Moving to Chicago Mood: …

Moving to Chicago Mood: Dazed

Just woke up. Yes, it's almost one. Called Kevin around 11 last night to ask him something quick, and ended up talking 'til 5:30 a.m. Not about relationship stuff, thank the gods; just talking. Well, I suppose a little relationship stuff crept in, in that we spent a while talking about probable finances once I move there. But it was in the context of a larger discussion of about how money works in our society.

The money-thing is a little odd for us. The last time we lived together, he was a grad student; I was a secretary -- I probably made a little more than him, and we just split rent and utilities and such. No problems. Right now -- well, I have a pile of debt, for various reasons. He owns his condo outright, and makes a nice salary, quite a few times more than I make. So the plan is that I just use the money I have to a) get out of debt as quickly as possible, and b) pay for my random expenses -- toiletries, clothes, maybe some food sometimes. And I'm just not going to worry about giving him rent money or phone bill money or gas money. It's a little odd, when I think about it -- sort of strangely close to being 'kept'. On the other hand, he thinks it's not going to cost him much of anything to have me there...and he'll probably save money on food, since I'm likely to cook a lot more, so he won't be going out as much. So if I'm a kept woman, I'm a pretty cheap one. :-)

A lot of my friends are negotiating this kind of thing. Roshani and Tom merged their finances when they got married, but Roshani still feels kind of odd about the fact that Tom (computer programmer) makes all their money, while she (med student) basically just spends it. Obviously that's not going to last (unless she drops out of med school and becomes a full-time mom, which she's considered on occasion but I think likely won't do), but in the interim, she sometimes gets weird about whether it's okay to eat a meal out at a restaurant, or to buy a few fluffy books. Especially if she's not with Tom at the time; they feel more like singular pleasures, I think. And when she goes without, Tom tells her later that she was silly... I think Karen and Par had (have?) some similar issues. I suppose it's just an artifact of the fact that these days, we're kind of raised to think that both partners should pull their own weight -- which is easy in your early twenties, when you're both in similar-type jobs, but gets harder to navigate as we get older, what with a) gender inequities in pay, b) women still tending to raise the kids, c) the occasional desire of either partner to do something non-paying for a while...which a partnership should, in theory, allow for, but can be tricky to manage. It's all so strange, especially given that Kevin doesn't really care very much about money in the end. There are just these odd psychological stumbling blocks we run into on occasion.

Okay, enough babbling. It's past one and I haven't done anything yet today. Sheesh...

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