Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Divorce War Stories

As I've said, this is not a blog where I am going to dwell on the particulars of my divorce. All the ugliness really happened quite awhile ago... it just took awhile for the paperwork to catch up. Occasionally, however, something happens that I just have to mention.

The "big day" of the divorce was last Thursday. That night Catie and I went to opening night of a play. (The beauty of it was that her mom, the fabulous Maureen, gave us her comp tickets. Total cost of the evening was under $10.00.) So anyway... after the show we are milling about and talking and sipping red wine. I'm hitting up Mary Jo for a second job House Managing in the fall and basically enjoying being around people I haven't seen in awhile. That's when one of the actresses came up to me and said, "So, how is your lovely husband?"

I burst out laughing. I didn't mean to, but it just took me by complete surprise. Not that I expect everyone to know - I am not that egotistical! It was just that several people that day had commented on my divorce and since theatre is a small town within a small town, it took me by surprise. I explained the situation and I could see by her face she was terribly embarrassed for having asked. I felt bad for Bernie, she was only being sweet. I should have handled the situation a lot more tactfully; I could see my laughter embarrassed her, and I would have if I hadn't been thrown for a loop. As she walked away into the crowd I wanted to find her and pull the foot out of my mouth - but it was already too late.

Why do I bring this up on my blog about finances? Well, I've been thinking a lot about how my ex and I aren't really done with each other. There is still the impending move, utilities to switch over and public confrontations to work our way through. We think when that stamp hits the paper that POOF! everything is done and final, but it isn't really, and debt is kind of like that for me. Twice in the last 5 years I have had my credit cards all completely paid off. I revelled in the zero balances for a good couple of months... and then slowly started using my cards again. I paid them off in full at first, but then somehow balances grew and didn't get paid off this month (thinking, "maybe next, or the one after that for sure.") Currently I have $1,500 in credit card debt.* It is at a low interest rate and I have always paid over the minimum payment on my credit card, and I know compared to many, $1,500 is just a drop in the bucket, but still, it bothers me.

I haven't stopped paying over the minimum even with my goal to get $900 more a month, instead, I have budgeted in the over payment. (I do have on The List to decrease my payment on my card, but this is one of those rock-bottom choices, just slightly above borrowing from mom.) My new super-frugalness will theoretically keep me from putting any more on the card and the over payment will help shrink it down. Like the divorce, this is going to be a long haul, and once it is done - I still am going to be dealing with the aftermath for a time to come. It is the right thing to do, but a long, long ways from being easy.

*Whew... there I said it. Do you have any idea how hard was for me to admit that? To write it down and see it in black and white? UGH! Still, lots of other bloggers are being open about their debt, it is time I am about mine. I was inspired by their courage and the fact that the other night Catie said she was going to ask me for actual numbers when she and I were sitting and talking about all this stuff. I've decided to try to be as open and honest as I can. Perhaps getting rid of some of the shame will help me pull this out of the closet and deal with it like I should.


Cdreher said...

Dawn, that meager $1500 will be gone before you know it!!

passivefamilyincome said...

Good for you Dawn! I think being very open is the best way to talk about finances and living life in general. I wish you all the luck in your goals!

Ralph said...

You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. You're working toward better your financial self. Where you start is a big part about where you'll end up and it only makes for others to understand you situation and try to help.

Dawn said...

Thanks for all the kind words!! It still feels like a huge step - but I am getting there day by day.