A Money Talk

Me: Well, I spent more than I meant to.

Tornado S and I were leaving Barnes and Noble. Why, yes, I do buy more than I usually should at a bookstore. Today was different. I didn’t know that Barnes and Noble rarely sells paperback picture books. So that easily add $10 a book. Then Tornado S saw a book he liked, and Tornado S never sees a book he likes. So I had to buy it. But I did not buy the five other books that wanted to. And I really, really wanted to.

Tornado S: You say that a lot.

Huh. I know I think that. I know I kick myself when I’m auditing, but that’s more of I-forgot-that-I’m-the-working-poor-and-I-shouldn’t-beat-myself-up-for-not-saving-more-when-there’s-not-more-to-save. I don’t remember the last time I misbudgeted for a store. Most months I do everything in cash to help me save more.

Me: Do other people say that about me?

The silence changed. Ah-ha!

Tornado S: I don’t know.

But he does know! Who would say it? My mother? My father? Or my-

Me: Does Daddy say it?

The silence changed. Ah-ha!

Tornado S: I don’t know.

Well, I did present him with the bill for school supplies. This year the sales were late because we started so damn early. The boys need tons of things. So yeah, it was a hefty bill we split.

Me: Was it recently?

Tornado S: I don’t know.

Not that it matters. The ex has a hard time with spending money not directly related to him. Like he never understood how I could spend so much on groceries or toiletries. His friends would explain that toilet paper is indeed kind of expensive. And then there were the arguments about my book spending and his entertaining. So many stupid fights.

Me: Daddy has always said that about my shopping. I did all the shopping for the house, so he assumed I was always spending even if it was food and toiletries. He also didn’t like me buying so many books. But I love books. Daddy likes to go out, so he likes to spend his money going out and treating people. He buys more expensive clothes than me too. But that’s ok. When you get older and share expenses, as long as you talk about it and compromise, you both can get what you want. You will spending money on things your partner will find silly, and your partner will buy things that you find silly. But as long as you budget and compromise, you’ll be ok.

The silence became introspective.

Tornado S: Ok, Mama.

And that too was a good answer.

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