Tag Archives: boyfriend

Feeling Lucky in Love

When you grow up with “everything” in terms of material possessions and funded hobbies up to the wazzoo, your mental health issues such as depression are thought to be pure youth melodramatics. But in my ripe old-ish age of 31, I’ve found what I was missing and didn’t know I wanted. I found this thing they call love. And like the many songs that have been written about how people search for love in all the wrong places and shapes and sizes only to find it isn’t what they expected at all, here I am, a girl who thought she could never find true love, knee deep in the definition of it.

Oh, he isn’t perfect, and I never expected perfection out of another human being. But both of us lacking parents with the ability to love in our childhood have found that we can pour out all this love we have to give, our sensitive souls smiling with each instant cuddling on the couch or waking up in each other’s arms. He’s turned me into a total softie. He’s taught me that the hollow space inside my heart doesn’t need to be filled temporarily with material possessions – that I could easily be happy living the rest of my life in a relatively small space with few items, if only I would be guaranteed the opportunity to spend that time with him, being terribly silly, immaturely mischievous, and at the same time spiritually whole in the glow of his calming, zen-like attitude towards the world which combats my east coast leather-like psyche turning it into mushy clay.

But having him in my life also makes me unclear of what I want, because just 10 years ago I could only be striving for some sort of “success,” which merely meant a story my parents could brag about to their friends and our family. I didn’t have anything I really wanted. Fame, sure, but even my lust for fame was fleeting when I realized I didn’t actually like being the center of attention, I just liked not being alone. So as this love of mine developed over the past decade I started to find myself and she wasn’t who I thought she was at all, for good and bad. She was a lot less ambitious. She cared less about being smart or rich or even beautiful. She suddenly wanted a life of stability over a life of restless leaping from story to story until her final breath. After running for so long all she wanted to do was stop and fall into loving arms. And that she did.

I like to work and to be creative and help create projects as part of a team, so I’m not aspiring to leave the workforce anytime soon. I just don’t care as much about wealth as I used to. I’d like financial security, to know I can stop work when I have kids and spend time with them if I want to; to be able to have choices. But I don’t need a giant house (thank goodness because unless I’m ultra rich there is no way to afford one here) and I certainly don’t need new cars or fancy clothes. Even my vacations tend to be more on the budget side, within reason, because I feel uncomfortable in any environment that is slightly luxurious.

All I want right now, and the me of 10 years ago couldn’t believe I’m saying this, but all I want right now is a family of my own. I want to have kids, I’m sure of it, and I want to be a mother who tries her best to be a good mother and friend to her children. I want a house big enough where I can go into another room to have alone time but not so big that it has extra space to fill with crap collected throughout the years. I appreciate interior design and aesthetics but I lean much more to simplicity than I did in the past. I may be splurging on face creams to deal with my starting-to-age skin, but beyond that, I don’t really have anything I spend on. I’m so busy working there isn’t time to shop or take fancy trips anyway, which is fine by me.

So love really changes a person… I know first hand. I see how my parents, never able to love, instead continue to try to find completeness in buying lots of stuff. My father — his collections of often not-so-great art, baseball figurines, books, DVDs, et al, filling up the house; and my mother, clothes and more clothes and then random contraptions QVC convinced her to buy. Stuff. So much stuff.

Relatedly, my dad called me the other day while I was at work – I picked up as my dad NEVER calls me so when he does I figure something bad happened so I should pick up. No, I forgot, the other reason he calls (it has happened once before that I can remember) is when my general region is on the news and he worries about me. Last time, years ago, it was because there was a very low tsunami risk on the California coast. This time it was the rain storm that was causing a little bit of flooding. I told him I was fine and I had to go, but he kept talking, because he doesn’t really care that I was at work or had to go, and he started telling me that he’s going to go ahead with the purchase of a winter home in Florida… which is fine by me, they can do what they want, but again, they just keep buying stuff, I don’t think any of it makes them happy, and it’s sad but they’ll never be happy because they’ll never know love. They can’t. They’re two narcissists who only can love themselves in a twisted sort of way.

