Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reality Blast

It was with much resistance this morning that I met with the real estate this morning and received the bad news, which was that our house was worth much less than I imagined. The economy has taken dive after dive and the house values keep sinking. She was insistent that we price our house lower than other like houses to ensure a quick sale. She is the expert, so I must defer to her, but I could not sign the papers. They remain on the dining room table. I dare not look.

Added to my ambivalence, this disappointing information makes it more difficult to move forward. I am paralyzed when I see the piles of clothes and books and clothes that litter the rooms on the second floor. I remind myself that the work must be done whether we sell or rent.

I made very little profit on my last house. I moved just after the tragedy of 9-11, and the country was in a state of fear and houses were not moving then. Again, I am selling when the market is depressed. Of course, many people are losing their homes, jobs, retirements, hopes and dreams, so missing out on a profit is not the worst that could happen. Eric shrugs his shoulders. It is what it is. I have never made money without working for it. No great investments, no bonuses, nothing but an hourly wage, every penny worked for. So be it.

Eric keeps bringing me back to reality. We will live on half his income next year. I cannot imagine that, because with my income, we make more than six times what we will live on next year. I have no idea how to live with such limitations. In a way, I am looking forward to the challenge, and we will be living in a country where the cost of living is significantly less than here, but not six times less. Part of the adventure is simply making this adjustment and learning to live with less and appreciating the experience. I don't believe Eric has much faith in me, he is clearly worried. I wonder what he thinks will happen.

Another part of the reality is that for the first time since I was 16 or so and began working for money, I have been accustomed to the freedom of earning for myself. When I have felt the need or the wish, I have been able to go to the bank and withdraw whatever I have wanted from my stash. For the first time, I will be entirely dependent on someone else to provide for me. What will it be like to ask for money for food, or a coffee, or for underwear, or for face cream or shampoo or for a pedicure? It will be an entirely new experience.

This will change the dynamics between Eric and me. I will be dependent on him for my survival. Will that make us unequal? Will I be his subordinate? Will it make me crazy? Will I be resentful, angry, stepped on, powerless?

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