The writing prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is For Richer or Poorer. I submit the following:
When I said “I do” 35 years ago, I thought I knew what the words “for richer or poorer” would mean. I envisioned that there would be times of belt-tightening and times that we’d have a little left over to go out to dinner. For the most part, my thought process was dead on. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined the ride we have been on for the last 16 months.
We started feeling the weight of the economic crunch over two years ago. My husband’s employer of 22 years needed to move to a larger facility and after a lot of searching in our state, they opted to move south to North Carolina where the cost of living and taxes are lower. Apparently, it’s also less expensive to do business in North Carolina.
So last November, my husband moved south to work. I was to follow after we got our house sold. Then a crazy thing happened the first week he was gone – I was laid off from my job.
Truth be told, for 30 of our 35 years of marriage, I have been the bread winner. If you’re wondering why we decided to move south for his job, it was because he’s older than I am and it would have been harder for him to get a job at his age than me at my age even though it’s only a two year difference. But I also work in technology which makes it easier to find a job. And we often talked of retiring in NC so it seemed logical.
So there he was with a newly rented apartment and here I was with our house and mortgage. We had two utility bills and two grocery bills. There was the prohibitive price of gas as he commuted back and forth most weekends. He didn’t get cable or a land line or satellite TV so we only had our cable and Internet and land line bill up here. I could go on about how bad it was but the reality is, we were way better off than some people.
This year, I am working here in New Jersey and he has returned from his Southern sojourn. He didn’t like that area of NC and the living arrangement was getting to him. He’s out of work now but he’s getting unemployment.
This Christmas was very low key in our home. Really, we’re together so there’s nothing more that we want or need. We have each other and we’re doing ok so far. Honestly, we didn’t even get gifts for one another but the wealth of spirit that I felt this year was overwhelming.