Monday, March 15, 2010

money madness

So the other day in the car, one of the children excitedly shared with me that Daddy had said that his half brother had suggested we all get a house together on Martha's Vineyard this summer. My blood pressure instantly soared. I wondered when my husband intended to raise this prospect with me.

A week or so later, the Sober Husband was going through our bills, and he came upstairs to convene a focus group to discuss issues and problems relating to our second mortgage. He shared that the first bill from my surgery had come in ("hundreds of dollars") and that we are still paying off the bills from my meningitis last fall ("thousands, thousands, it's hard to sort it all out, so many bills"). In this context I decided to raise the Martha's Vineyard topic, and he actually seemed to blush. Yes, he was trying to figure out a way to go on vacation once again to Martha's Vineyard (one of the most costly destinations in the U.S.) with his family. "I was trying to make it work," he said defensively, "so it would make sense for us."

Meanwhile the man rakes me over the coals if I suggest calling for a take-out pizza. As he's been doing the bulk of the cooking during my convalescence, he has taken to serving plain rice for meals. Sometimes he adds scrambled eggs to the white rice; other times, it's just plain white rice with soy sauce. If I raise a suggestion that this is not nutritionally optimal, he jumps down my throat about how cheap it is and how much money we're saving. So, we should live on a Third World diet here in San Francisco, and yet we can pay thousands and thousands of dollars for airfare alone and more thousands and thousands to rent a house in one of the most expensive destinations in North America?

I said that his half-brother was out of his mind to think we could afford this and suggested that he counteroffer that we all rent a house in Santa Cruz or Bolinas instead. This fell over flat, as we all know that the Sober Husband's half-brother inflexibly refuses to leave the East Coast (he acted insulted that we'd invited him to our wedding, as we should have realized the mere act of inviting him to go to San Francisco was an imposition).

Firmly I said I wasn't willing to go further into debt for another Martha's Vineyard trip (the prior Martha's Vineyard trip with his family was exorbitantly, outrageously expensive), but the Sober Husband still seemed to think it should happen. "I thought it would make you feel good."

"It makes me feel like I'm being hit with a sledgehammer!" I said. "It makes me feel that for the rest of my life, I'll never be able to go anywhere I want! The only vacation I'll get to take ever will be going to fucking Martha's Vineyard with my inlaws!"

At this point the Sober Husband put up his hands in a position of surrender and literally backed out of the room slowly, picking up his pace as he rounded the corner and rushed down to his lair in the garage.

19 comments:

hughman said...

there are so many many beautiful places to go everywhere (and anywhere) else. this strange WASP-ian obsession with martha's vineyard is fascinating to me though. (and this comes from one who as a youngster summered at my grandmother's house on sea island georgia, a monied WASP nirvana). you should suggest provincetown and you can all make a pit stop at MV if you must. i know you would ADORE it there and iris and lola could dance to their heart's content.

Philangelus said...

I wouldn't go to Martha's Vineyard either, and I live about an hour from there (well, if there were no traffic. In regular traffic it would take about two and a half hours.)

I'm sorry his perspective is so warped.

NonymousGoatsePants said...

I don't know... I've never been to Martha's Vineyard. I had a girlfriend once named Martha and I always asked to see her vineyard, but she would never show me, either. So I'd probably visit.

But I have been to P-town and I enjoyed that heartily. Some strangely pierced large gay black man did a body shot off of me after one of my friends (a physician from one of the snobby east-end towns of Lawn Guyland) lapped something out of a bowl and barked like a dog.

It was a dare and we had been drinking. My wife says I'm a gay magnet. I keep telling her, she means magnate, but she says I don't have enough money to be a magnate. That's when I tell my son that girls are evil.

Thinking about this, I probably shouldn't be responsible for the upkeep of a child...

Claire M. Johnson said...

He wants to return? AFTER THE LAST TIME????????? I don't think trip from hell is descriptive enough. Obviously this is emotional and not rational.

the Drunken Housewife said...

I have been to P-town a number of times... don't forget, I lived in Boston for five years! P-town is fabulous, no doubt about it, but it's not all that alluring a vacation spot for me... because I live in the Castro. I want to vacation somewhere DIFFERENT and EXOTIC, and P-town is not exotic for someone who lives only eight blocks from Castro St. I can see all the naked gay guys and drag queens I want without springing for 4 round-trip, transcontinental airfares.

hughman said...

well! you obviously live in a more interesting part of castro than i ever lived in/visited with the constant stream of naked guys and drag queens! i feel cheated.

but i wasn't suggesting provincetown because of its being a gay mecca. i just thought it would be nearish to that side of the family and still be fun (cocktails at teadance!) and not as stuffy.

i can understand the yearning for an exotic locale however although i can't think of any US locale off the top of my head which would meet that criteria. seriously, where in america is considered exotic? hawaii maybe? i'm so fuddy duddy now all i'd care about is gourmet food, booze and maid service. if a naked guy or drag queen happened to be included, all the better.

