Monday, October 30, 2006

The Marriage Penalty Woes

I have had time to post. I just haven't. I figure the honest response is better than the typical "my life has just been SO busy lately!" The past few weeks its been getting so cold here. I suddenly realize why old people move to Florida. Something does happen to your body as it gets older. It starts to rebel against the cold winds and the impending snow storms. Its a sign I'm definatly aging. Born and raised in Maine, I no longer look forward to winter like I used to.

So what have I been up to aside from moping about the weather? First and foremost, I did cut my hair. Money became tight this month so I chopped it off myself. Its crooked and uneven and honestly looks pretty bad. Goddess willing I'll be able to have the money next week to get to the hairdresser and get it cut how I want it. I'm still going super short! (why, when I'm freezing as it is.. I'll never know.) Technically I had the money to get it done this month, but I just couldn't justify spending the money on myself. Yes, I'd rather walk around with crooked hair all month than feel guilty because I used the precious money on myself.

And precious money it is becoming!
/rant on

Social Security sent me a wonderful letter on my birthday telling me I had an appointment to come in because I neglected to tell them I had gotten married... over two years ago. Umm... no. I went in two weeks after I got married and let them know. I changed my name and updated my social security number. The whole thing. I called them and they pretty much called me a liar. I explained that they sent me a letter telling me that my husbands benefits would be cut in half because of the marriage penalty, and we awaited the change but it never happened. Again the woman didn't believe me. Lo and behold, the amazing woman that I am.. I was actually able to find the piece of paper they sent me two years ago. And I found it while I was still on the phone with them! I read it to her, and she said, "Oh.. umm... bring it in to us please." Ya.. I thought so. Their mistake. Apparently they had forgotten to merge my husbands and my accounts together so they never actually cut his check. I haven't heard anything official yet, but I'm willing to bet money that they'll cut it come November.

After two years of living with the money we had, we'll be forced to give a few things up. Now realize, we don't have a whole lot. So this feels pretty darn unfair. Nothing has changed. We've lived together for almost five years. The only thing that changed was a piece of paper and suddenly we're expected to be able to live on almost $4oo.00 less a month than we currently are. There goes the tv. I'm damn lucky the car just got paid off. (the old crappy 97 Pontiac I have) and who knows what else will go since there isn't much else we have thats "luxury." No, in fact.. there are only two other things.. my internet connection (forget it jackasses.. I'm NOT giving it up) and my subscription to World of Warcraft. (Yes, I'm an MMO nerd. Deal with it.) Thats all I have. No magazines, no gym memberships, no dinners out every week, no cable tv. Hell, I've even got a crappy self haircut to save money. So yes, I'm a bit miffed about this "penalty." I don't think it makes any sense and I don't see why they penalize for a piece of paper when it changed nothing. No other program penalizes for marraige, in fact.. others give back for marriage. Thats the US government for ya.. Oh! You're poor? Well then, we'll have to penalize you for things that we don't rich people. Its only fair after all..

/rant off

Halloween festivities have been happening this week. I was able to take the girls and the neighbor kids to the Halloween party at the community center. They had a great time, and Ivy even won a special bag of prizes because her costume was "so wonderfully cute" the woman said.

Other than hunkering down from the cold, and doing Halloween things.. not too much has been happening. Personally I'm in a bit of a lull with this weather. Not run down tired feeling, but a bit apathetic. I'm trying to keep connected with the kids and not space out my entire days. I make sure to squeeze in enough ooomph to paint or do play doh with them. Some nights I just hit refresh on my Gmail account and stare. Hows that for pathetic confessions from cyberspace?

Myspace has been a fun place to read. I'm not sure why I go there, except maybe a faint tiny hope of changing some of those parents minds about how they treat their kids. I'm pushy. I try hard not to be rude, but after sitting through post after post about how people just "lock the door and turn off the monitor so I don't hear him scream. Yay! Now I can sleep at night!"... and "When my daughter is bad, I spank her butt. Its not going to hurt her. She's 6 months old and knows how to make me mad."... Sometimes there are no words to say. No polite ones to find. All I can muster on those nights is, "I'm sorry for your children."

Yes, I'm a rude bitch. I'm a "breastfeeding Nazi" and a "tree hugging hippie." I will not apologize for how I raise my children or how many mistakes I see parents make. And yes, beating your kids and leaving a 3 month old baby to scream all night alone.. ARE mistakes. Sadly they are not being made because the mothers are ignorant. No, they are very informed and just choose to take the "easy" route. They choose to be neglectful and abusive. And boy are they mad at anyone who suggests they are! I haven't come to the conclusion of whether I should just drop the nice route and straight up say it how it is.. or keep on trying to be nice and polite even when I don't feel like it. History shows I'll probably keep taking the higher road, but oh.. it would feel sooo nice to be like them for once.

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