But here I am, 31 years old, and I have this guy in my life who loves me for who I am. He’s been there through thick and thin. Literally picking me up from jail (after my first-ever and last-ever DUI.) Holding me through losing my jobs and being there as I moped through periods of unemployment until the next opportunity came around. He’s just this rock, this smiling, beautiful, charming, unlike anyone else in the world rock. It’s not that I can picture spending the rest of my life with him – it’s that I cannot picture “not” spending the rest of my life with him. We’re together now, the way couples are together, but I didn’t think that was something that I could ever be a part of. I thought that was reserved for people who were more mentally balanced, people who deserved such love. Yet I found it. And it’s worth more than anything money could buy. And for that, I’m forever grateful.

 

Helping My Boyfriend Get Ahead with Career Advice

As I mentioned in many previous posts, my boyfriend of 6+ years is unemployed. He’s unemployed for numerous reasons, none of them being talent and intellect. He is just stuck, and needs a little unsticking. I know that everyone says you can’t change a man, but I’m not trying to change him, I’m trying to help lift him out of the quicksand and onto his own two feet.

We had a very good and frank discussion today about money. He said that while he doesn’t like the concept of money, he accepts that to do anything and have power in this country you need money, and he’s willing to work hard to earn it. I’ve compiled a new fresh resume for him based on my learnings from job searching, and quickly found out how much I know about career searching versus the average person. I’m glad I can answer all of his questions about what to write in a cover letter and what job sites provide quality listings. Continue reading

The Forcing Function to Growing Up

It may be that I’m drawn to my boyfriend because of his chronic depression. He is sweet, loving, and has no instincts to obtain more than what he has. He doesn’t judge me for my failures and he doesn’t overly reward me for my successes. I know that he’ll love me whether I’m a CEO or unemployed all the same.

But what is so challenging is that there’s only so much fantasy world one can take. Reality requires couples to work together if they want to have a family. His living in a shed of sorts on his grandparents property at 30 years old would make any other woman run for the hills. The housing situation doesn’t bother me much anymore, but the lack of motivation, and the lack of ability to take action does. I know that he just needs to take action to snap out of his depression, as I’m the same way, but I’m the type that will do something to try to change my situation where he’ll just get stuck until a forcing function to change arises.

Tomorrow, a social worker is visiting his home to determine if the living situation is adequate for his 85-year-old grandmother and 92-year-old grandfather. The house is a mess, but due to their own oddities and hoarding behavior. This isn’t something that they started in their senior years, they’ve always been this way. Nonetheless, it’s unclear if the social worker will believe this or if they will say the conditions are unfit for elders. If so, it may be time for him – and his mother – to move out. Continue reading

Relationship & Life Next Steps: Moving in Together

I’m 28 and this March my boyfriend of 6+ years will turn 30. Even though I’m quite content with my current arrangement — living with two roommates and paying $650 a month in rent, while my bf lives at home in the back of his grandparents/mothers house.

But I’m also wondering, what’s next?

I’m ready to take the next step and move in with my boyfriend, and he’s ready to move in with me, minus the logistics. My rent situation right now is financially smart, and he’s not even paying rent (which works since he’s working PT and quitting soon.)

Looking at our options:

Stay in our current situation until we get married: Rent will stay $650 / month for a while, my landlord rarely increases rent and I just had a $15 / mo increase. Probably the smartest move. We’ll move in together in 2013/2014 after we get married.

Rent a 1br Apartment: This will likely cost $1600 – $2000 / month. Even split between the two of us, that’s $800 / mo at the very cheapest, more likely $1000 / mo for each of us.

Buy a 1br Condo: $600k? It’s hard to figure out the exact costs of owning a 1br condo, but it seems like this will end up being quite a bit more than renting given HOA, taxes, and other fees.

Buy a house w/ an in-law: My bf’s parents currently do not own property. His mom lives in her parents house, and his father rents an in-law. His mother could feasibly help us out with a downpayment, and his parents could live in an in-law on our property and pay us rent.

Still, the best plan seems to be to stay in my current living situation. Paying $650 a month in rent means I can possibly save $50k per year. The second my living situation changes, my hope of saving $250k by 30 disappears. The house I want to buy when I have a family will likely be $1.5M, and my bf currently has $0 in savings, so it’s up to me to be able to afford that. If I can get to $500k in savings by 35, maybe I can buy a $1.5M house. I’m not sure if that’s enough, and I’m also not sure I can get to $250M in savings by 35 — I think if I spend the next seven years living with roommates, not with my boyfriend, I could do this. But that’s a long time, and I really want to start living my adult life with my boyfriend in our own place, so we can invite friends over for dinner and such, and so I can stay with him and not have to worry about not having my things and having to run home before going to work in the morning.

