General chatter - Why can't we be rich AND happy?

View Full Version : Why can't we be rich AND happy?

06-01-2009, 12:04 PM
So...Friday I'm in my little barber shop and in walks a guy. I say, "Hi, would you like a haircut?" He was a little chubby and nice looking, but when the smirk started across his face, I'm like, "O....M....G!" It was my old boyfriend from when I was 16 years old!! I have him a big ole hug and we talked for about a half hour. When we were kids, he was a football player and had a really smokin' bod and was sooo cute. We met because he was our landlady's handy man in the place where I spent my summers. One day while he was raking seaweed off the beach, I came down with a glass of lemonade for him and had him hook, line and sinker. We had such a great summer together, but then I went back to Rochester in the fall and we decided to just be friends.

Well, then we graduated from high school and he decided to go to Rochester Institute of Technology for college, which is where I lived then. He honed right in on me and wanted to date me again...which I did for about a couple weeks. OMG...although he was still a perfectly nice guy, I guess I had changed a lot. All the things about him that I was so infatuated with when we were sixteen had turned into a total annoyance. But looking back, these are the things that annoyed me...for starters, he called everyone in the Rochester phone book to see if they were relatives of his. Who does that? We went to a restaurant and he got out of his car to be sure it was even on both sides when he parked the car...and got back in to re-park the car because it wasn't even...twice! These were just a few things, but he had just become SO ANNOYING!! spite of his best efforts to actually get me to marry him, I refused and insisted on us just being friends. He ended up marrying another really nice girl and they're still married today and have two small kids and live in CT. He has a REALLY great job for Lever Bros. and drives a friggen MERCEDES!!! I'm really happy for him and don't regret not marrying him because, in the end, I always knew he would be largely successful and whoever married him would be very lucky, but I just couldn't stomach his dorkiness!!

And then there's my life today. I married my true solemate. He is absolutely the person I was supposed to be with. He's a tad grumpy, but I love him and can't imagine life without him. On the other hand, financially, life is drastic. After being laid off three times in two years, my husband had to take a job that pays 15K less than the original job he had and our debt to income ratio had become so bad that we ended up going bankrupt earlier this year. Today is my grocery shopping day and I'm home cleaning because we, literally, don't have money for groceries. We have no retirement. My kids have no college funds set up. We are paycheck to paycheck and flat broke. It sucks.

So, in spite of the fact that I love my husband and would rather be poor with him than rich with anyone else, I am left with the question...

Why can't we be happy AND rich? It's maddening!! I know that life with the old boyfriend would have been him catering to my every need and he's truly a great guy and I start to wonder...If I had married him, would I have gotten over his annoyingness? Would I have eventually been happy with him AND rich? I hate myself for even thinking it, but it keeps creeping into my mind. Or would I have been in a loveless marriage with lots of money? I have always tried hard to look at what's real and keep money OUT of the equation when making decisions of the heart.

I look at my two kids and remember the pictures he showed me of his kids and know that there are four real reasons out there that things turned out the way they did...but (insert praying hands here) God...can't I just have a little money? I promise I won't become spoiled rotten!!!

Okay...rant over from my horrible kitchen with the ugly metal cupboards and awful countertops that were probably installed in the 1940's that we can't afford to have replaced!! Thinking of the kitchen I might have if I'd married my old boyfriend with the mercedes!! :mad: (note to self...I'm thinking the kitchen, not the guy...)

06-01-2009, 12:57 PM

I think when so many of us are going through really hard times right now we do think if the grass would be greener on the other side. :(

06-01-2009, 01:01 PM
I thought this was going to be a rant against the rich and thin thing :dizzy:

Anyway, believe me, he would only have gotten MORE MORE MORE annoying.

Besides, for all you know, he's living beyond his means and about to find himself in the same means as you.

06-01-2009, 03:01 PM
I was going to say, he could definitely be living beyond his means. IMHO, Mercedes are show piece cars and cars generally people buy them to be showy. (I personally like the look of Mercedes but wouldn't ever buy one unless they change drastically)

We all obviously follow our own paths in life and who knows what life holds for you in the future? My mom often talks about the tough times when she first got married and lived in someone's garage (paid rent to do so), my dad had to hitchhike to work, they ate lots of beans and not much else, etc etc. Years later, my mom's life is a lot different including home ownership, ability to go vacation and although not rich, a much happier life.