NonymousGoatsePants said...

See... The key is to spring for just ONE roundtrip transcon.

I could show you some exotic parts of NY, but they all revolve in some way around food. And we already know our dining domains are disjoint.

GodsKid said...

I probably shouldn't suggest separate vacations for one year .... just for a change-up of pace?

the Drunken Housewife said...

We can't afford for any of us to vacation in Martha's Frigging Vineyard, in my opinion, and the husband wouldn't go without the children. Three roundtrip airfares annd half a house rental on Martha's Vineyard is astronomical enough; one person staying home isn't going to save enough. This year we've had a metric fuckton of medical expenses already.

the Drunken Housewife said...

I think NYC would be exotic for me. So would Big Bend Nat'l Park in TX, where I have never been. Likewise I haven't been to Joshua Tree (I have been to Death Valley a number of times). I've never been to Charleston or (for shame, for shame) to New Orleans. Those beautiful Southern cities would be exotic to me.

I have seen a lot of the old Continental US, but there are places hither and yon that would be new and fresh to me.

the Drunken Housewife said...

p.s. to Hughman: there's a new trend in the Castro, a couple of guys who are NAKED ALL FUCKING YEAR LONG. It could be 45 degrees out, and they will be trotting between the bars naked as a jaybird. And along with this trend goes the monotony of the commentary: you hear catty gay guy after catty gay guy murmuring, "It's never the ones you want to see naked."

What I want to know is where they keep their money. The spouse and I were drinking at a winebar on castro when in came one of the naked ones, with nowhere in sight to stow a wallet, but yet somehow he paid for his drink in cash.

Missy said...

With all due respect to the Sober Husband, the idea of eating plain rice or barely flavored rice for dinner every night, for a year, doesn't equal the value of a week in a place that 3/4 of the family didn't want to go, in the first place.

The Sober Husband needs to know that as a comparison: We eat well every single night--and then some, in terms of food wasted. We are going to Walt Disney World this summer and are going to eat even better, as Epcot has all these very authentic (Disney even hires people from the countries as employees--when we arrived at Boma, I recognized the front desk person as being from South Africa. Food--completely awesome, even if you skipped the prime rib and stuck to the vegetarian dishes, which, being African-inspired, were many.)

We picked WDW again because it was the best combo of what everyone in the family wanted--and value per dollar spent.

Last year, we skipped the family vacation because we had household repair expenses--and we still ate well.

If you can handle being out in the sun (two of us can't) then the Mexican resorts are fabulous. For value per dollar, you can't lose--and Iris and Lola would love the beaches and pools. The food is also fabulous and it seems really relaxing.

If all of the family could handle even a little bit of sun, we'd do this in a heart beat.

Seriously, you did MV already. It's your turn to choose something else different.

And no more rice for dinner again, or as my DH once said, "I could go the rest of my life without ever seeing white rice again for dinner."

hughman said...

i see i really misinterpreted what "exotic" meant to you. when i think exotic i always picture strange languages and fires burning outside somewhere.

nyc would be fun but not for longer than a week and it's extremely expensive. and to your list of southern cities, i'd add savannah (which i always had a burning desire to spend a summer at). maybe even key west? i've spent time there and loved it. there's awesome food too.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Well, when I think of exotic, I truly think of wild monkeys and foreign languages and really strange, bizarre things which blow my fragile little mind. However! A place in the US which is fresh and new is preferable to one I have seen before. At the VERY LEAST, Nantucket over Martha's Vineyard, y'know?

I've been to every continent except Antarctica, and taking a cruise to Antarctica is my dream vacation.

hughman said...

oh! what about montreal? i've heard it's beautiful and it's relatively close and it's a big city similar to nyc and some of the people speak a foreign language! i would go there in a heartbeat.

the Drunken Housewife said...

I've already been to Montreal... and it would be a loooong, expensive plane ride away. i'd rather go to Mexico if we're going to visit one of the neighbors (being from Maine, a border state, I went to Canada as a child).

the Drunken Housewife said...

p.s. Of course i have been to Mexico, but not to very much of it. there's a lot left to see....

hughman said...

i thought of mexico but with all the drug wars happening now and all i didn't recommend.

Dread Pirate Davi said...

Ever been to Turkey? My sister recently went back-packing through Europe and she and her boyfriend made it to Istanbul as well. She could not stop raving about it. And as a crazy cat-lady, you'd love it. Friendly, clean, well-treated stray cats EVERYWHERE. One of them curled up on my sister's lap and and wanted to go home with her.

And now she's in Peru for a semester. Oh, and my parents just got back from a week in Spain...I need a vacation!!