Meanwhile, if I save $500k by 35, I’ll be able to buy my (nice) childhood home outright in New Jersey! It’s crazy how cheap the housing is there.

Childhood Neglect or Frugality?

Last night, my boyfriend and I went to his cousin’s birthday party. He loves watching healthy families in action. While I knew his childhood wasn’t filled with much expense, I never truely understood just how his mother’s frugality led to him being neglected a child. But then he flat out said that he’d prefer his childhood to mine anyday, and I questioned how neglected he was, and where a parent crosses the line of being frugal too far.

This comes after my spending yesterday reading blogs about early retirement, like Early Retirement Extreme, and all about extreme frugality. After managing to get through Bloomingdales and make a return without shopping, I felt good about resisting consumerism (specificially, shiny things for sale.) I kept thinking about how awful stores are, especially trends and making you want to buy things that look new and stylish. So when I talked to my boyfriend last night, it just felt like such a contrast, and I understood why he’s not lured by shopping malls the same way I am.

Was my boyfriend neglected as a child? I know a lot of people grow up without money and their parents make due, but that’s not quite what his situation was. His mother has always worked, but she refuses to spend money beyond her thrift store splurges. She never left her parents house, and that is where my boyfriend grew up. The house itself is in a very nice area and the family owns a lot of land for this part of California. However, the place is a wreck. His Grandparents are hoarders of the Depression era, and often when I visit the house it seems like they live in a movie. They keep stale bread in the otherwise unusable oven, gather empty soup cans, collect broken bikes, etc.

His mother, who never married his father, lived with her parents, so my boyfriend lived with her parents (and still does, though now he at least has a separate one-room structure out back). He never had his own bedroom, in fact he slept on the floor on a mat with his mother until he was 12 or 13, as he recalls, and then eventually moved into the living room, where he slept on the couch.

As far as food and clothes go, he ate very poorly — bread and toast, most often, and occasionally fast food. His clothes were all from thrift stores, which that alone is fine, but they were not nice, which made him more of an outcast at school. Also, as an only child, he grew up like this with no one else to talk to. His dad lived nearby in an apartment when he was young, but then moved away. His parents still get along (hey, that’s better than my still-married parents who hate each other). His dad is a whole other frugal story which I’ll get to one day, but now I’m just wondering if my boyfriend was neglected as a child, or if his family is just — extreme frugal.

His mom has saved up a lot of money over the years. I don’t know how much, but it’s enough to put my boyfriend through college and grad school, and likely buy a home outright when her parents pass and the current house needs to be sold and split up among their children.

On one hand, I think it’s pretty awesome that she could save so much through the years. She takes vacations on occasion to National Parks and goes camping, she doesn’t do anything consumer except shop for groceries at discount grocers. She has saved plenty of money for retirement and then some. She hasn’t worked the best paying job, but she had a decent job that she’s held on to for years. She’s miserable, depressed, hates living with her crazy parents, hates her job, but that’s just what she does. She can’t deal with change, so that’s the way it is.

Apparently one day a long time ago the neighbors called the cops on the family for child neglect. They saw the Grandmother picking food out of a trash can at the park or something and thought she was going to feed it to the child of the house. So the cops came and looked around. I’m surprised they didn’t find evidence of neglect. My bf spoke to them and eventually they went away.

So now my boyfriend has grown up with a very, very different idea of money than me. It’s good… in that I like dating someone who doesn’t value money as the be all end all of happiness. On the other hand, that was MY life growing up. It’s hard to just switch to extreme frugality. Luckily for me, my boyfriend understands that its important to spend on some things — healthy food, decent clothes, occasional vacations, etc. I couldn’t be with someone any more frugal than that.

It just makes me sad to think of how neglected he was as a child. He was definitely an “accident” and it seems like he was treated as such growing up. Now he’s got a slew of mental issues — very unique ones — involving socialization and relationships. No shit. I love him to death. Sometimes it drives me nuts how abnormal he is but I couldn’t be with anyone normal, so I think we’re a great match for each other.

