Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | April 5, 2010

It’s been a weird, weird week

This past week did not go as expected.

Penny and I have been heading toward not only divorce, but declaring bankruptcy. It turns out, with the recent (temporary) job I just took (that ends in June), we are now out of contention for being able to declare bankruptcy, at least for now.

This doesn’t mean that we are suddenly solvent. Au contraire. We are caught in one of those Catch-22s that a lot of people find themselves ensnared by; can’t afford to pass up the job, but can’t afford to take it. It’s all okay, though. If the job were to be extended (not impossible, even if it’s not likely), I (and by extension, we) would eventually be able to become solvent… assuming we can also short sell the house, etc. And if the job goes away on schedule, we’ll still have had some time to at least accrue some cash reserves for putting deposits on our respective apartments, etc.

Still. It’s been a weird week to wrap my head around the notion that making this kind of money is actually going to postpone my getting back on my feet financially. Thems the breaks.

In the meantime, my birthday came and went. I got a card from my mother-in-law that is, in a word, priceless.

First, some background that makes the irony even richer:

Penny has several siblings. Three of them. She is the oldest (as am I), but was the second to get married (as was I). Eventually, she and all of her sibs were married. As I may have mentioned here recently, the first of her sibs to marry recently became the first of her sibs to divorce. Since we were en route to divorce even as that became public, I figured that meant that her generation of her family would likely divorce in the order they married.

Not so.

We just found out that her most recent sib to marry is now in the process of getting divorced, as well. Given that we are getting divorced, that means only one of her sibs is likely to still be married by the end of this year (as far as we know). There is some humor there: her family doesn’t like that particular spouse, has written that spouse off as flaky, and isn’t it funny that not only is that the only marriage likely to see 2011, but they will also likely be the only couple of this group who will own a home in 2011 (as each of the rest of us is losing our homes as part of the consequences of divorce).

But you see, Penny hasn’t told anyone in her family that we are divorcing. They don’t know. For a while, I thought they certainly must know, or at least suspect, but no. Penny keeps herself to herself. And if there was ever any doubt, the birthday card I received from her mother put a nail in that coffin:

Card Front: “Happy Birthday Son-in-Law — We sure didn’t make a mistake letting you in the family…”

Card Inside: “Nope, you have no one to blame but yourself!”

(signed “Love, Mom & Dad”)

Now, they all know I prefer humorous cards, so this kind of card makes perfect sense under just about any other circumstance. But the kicker is the way the card closes.

Card Back: “And don’t think we’re letting you OUT of this family!”

I made the mistake of laughing at that and commenting on the irony of the card. Penny may have looked at the card at that point… I don’t know for sure, but she was in a bit of an somber mood for a little while.

While my birthday’s passage was generally miserable (more because of my work schedule and my headaches than anything else), I’m also sad to report that I did not do anything noteworthy on April Fool’s Day… a day that I used to flat out own. [sigh]

This past week also included me starting the search for apartments. Blech. Double blech. It’s a harsh reality, but two apartments large enough to accommodate a single parent and three kids each will cost more than the single mortgage payment we would otherwise be paying.

You know, with my new gig (however temporary it may be) and with business improving (as it has been) for the business we co-own, if we were to stay together, there’s no doubt that we could get our financial house back in order pretty quickly. But we’re not staying married for the kids, and we sure as hell are not staying married for the house.

And so, life goes on. I resume my daily contract gig bright and early Monday morning (the return of my insomnia notwithstanding), and this coming week is going to be all about figuring out our 2009 taxes. Triple blech. We’re going to owe a lot of money. There’s another reason the new gig is a boon.

But in addition to working for my contract gig and working for the IRS, this week has two other very large Things To Do on my Things To Do list:

1) continue to apartment hunt, and

2) draft the divorce paperwork.



  1. Yeah. I don’t miss the awkward cards from the ex’s family. I don’t miss the family either. That in and of itself should have been an indicator the relationship was NEVER going to work.

    Good luck completing your list. Mine keeps growing. Every time I turn around it feels like I’m back to the drawing board. 😉

    Miss you much!

  2. Agree with Nicki on the not missing the ex-in-laws! Cheers to that on my part too – and uh, that card just oozes irony!! Wow. I didn’t realize Penny didn’t tell her family yet. Interesting. though you have some mountains ahead of you, you are tackling them head-on, and that’s the best way to do it, rather than try to side step them, in my opinion. Good job, my friend, keep it up!

  3. Good luck to you this week. It sounds like you have a lot of weighty things on that plate.

  4. I don’t read here as often as I would like to, I admit.

    Yet, I can say with honesty that it did not surprise me that Penny has not told her family. Maybe it makes it all a bit TOO real for her.

    I hope this week brings better things my friend.


  5. Oh shit I needed that laugh…and I miss you! Keep going though—you are doing great!

  6. That’s hilarious! I think Penny should have laughed with you…except that she’s probably dreading having to tell her family, and then also having to admit she didn’t tell them for a such long time…thus allowing them to send a card like that.

    If I had ever done what Penny did, I think MY mother would have been upset with me for allowing her to look so foolish.

    I’m wondering now if Penny is putting her head in the sand, or hopes it won’t really happen, or just what it is she’s afraid of. Hmmm.

  7. Oh INRIS, I remember looking for apartments. I took a one bedroom and the boys slept on a blow up mattress until I was able to buy a town home. I know how hard this is, keep moving forward.

  8. Your description of Penny’s family is very instructive! They sound as if they all have serious social deficiencies which they attempted to bury so that they could get married and live happily ever after. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that each of Penny’s siblings gained a spouse through less-than-honest means just as Penny did you. Such was the case with my father-in-law (very long story) who ended up having an affair and having to admit to spousal abuse just to get divorced (no fault was not yet the law).

    Regarding bankruptcy, I trust that you have been in contact with your creditors so that they are aware of your condition. Even if you can’t file bankruptcy now, there is always later when your job isn’t an issue. There really is no big hurry to get the official ruling as you are effectively bankrupt now.

    As for your housing issues, I think Pippi’s comment points in the right direction. You may well have to take what you can afford and find a way to make it work until you can afford better.

    I’ll be thinking about you, watashi no otōto!

  9. As hectic as things are, I think this is going to end well for you. Just remember, things usually get worse before they get better. The good news? They can’t get much worse so are bound to improve soon. 🙂

  10. Um, MFV and I wish you a happy belated birthday Seattle. That card is pretty funny tho.

  11. For what it’s worth, happy belated birthday.

    Hang in there with all of this stuff. I know what it’s like to be impatient with life and to want to be moving onto the next stage as quickly as possible.

    One thing I’ve learned is that no matter what stage we’re in, there are always things to be learned….and we should take the time to learn those lessons….otherwise we’re doomed to repeat them in some form or another.

    But as someone who is finally on the other side of some of these hardships, let me say that when you’re finally past them, you will feel SO MUCH BETTER.

    *hugs* Take care.

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