Dear Dr. Babooner,
In my family we have this weird thing we do called The Money Game. We all send dollars to my eccentric Uncle S., (it’s a big family), and then he sends some back. Why? It keeps us all connected and it helps him feel important! And did I mention that Uncle S. is allowed to print money? He is! Weird, I know. But it’s smart to stay on my uncle’s good side. He’s always rolling in dough!
Recently my uncle offered to send our family some money for education and health care and all we had to do was fill out a few applications. My Uncle fancies himself an expert manager. (He’s NOT!) But he LOVES paperwork. I thought we should humor him, especially since we’ve been coming up short lately. Anyway, if he doesn’t give the money to us he’ll hand it over to someone else. He’s a crazy waster!
But my husband absolutely HATES The Money Game and said “No!” He thinks Uncle S’s spending out of control, and we shouldn’t accept his handout. Uncle S. is bloated, there’s no doubt, but he means well and he does spend a bunch on important things that the rest of the family ignores, like the poor and the sick and the destitute. And Uncle S. has people who protect us. We can call on them whenever we need them. Kind of important.
My husband is no financial genius either, I should say. We’re solvent, but it takes a lot of shifting dollars around from one pocket to another and delaying payments. Every time I have an idea for how we can get more cash, my husband says no, no, no, the problem is spending. And this has been going on for 8 years! The accountant says next year is going to be a doozy, by the way. When the topic comes up I just hear air rushing in my ears and my eyes go out of focus, but I’m pretty sure there is a day of reckoning just ahead.
I should add that all this is complicated by the fact that I’ll be getting a new husband in January. This one says he’s had enough. And get this – he refuses to admit it but I think it is his secret dream to go work for Uncle S. and be in charge of The Money Game!
I don’t think we understand each other very well. We can hardly stand to be together. He’s always in Iowa!
Dr. Babooner, what should I do?
Starved For Cash
I told Starved For Cash that it sounds like her current husband is trying to change the rules of The Money Game – a difficult and costly thing to do, especially if everyone else continues to play as normal. That said, a lot has been sacrificed by people in pursuit of their dreams. Unfortunately, those closest to them bear the brunt of these fantasies in ways the dreamer doesn’t see or can’t imagine. It seems like the only thing to do is hang on and wait for January. You say there’s a new husband on the horizon. If that’s the case, make sure you agree about finances before you start. And is there any way to stay single?
But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?