Grouchy McGrumpleskin


January 22, 2009 by 8junebugs

I’m in a strange mood these days, and not a particularly talkative one. I think I’m in that curious place between Christmas and the first blooms of Spring, where the holiday cheer no longer takes the ice out of the wind and the road ahead looks long and less certain that I’d like.

I’ve got some of the achy symptoms of a cold that won’t commit and won’t go away. Runny nose, but on the overblown side of cold-weather runny. A dry cough, here and there, enough to make colleagues ask if I’m okay. And general lethargy, as if all the cells in my body are fighting off a bug and would appreciate a little lie-down around midday.

I have also selected this moment in time to declare war on adult acne, using the Proactive system for combination skin to Fight The Cause Of Acne! and all that garbage. The result is that my oily T-zone is clearing up and my not-at-all-oily cheeks are screaming for moisture. They are painfully, flakily dry, and I’ve started carrying the Oil-Free Moisturizer in my purse so I can smile without cracking my face into a million tiny pieces.

I am following the system, but I am not convinced.

Estate matters are proceeding apace, I suppose. All the paperwork is in to list and sell the house, but it is January in Vermont. Our realtor says people are out and looking because the interest rates are so low — she is encouraged and feels we’ve priced the house fairly in a range where people are buying, so… We’ll see. Everything hinges on the sale of the house, though, including my budget. Although I am extremely thankful that I work for a company that can still afford annual bonuses, at least for 2008, I’m a little cranky that I need to set it aside to cover estate crap until the house sells. I know it will come back out of the sale of the house, as will the other expenses I’ve covered. But this was to be the first bonus I could spend or save as I chose, and deferring that small joy makes me cranky.

I’ve had to adjust my budget due to my single tax status taking effect, as well. I’ve managed my finances to the point that the hit isn’t that painful — I can pay all of my bills and still save a little more than 10%, and supporting one lifestyle with a weakness for cheese and wine on my income is still more manageable than supporting two disparate lifestyles on two incomes.

If that makes sense.

But I won’t lie to you — losing $270 a month to taxes just because I am no longer married chaps my ass. Financially, I got nailed coming and going in this deal, and I am not impressed. Most days, I choose to view it positively — finances prevent many women, in particular, from leaving a bad marriage, and I am fortunate to have the assets and income I do at this particular time in my life.

Seriously, though, almost $300 a month? Jesus. Someone needs to explain to me why that’s legal. Or tell me how to fix it without buying a house or giving birth to a mewling little tax deduction.

(I kid, I kid…I wouldn’t mind a kid. At all. But, while there’s never a perfect time to have a baby, there are perfectly imperfect times, and living 2,500 miles from the other parent is close to the top of that list, just under “in high school,” “in college,” and “as soon as your mother says she’s ready to be a grandmother.”)


2 thoughts on “Grouchy McGrumpleskin

  1. Samuel K says:

    Hello Jennifer, it’s been a VERY long time since we’ve last spoken hasn’t it? Well, blast from the past (long ago, AU past, the real glory days). I was just doing some prep for work and just happened to come by your blog by accident! Nice to hear you having the same old witty repartee that I do so remember. Would be nice to catch up with you sometime, so here is my email address again in case: (yes, I still do have this one–i’m a sentimentalist at heart).

  2. Flip-Flop says:

    Dude, if anyone gets a pass on being Grouchy McGrumpleskin this year its you.

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