Irreverent Mama

Friday, December 07, 2007

We don't have a lot of excess money. We live in a small and lovely house in a nice neighbourhood. We aren't suffering, but with eight children and huge child support payments going out (and teeny ones coming in: Matthew pays, quite literally, over ten times the amount I receive), there is enough for basics and no more.

Since we don't run a car and this is North America, some would say we don't even have the basics.

Though I do sometimes get weary of the constant balancing this against that -- "You got new boots last month, so, no, you can't have a pair of dress shoes this month" -- I don't tend to feel that way.

This is partly the fiscal autonomy we have. We each put a set amount into a joint account to cover monthly expenses; we also each have a private savings account, allowing us some discretionary money that needn't be accounted for to the other. It may not be a lot, but it is private.

It's mostly, however, because Matthew and I are so much in synch on what must be purchased, what is optional, and how funds should be allocated.

Last weekend we went to a favourite gallery for a reception. The featured artist is a friend, and we have a couple of his pieces. (Which have, I add with some satisfaction, appreciated markedly since their purchase.) In fact, his work has increased in value so much that nothing we liked was possible for us. His silver lining is our cloud...

In the basement rooms, however, we found a piece by a different artist, which we loved. The gallery, as we have cause to know, has a very generous monthly-pay plan. We looked at the piece, went away for dinner, came and looked again, went home. Two days later, Matthew came home with the piece. Because we bought this, he won't be buying the rowing machine he's wanted for months, and I won't be getting these boots for a while yet.

But the art, ("mixed media on wood") sits over the dining room table, and every time I see it, I get a rush of pleasure. It looks good at all times of day; every light level brings out some new aspect of it; there is no time at which it is less than appealing. To us, at any rate, which is all that matters.

(I did try to get a picture for your possible curiosity, but my camera, she is a light hog. No flash, the image is blurred and you miss the gorgeous subtle textures and much of the colour; with flash, a huge white glare distorts part of the glossy surface, no matter which angle and distance I took. So you'll never know what the fuss is about. My regrets are sincere.)

Another man would have insisted on the rowing machine. Another man would have been sullen and pouty because he couldn't have both. (The man I used to be married to would have bought both things he craved, neither of which would have been anything I wanted, and let me fend off the bill-collectors.)

I feel such gratitude that I am in a relationship with someone with whom I'm in such basic, effortless harmony. Not that we don't annoy each other bytimes, but we don't abrade.

And now we have another lovely piece of art for our mutual delight.

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4 Comments:

  • First! Good for you both!!

    By Blogger john.g., at 1:52 PM  

  • I like that: a joint account and separate personal accounts. That's what we do except that my personal account has been stuck at zero dollars and zero cents for a year and a half.

    By Blogger Denguy, at 11:58 PM  

  • That's the right sort of priority. My wife and I have that same sort of mental union. It does make the relationship more of a joy than work.

    By Blogger The Boy, at 1:21 PM  

  • "Not that we don't annoy each other by times, but we don't abrade.-- "

    Yes-- and that is the key, isn't it?

    Thanks for the invite!

    By Blogger Jen, at 12:17 PM  

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