06-01-2009, 04:42 PM
I like to define RICH as "full of life, friends, and experiences". Others define it as "having lots of stuff".
Well, stuff comes and goes, but your experiences, friends and family are there forever. In 5 years, he won't even remember that Mercedes, but you will remember how you and your DH stuck it through, and THAT experience makes you RICH with character, love, perseverance, and strength...


NorCal Jen
06-01-2009, 04:50 PM
I hear you techwife. I'm with the man that makes me utterly happy and content and we live paycheck to paycheck. He is currently unemployed and hasn't been able to get a job for about 8 months due to this stinking economy. He's now got a court date for back child support that he can't pay so may end up going to jail for it and it scares the crap outta me.

I understand what you're saying. Just give me enough money to take care of the debt, put a little away and be able to enjoy the rest of our riches. We are happy and good people who just want that little bit of karma to kick in.

Keep your head up and moving forward. It's the only way to go. Good luck!

06-01-2009, 04:52 PM
Maybe this is going to sound silly, but I went to go see the Pixar movie "UP" the other day with my husband (p.s., if you go, do yourself a favor and bring tissues). Anyways, the underlying theme of the movie was basically that stuff is just that... it's stuff. One of the lines in the movie that stuck out to me was this:

"I think the most boring moments, are actually the ones that I remember the most"

And I think it's true. My husband and I have already had major ups and downs with money, and we've only been married 2 years. But, I can tell you, some of my favorite memories we've made are the ones that came about because we had no money... we had to get "creative" to keep ourselves entertained (picnics in the living room, anyone?) Making the most out of every moment doesn't require money... maybe just a little creativity.

06-01-2009, 05:06 PM
I hear you techwife. I'm with the man that makes me utterly happy and content and we live paycheck to paycheck. He is currently unemployed and hasn't been able to get a job for about 8 months due to this stinking economy. He's now got a court date for back child support that he can't pay so may end up going to jail for it and it scares the crap outta me.

I understand what you're saying. Just give me enough money to take care of the debt, put a little away and be able to enjoy the rest of our riches. We are happy and good people who just want that little bit of karma to kick in.

Keep your head up and moving forward. It's the only way to go. Good luck!

Jen: You and I should do lunch sometime. ;)

Speaking of Karma...You know, I'm the type of person that back when my daughter was little and it was just the two of us living in my gramma's living room because we were basically homeless if it weren't for gramma, I bought my daughter an Easter dress at Kmart, amongst a few other items. I paid for my things and thought, geez, that was cheap! I got my stuff to the car, checked the receipt and realized they hadn't charged me for the dress. So, I took the receipt back with the dress and asked to pay for it. I know money can't buy happiness, but poverty doesn't do a whole lot for it, either. :^:

I know I have loads of things in my life to be happy for...and I AM happy for them. Its know... And I'm happy for my old boyfriend that he has his mercedes. I remember when we were 16, he was upset and started crying because his parents were fighting. His parents got married because his mom got pregnant for him and they weren't even dating...they were at a party, got drunk and had sex and he felt every time his parents fought it was his fault, that if it weren't for him, his parents wouldn't have even gotten together and would probably be happy elsewhere. His parents were SO poor and had such a teeny house that Jeff didn't even have a bedroom. His bed was at the top of the stairs in the hallway with a lamp next to it and his boom box. His four brothers and sisters ended up with the bedrooms. But, you know, his parents are still together and, in fact, his father is dying of lung cancer and that's why he's here at the help his mother with his father. Anyhow, he ended up putting himself through college and is where he's at because he refused to be as poor as his parents and wanted to provide well for his children. I'm actually proud of him with his mercedes because I remember him always saying when we were young that 'someday...I'm gonna have a mercedes....' and doggonnit...he did it!

Anyhow, I'm further peeved because my husband just called to tell me he bought our son some Leggos and I'm like, "So, we don't have money for groceries, but we have money for LEGGOS!?!?!!? Gawd!! He said, "Well, you said you weren't going shopping, so I forgot to tell you we had an extra $50. PEEVED!! I TELL YOU .... PEEVED!!!

06-01-2009, 05:07 PM
I'm with Julie. The small annoyances would probably have become huge over time. Also, ditto to what Nelie said about people living beyond their means. For so long, I always wondered why other people had cool stuff like boats, new cars, new furniture, and fancy vacations but I didn't. I thought maybe I wasn't managing my money as well as they were. I slowly discovered that many of them had MUCH higher credit card and loan balances than I would ever be comfortable with. So while the Mercedes is nice, he may or may not even own the silly thing--lots of people lease them.

