Monday, September 22, 2014


All year, every entry in this online journal of mine has expressed some sort of choice I have made.  I remind myself every time I sit down to write that where my money is spent, who I buy for and what I support is purely the product of my own choices. No one tells me how to spend my Fun Dollars. No one is looking over my shoulder to make sure I make "the right decision". It's just me and my own free will taking charge.

Last week, I came close to be told how to spend my Fun Dollars. I made a big deal to Corey about him not wanting to support the school fund raiser because it was with Domino's. "But Carrick's class will get a pizza party if they win!" I was a bit incredulous that Corey wouldn't just buy a pizza and that it had to be with Fun Dollars. In the end, he did order a pizza and said that if I wanted to contribute to half, I was free to do so.

This has happened a handful of times before. (Part of it is me being naive, thinking that going out to eat an extra time is somehow magically part of our family budget.) We would go to a restaurant, enjoy a good meal, and when the bill comes, Corey would say, "Do you have any Fun Dollars?" Seriously? Either he needed to be clearer about financial expectations before we dined out, or I needed to lie and say, "Sorry, all out of Fun Dollars."

Since I am the world's most terrible liar, I wouldn't dream of saying such a thing. After a few times of this happening, though, I wizened up a little bit and started beating him to the punch.

"Want to go to Szechuan tonight?" he would ask.
"I'm not using my Fun Dollars," I would reply.

Sometimes this would work. I would tell him I already had plans for my Fun Dollars that did not include a trip to Szechuan, or wherever he wanted to go for dinner. He would want to go there anyway, and end up paying for the entire meal.

Other times, he would not feel like dishing out enough Fun Dollars to take the whole family out, so we would just stay home and make a nice meal together. It was never a big deal, just the result of both of us being honest about our choices.

After last week, I had $8.00 Fun Dollars left in this pay cycle. I would have $46.00 if I had not chosen to start my Christmas Countdown. No one said I had to pay for part of Christmas this year. But I want to, I choose to. I have dreamed about this all year long, believe it or not. I have had this idea for several years now, but since I didn't have a job until just recently, "my money" was only my Fun Dollars. Last year, I was not mature enough with my relationship with money to spend so generously on other people. So here I am, 9 months into Fun Dollars reporting, perfectly happy and excited to share this gift with others.

So, if all of these purchases are my choice, and no one is telling me "I must spend on Christmas," why the hell was I so jealous of Corey's purchase of Angry Orchard Variety 12 pack????

I fumed inside all afternoon yesterday while Corey sat in the bathtub, sipping endlessly on his crisp hard apple ciders. He offered to split me on them after he bought them, but my last $8.00 couldn't go towards alcohol; that's not what I had planned for my Fun Dollars. He even said I could exchange for the bottles, like give him a foot rub, or a scalp massage. But you know what? My pride and indignation got the better of me. I was furious that he wouldn't just openly share his purchase with me. Why? It was his choice to buy them, and my choice not to contribute.

Sometimes our choices back us into a corner. Sometimes our choices reveal more about us than what we wish to know. Choices are like little mirrors, held up for us to see ourselves more clearly. What do your choices look like? What do you eat? What kind of car do you drive? How clean is your house? How happy is your marriage? Seriously....all of these things are the product of your choices. They are extensions of the things you place value on and give attention to. No one is perfect, but using the choices you've made to examine parts of yourself can be a very powerful tool.

I think the reason I was so angry about Corey and his delicious hard cider, was the fact that I couldn't cheat. I had made the choice to be honest about my spending this year. He made no such commitment. I could easily have given him the $7.00 to pay for my half of the case, but then I wouldn't have as much spending money for my trip to Cottonwood this week. I sold one of the four sand boxes the kids have this weekend, and planned a girl's day out with the rest of my Fun Dollars and the proceeds from the sand box sale. A Girl's Day Out is an experience that I value, more so than a few bottles of Angry Orchard. This was my choice.

In the end, Corey asked me "Are you acting pissy for a reason?" I gushed out with my feelings of jealousy and disappointment that he spent all afternoon on our day off together in the bathtub. He offered me one of his hard cider bottles. That's all I really wanted in the first place. I didn't need half of them, I just wanted to sit on the porch with the man I love, sippin' on some cold hard cider. That's what I chose, and that's what I got.

Domino's Split with Corey- $5.00
Balance this pay cycle- $13.00
Happy Spending!

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite things to do is read this blog...your writing style is very entertaining and honest...I can just feel the cider-less pain! This particular one reminded me to look at my own choices and own them. Thank you!