Money problems can ruin your marriage, says a disturbing "Love and Money" column in today's Wall Street Journal. A woman in southern California named Christie describes breaking things off with a guy after watching him go through fifteen separate cars over the course of their engagement."I dreaded him having contact with outside human beings because he'd come home with some harebrained idea," she says. Another woman in Baton Rouge is suffering a similar fate in the wake of her spendthrift husband's purchase of a "vehicle" worth "tens of thousands of dollars." "The relationship continues to limp along under the weight of the persistent disrespect that bleeds over into almost every aspect of their marriage," the story warns ominously. Hey...silver lining time! Maybe there's a reason to be happy about being poor! I've always looked at getting a boyfriend as a ticket to solvency, namely because they invariably make even less than me. My last boyfriend and I subsisted on 99 cent cans of Trader Joe's curry chickpeas with rice for what must have been months.
We lived together in a one-bedroom where the rent was $750. (In Philadelphia, but still.) He adhered to a rigorous no-taxi policy so we spent hours walking through cities together drinking in our surroundings and being approached by strange hucksters and talking about heavy shit like it was one of those shameless indie movies about young bohemians in love. When you are poor, moreover, merely scraping by feels like success, and success feels like an antidote to depression, at least for awhile...until you break up and start drinking heavily at nice restaurants with your friends again and incur massive piles of debt. Now I am mostly out of it. Just in time for the recession!