Posted by Anonymous.
Yesterday my husband went to the doctor. He got a new perscription and, rather than wait however long it took for the pharmacist to get the insurance company's approval for coverage, he paid the total cost of the perscription with a check.
There was not that much money in our checking account.
There is so much of a marriage that goes into mistakes like this, so much history that informs its meaning. We are both inept with money, but about ten years ago I became the household accountant, due to the fact that I am slightly less horrible at it than he is. I pay bills late, but I don't bounce checks. I still struggle to do the responsible thing with money, but not bouncing checks is enough to make me Chancellor of the Exchequer around here.
But last night the husband was childishly impatient and he wrote a check he should not have, so today I drove to the little bank that holds my little personal savings account, and I took out nearly everything and deposited it in our joint checking account to cover the check. I was in time. It will not bounce.
And then I sat in my car and I cried. I cried because this tiny little savings account, though it would never make me rich or even get us out of debt, was mine. It was the only thing in our lives that was, really and truly, mine. That mattered to me. I am the stay-at-home mom to our children, which is the right decision for us, but leaves me with no career, no job experience, and precious little indiependence. Those dollars cobbled together from birthday gifts and rebates I sent in and other odds and ends told me that I still had a separate identity, something independent of my children and my husband. Even if I raided it occasionally to cover other family expenses, I had invested it with the significance I Am Still A Person, not just a cog in the household machine.
Now it is gone. Tomorrow I will get up again and do the usual chores, and over the next few years I will add to the account by dribs and drabs again, and we will be alright. This doesn't end things. It just hurts, and I wanted to say so in a place where I was free to grieve, somewhere I could be openly sad for this small loss.