I just wish for him that he’ll get his act together and apply to grad school and get out of that house. He’s 27 now, and he still lives at home. That’s fairly normal for this area, but when you’re in an environment like that, I think it’s just unhealthy. He still has to go in the main cluttered house for the kitchen, the bathroom, etc. But maybe I’m just spoiled and have no idea what it’s like to live when it’s bad. He has electricity (though he’s not allowed to use it much) and running water and he eats when he wants. At least he has that.

Boyfriend’s Birthday Gift… Late, and $100 Cheaper

This year I wanted to get my boyfriend something special for his birthday this year. He has been mentioning how much he wants a guitar every other second, so I figured that would be a good, useful gift to get him. But I know nothing about guitars. My only requirements were that it had to be electric and blue, and cost anywhere from $300 to $600.

With a little research I learned that decent guitars start out at $1200 (Fender American Strat) but as much as I love my boyfriend, I wasn’t going to spend that much on his birthday gift. Instead, I did a little more research. I didn’t want to buy him a crappo guitar, so I figured I’d spend $700 at most if I could find something decent.

That led me to the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus. Knowing nothing of the difference between Gibsons and Fenders, other than the name, the price and reviews seemed right. I looked for it online and found it for $650 w/ free shipping and a one year warranty. I was sold. So I ordered it.

Something went wrong with my order and I’m glad it did. When I went back to reorder it, I found they put it on sale and it was $100 cheaper. Their loss, my gain. Spending $550 was much better than the original $650 pricetag.

The guitar is scheduled to arrive anyday now, but I’m worried I made a stupid move in buying such a pricey gift that may or may not be a good guitar for him. Granted, he’s never played guitar before, but a guitar is such a personal thing and he really should go shopping for one. But he didn’t want another gift certificate (how boring) and wanted to be surprised with an actual gift. I also didn’t get him a Christmas gift so I could save up for a bigger gift for his birthday. And I’m sure he’ll love it as far as concept and overall open impact goes, but the guitar may not be right for him.

I think I should have went with the Fender, even though it’s like, double the price. He’s more of a classic rock kind of guy and upon watching some videos on YouTube about the Fender versus Gibson/ Epiphone, the Fender sounds right for him. Ugh. Well, I guess we can return it (shipping it back will be a bitch though) and he can trade up to the Fender if he wants.

Do any of you know about guitars? Is the Ephiphone Les Paul Standard Plus a decent purchase for a newbie player who likes 60s rock?


Type rest of the post here

My Boyfriend’s Birthday is Coming Up…

And I’m at a loss for what to get him.

The good news is that with the raise, I’ll be able to spend a decent sum of money on his gift without feeling like the expenditure is a completely irrational budget departure.

The bad news is that my raise won’t kick in until March 20, a few weeks after his birthday. I get paid once a month, fyi. I will get one more paycheck before his birthday for $3300. But $1050 of that has to go to rent, and $600 must go to my “for tax” ING account. That still leave me with about $1500 for the month. Even with my various bills, I could try to keep spending down really low and figure his birthday gift is worth more than any splurges I might partake in over the month.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that I still don’t know WHAT to get him.

I feel like I need to get him something amazing. I totally flaked on Valentine’s Day this year and got him, well, nothing. For Christmas I gave him a $100 gift certificate to a rollerblading store so he could buy a pair of Blades (he did and he seems to like them).

How do I get him something better than last year’s gift? Last year, I got him a Nintendo Wii. Without spending a zillion dollars, well, what do I get the boy?

He’s gotten me such great gifts over our dating tenure. An ipod nano and a Wacom digital drawing tablet. He got me a smaller gift for Hannukah… a food scale… I figure it cost $30 or something. But for Valentine’s Day he bought food for a home cooked dinner… fish and champagne. Again, I got him noting. Absolutely nothing.

So what do I get him this year? I have less than a month to figure this out. I love him more than anything and I know he’d be fine with me getting him dirt in the shape of a heart, but I want to give him more than that. I want to get him something he wouldn’t normally buy for himself. But what would that be? He’s so hard to shop for.

What do nerdy boys like?