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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sufficient Payment

After a tense phone conversation earlier today, the husband just came home and surprised me with flowers and ice cream.

"What's this for?" I ask.

"Happy Flower Day!" he exclaims.

"Thanks! ... What's this for?" I repeat.

"'Cuz I love you."


He confesses. "For being a jerk."

"Well, yeah, but which part specifically? That's such a big, general area."

He is quiet.

"You know all the dumb stuff I've done over the last 11 years? This should make up for it."


Then, he laughs his big laugh. And that is enough for me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Itty Bitty Photo Contest

Time again for the city photo contest!

This year's theme is "Itty Bitty Lehi City" in which amateur photographers are invited to submit close-ups of anything or anyone and taken within the city limits. With my personal finance class starting today and an audition on Saturday (and a bunch of other stuff in between), I hadn't planned on submitting anything this year. Lo and behold, I woke up yesterday and decided to do it.

Before you let last year's submissions and one of the photos below lead you to think me a cowgirl (Not that there's anything wrong with being a cowgirl; I'm just not one.), know that I live in a city that not long ago was a town of farms and rodeos, so that is the culture I've typically caught on camera.

My first entry is a close-up of a small bronze statue situated in front of the police department.

Lehi Courage

My second entry is of a little fellow I fell in love with one morning when I was jogging through the neighborhood (when I used to do such a thing).

Sunny Morning Walk

Both of these are taken with a point-and-shoot.

There. Another year done.

On to practice my lines...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Without Care

I'm writing this because this morning my husband realized something about me that I thought was apparent. After he learned this, he couldn't help but stare at me throughout breakfast.

People don't care. Specifically, people don't care about me.

Do you remember this? Today's post may sound like a repeat of that post. Being forgotten at school, parents not present at events, not being asked about my day. I learned early that people don't care about me or about my interests.

Now, before you go arguing how that's not true and so forth, know that I'm sharing what the running background "truth" is in my head even though I know (or, at least, strongly suspect) it is a lie.

When I was 20 years old, I got married to someone else who is not David. When I was planning the wedding for that marriage, my dad's reaction was one of how-dare-you-subject-our-family-to-such-expense. (Even so, I was expected to invite everyone we knew, so as not to be rude.) I felt horrible for bringing such burden to my family, so I got the cheapest everything I could for the wedding and reception. I had a cleaned-out yogurt bucket where I would put any extra money I could find or earn to offset wedding costs. (The only sweet memory I have of that time is finding out my kindergartener brother had gone door-to-door selling his stickers so he could put money in my bucket.) I tried to stay as invisible as I could because I knew my wedding was not important. It is no wonder that I married someone who did not think my values were important. The wedding came to $3,000 for over 200 guests.

[A young '90's bride]

A little later in my adult life and in a much healthier marriage (yes, to David) (Did you know that wedding was $300? And $100 of that was for fabric my mom wanted anyway for her living room?), I went to Sunday dinners at my parents' home and would listen to what everyone was up to or excited about, but when I would mention something I was excited about, the reception was lukewarm and the topic quickly changed. I will never forget listening to my mother talk and talk and talk about a variety of things. I thought things were going well, and I began to share something that was important to me. I was in my second or third sentence and literally in mid-sentence when she interrupted and said, "Well, I've gotta go and do some stuff" and she left the room. I was left sitting in her living room, alone and dumbfounded.

[My $300 wedding and my mother's new white curtains.
The marriage, however, is priceless.]

People don't care about my life.

I share this because my husband didn't know I believe that. If he didn't know, then maybe you didn't either. When it came to light for him this morning, I wasn't depressed or arguing nor revealing this out of desperation. We were simply talking about the direction I should go next in helping people with their finances. He had suggested I ask some people in the neighborhood for their opinions when I nonchalantly said, "Well, people don't care about what I'm doing."

He stared at me for a few seconds, then said, "Ohhh, I finally get why you don't have friends."

Don't hate him; it's true. It's hard for me to stay connected with people because I don't really believe they care about me or my life. So, really, I'm doing them a favor. I fully accept that this is not everyone's experience, but it is part of mine.

I've been married to my husband for 10 years and his family still doesn't care about me, not really. I listen to their stories and ask how their work/school/life is going, but no one ever asks me how I am doing or what I am up to. My husband knows this, so he occasionally starts conversations about me to get them to ask. He's not a dentist, but he's definitely pulling teeth.

"Adhis just helped some families pay off $53,000 of debt in 3 months!"

"Oh." "Huh." "That's nice."

Sometimes, I'll take my husband's lead and add a statement or two, but it doesn't make a difference. They usually become quiet or turn their eyes to something interesting on their laps or change the topic and ask someone else a random question.

People don't care about me. But, you know, I could still change my mind about that.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Christmas Table

After borrowing chairs from a neighbor to fit our little nieces around a borrowed kid table for Thanksgiving, and seeing how much my two-year-old enjoyed sitting in a chair sized for her, I knew what we would get our daughter for a Christmas gift.

A few clicks here and there, comparing styles, durability and prices and I found just the right child-sized table and chairs. They were on eBay. In California. Pick up only. This meant the seller would not ship them. I was in Utah. I was bummed.

The thing with "pick-up only" items is that those eBay auctions usually have a range of zero to 2 bidders since eBay shoppers are spread all over the globe. The table and chairs had one bid. That bidder was going to get a bargain.

I tried ignoring the listing and found other options on Craigslist, but they were either trashy or more expensive or too big. (I did find someone selling this good-looking Pottery Barn set [including the chairs!], at a great price [they paid $800, were selling for $120 or so], but still more than I had budgeted and, at 5 feet long, definitely too big for my girl's room. But, oh, so tempting!)

I kept coming back to the eBay listing. Pick-up only. I looked at the city. Lake Elsinore.

My mind went all a'buzzy. I only knew one person in Lake Elsinore, "knew" as in we had been in the same online forum for a few years. We had met a couple times. Taking a chance, I looked her up on Facebook and messaged her. By jove, one of her sons was driving to Utah! With an EMPTY moving truck! She told me to go ahead and bid on the table set.

The bidding was a whole other issue. David and I were on the freeway in Salt Lake City, away from internet access, when the auction was ending, and I had to call a handful of people before I got a hold of someone who happened to be at their computer and I could trust with my eBay account and password so they could place the bid for me! (That person made up for her being inconvenienced by giving me a mini-panic attack when she counted down the auction end and yelled "Ohhh! You've been outbid!") (Ha.Ha. Very amusing, little sister.)

After some post-auction correspondence, the seller realized my internet friend lived rather close to them and dropped off the table and chairs at her house. My friend's son picked up the set and brought it to Provo, Utah in the empty moving truck. Another of her sons picked up the set from Provo and drove it to his home, a mere 11 miles from my house!

Yes, I believe in miracles.

On Christmas morning...
Little Adhis was coming down the stairs when she sensed something magic was happening. She saw the table and chairs and said, "Look!"

"Look! Look!" she said, I don't know how many times.
She then proceeded to sit in each chair around the table.

The rest of us were then called to join her at her table.

I love my little family.