It sounds like you married the right guy. Remember, your financial fortune could turn around but even if it doesn't, you are married to someone who doesn't bug you. That is worth more than you might think! :)

06-01-2009, 05:22 PM
If he hasn't given your son the legos I say take them back- he won't miss them if he didn't know about them.

That's how my hubby can be at times- money is tight YET he wants to spend $200 on a costume! I'm like uhhh hello broke here?! Credit card debt here? medical bills? Car Insurance?!

06-01-2009, 05:47 PM
I would say take the legos back as well. Obviously it is an issue you need to discuss with your husband but I can't quite grasp the mentality of 'hey we have $50, let's spend it!'

I had a friend who had similar issues with her husband in that he would spend money they didn't have. He even decided at one point he didn't want to work so he quit his job despite having bills to pay. She wasn't a saint with her spending habits either though. They almost got evicted multiple times because of spending money they didn't have.

06-02-2009, 12:42 AM
What I want to know is why a guy that drives a Mercedes is getting a haircut in a barbershop with a pole out front.

Oh, wait a minute....a :smoking::flame::chicken: works there ;)

Your feelings are normal...

Let the boy (and dad) enjoy the Leggos....

Pick out something about your DH you absolutely adore and focus on that for awhile instead of the "what ifs"

Don't allow this economy to determine who you or your husband are or your marriage....

Many people will experience situations they never dreamed possible....

Go high stick someone if it makes you feel better ;)

06-02-2009, 08:37 AM
Well, thanks, everyone. I feel better today. Last night I had to take my daughter to a doctor's appointment and had a good long sob in the KFC drive thru. Of course, the KFC peeps think I'm insane, but I don't really care. After the good sobbing, I remembered all the annoying things old boyfriend did and, although he is still one of my favorite people, it NEVER would have worked out between us and I know that. I began to realize the only reason I was even feeling like I was is because he has a lot of money and that is the opposite of how I think. One of us would have died by my hands by now if I'd have married him... Love him, but could never, ever live with him.

As for my husband and the leggos...they were already put together by the time I got home. I'm back to my normal "its only money" attitude. May is over...PRAISE BE!!...May is a financially turmultuous month for us every year and now that its over we can recover slightly.

I'm thinking of closing my barber shop. Really. If I'm going to be out of the house all day, I need to be bringing home a paycheck and we really need the money. I love the barber shop because it's three blocks from my house and I can make my own hours and I have a nice kitchen/living room for the kids to hang out in if they want to come be with me when they're not in school. BUT, I make barely any money after I pay the bills that are incurred there. Rent, electricity (which can get up to $200 a month in the winters! :fr: ), phone, insurance and supplies are draining me. I'm lucky to have a little grocery money at the end of the week. The money I'm bringing home, I could make house calls on a fraction of my customers and make more money in much less time. Or get a job with a paycheck and be done with it.

Its just my luck, though, that in a month that has especially trying for my hubby and I, an old boyfriend drives up in his friggen mercedes!! The problems I have with my hubby, I'm sure would not exist with that one, but I'm positive that other problems would exist in their place.

My husband is my best friend ever and, like I said, I'd much rather be poor with him than rich with anyone else. It's just been frustrating and stressful lately.

Gary: Hockey sticks are VERY therapeutic. For my daughter's birthday, I got her a Hannah Montana pinata (she hates her....or strongly dislikes her) and let her have at it with her new sycho stick (hockey stick). I have to say, for a few seconds I was scared of my own daughter. But it was fun to watch. I think I need my own pinata. ;)

Thanks for listening to my gripe and for the kind words. I knew I could count on you guys to make me feel better.

God Bless!!


06-02-2009, 05:38 PM
Here's my advice:
1. Close the barbershop. I can see how the barbershop makes you happy (setting your own hours, etc.) but in the end is it really making you happy? If you don't have money for groceries, that is stressful. You could probably work another job and bring home a good paycheck so you wouldn't have to worry about groceries and bills so much. That is real happiness. Sometimes you just have to realize a bad investment and cut your losses.
2. Get you and hubby on the same page financially. Have a weekly meeting and discuss every cent that was spent that week and why. If you can't buy groceries you cannot buy leggos. I would be outraged if my hubby did that. I know your kids are important and you want them to have nice things, but you must prioritize financially.

I'm not a financial expert, but I am a girl who got out of debt and became "rich".