plus a non-refundable $250 ) by April 14. They're in California. If I overnight it, I could hold off sending anything (i.e., deciding) until maybe April 12. That's five days from now. I can't make a decision like that in five days! (Nibble nibble nibble.)

Maybe I should defer. That would allow time to decide, plus we would then know JT's future with Whirlpool. (Nibble nibble nibble.)

But I don't want to defer. I'm afraid if I don't jump into graduate school now, when I'm poised on the edge of the pool, that I'll never do it. I'll never even get close to the water again. (Nibble nibble.) There will never be a perfect time to go to graduate school, and it will be all too easy to find reasons not to do it. (Chomp chomp.)

I've got to post this and back away from the computer. This isn't getting me anywhere, and I have something like 16 pieces of writing to comment on for tomorrow's prison workshop.

Fingernails harmed during the writing of this post: 2
Hours spent writing this post: 1
Things accomplished/settled/decided: 0

Oh, yes, this was a good use of my time. Only, not.

I did manage to talk to my dad today, though.


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