You might not like my answer. You might hate it and say I'm a filthy whore. And to that I say- I shower every day. Sometimes twice. At least get your insult correct. And with that... we begin:
1. Matt will not let you have a fainting goat (even though you are still grieving over Lenny)...why did you pick him? Of the guys you dated before marrying Matt, what made him "the one"? Well- this is a complicated answer. Maybe? I don't know. Honestly- if you knew my previous two serious relationships before Matt you'll know why I picked him. Boyfriend/Fiance #1 was a few years older than me, living with his parents with no job, no car, not going to school, barely made it through high school, had a drug/alcohol history, a compulsive liar and no real life goals that didn't require my paycheck. Boyfriend #2 has a felony record with domestic abuse/battery on it, had a shady history in general, multiple baby mama's, and I suspected he maybe had a drug/alcohol problem. Then Matt comes along.... he showers daily, was hot, had a job, was going to college, could fix my computer and pretty much everything else I broke, had job prospects, knew we'd make cute babies, and I was in love. So pretty much I figured I had maybe peaked with potential guy hook up. You know what they say about stocks, buy low, sell high? Well I figure you should marry when you're high and divorce when you're low. So kind of the same thing but backwards. So it's not really the same at all. But whatever. That was pretty much how it all worked out.
2. I have recently re-entered the dating scene (kill me now). And since I work in a female dominated field and am not a lesbian, my dating options at work are very limited. I also don't really do the bar scene. So, I have started online dating. Two of my biggest issues with online dating are: 1. What are some good opening emails to send? I suck when I have to think of something semi witty and engaging to say to a complete stranger. I always think to start with "Hi, I'm E" then I draw a complete blank. Do you have any good suggestions on what to put in an opening email? 2. All the douchelords who come out of the woodwork. Do you have any good responses I could send to the DLs who are only after a booty call? First off, I am going to go ahead and say that I think you have major balls to enter the online dating scene. To me, the whole concept is crazy and is like Craigslist. I guess it works for some people but god knows I couldn't do it seriously. So extra goat vagina sparkles for you. Since you seem adverse to becoming a lesbian... here's what I would probably do.
Opening emails are kind of like a cover letter. Think of the guy as a job you'd like to do, and if it all goes well you'll be doing for awhile. And just like with any job, you have to want to do the job too... not just have the job screw you. Follow me? Everybody's humor is different so I would start with something benign.. like "Hi, I'm E and I'm awesome. I think you don't look like a complete douchebag so we should go out. If you are a douchebag please know I'm not open to having sex with animals or on your mom's couch." Think of the openers you've gotten- what would turn you off? What would make you think maybe this person isn't a psychotic killer?
If you don't get some kind of reply from that then I have no idea how you really would. If you do end up having a douchebag- I suggest you send me his reply and I will help you out. ;) But if anyone gets to be itching close to the douchenozzle level do not hesitate to put that asshole in his place.
3. You mentioned spending $40 for a week of groceries once. How the hell do you do it? Are you a master couponer or is there some other method you use? Yes- on average I spend $100 for groceries every two weeks. Yes, I use as many coupons as I can find. I could probably spend less if my grocery store wasn't such bitches and let me use multiple coupons. Or computer printed coupons. That'd be nice. But there are some tricks I've learned along the way out of necessity: - Plan your meals. You cannot cut your grocery bill if you don't know what the fuck you are eating.
- Stop buying shit. That means maybe making one bag of chips last the entire two weeks instead of one or two
- Look at the ad for your grocery store and plan your meals accordingly. Hamburger going on sale? Well you are eating a lot of fucking hamburger.
- Learn the prices of the things you buy all of the time. My staples include tomato sauce and paste, Prego Meat Spaghetti sauce, noodles, ketchup, bread, milk, cheese, rice, beans, etc. The things you can use for any kind of meal. When those go on a super sale (which here means $1 or less a piece) I am buying double or triple of what I would normally get in a two week period.
- Cut coupons. Seriously. I know it's a pain in the ass and it takes time, but when you spend less than $100 for 14 dinners, 14 breakfasts, and 14 lunches... you will piss your pants with happy. Walmart and Target will still accept online coupons- so see what you can get from there.
- Buy generic on some stuff. Honestly? I hate generic and it's a psychological thing. But when you can- do it. I buy store brand stuff on as much as I can stand to do because it seriously cuts down on what you are spending.
- Cereal, pancakes, eggs, etc for dinner once every two weeks. Do it.
OK-- so that is what you can start doing. EVERYBODY can do this and honestly? If you aren't you should be shot and I will steal your money.
4. My husband and I are very tight on money. As in, he has a really hefty traffic ticket that he still owes like $600 on, and he HAS to pay some of it TOMORROW (the 10th) and we have an entire $7. We were supposed to make a payment to the bank on the 5th but we didn't have the money for that. Phone bill is due tomorrow. Our phones getting turned off normally wouldn't be a big deal but we both need them for work. We have a 6 month old baby, and I know you know how expensive diapers and formula are. We also have about $2000 in medical bills from an emergency room visit that are about to go to collections. I work 2 jobs. He works from 7 in the morning until sometimes 8 or 9 at night doing construction and he still only gets about $1500 a month. If he's lucky. Why? Because his brother is his boss and he's a fucking douche bag, and he's ripping us off, even though they are each others only family in the United States. No one else will work with him because he's such a fuck-nugget, so my husband, being the nice guy that he is, works with him. So, he argues all day with his brother, and then he comes home and we argue ABOUT his brother. Or my dad. Oh yeah, did I mention we're living with my parents? And my dad tries to tell us how to do everything and how to raise our daughter. Me and my dad are very much alike and we clash really bad. My car? Randomly turns itself off. While I'm driving. In the middle of the road. In the last 2 years we've probably spent $4000 dollars fixing it, if not more. So a new car is necessary very soon, if not immediately. We would like to start making payments on a decent used car before we move out, but every time it's brought up, there's my parents in the middle of our business. (I don't know how this happens, because my husband and I speak in Spanish around my parents and they don't understand it.) So, today, after my latest argument with my dad, my husband said, "That's it, we're moving, we're not going to do this anymore. We're looking for an apartment this weekend." I don't know how we're going to be able to afford everything. And if we stay here, we're going to keep arguing every single day, and it's taking a serious toll on our marriage. I don't know how we're going to enjoy our life together, if other people are running it. I hear you. Guess what ruins most marriages? Money and figuring how to do it all. Now, Matt and I have had some SERIOUS money problems in the past which eventually led to us filing for bankruptcy. Let's talk about a humbling and embarrassing experience. It's a slap in the face and it sucks shit. But guess what? We're moving on. It's hard as HELL and you don't realize what budgeting really is... until you have no credit card or savings to fall back on. So here's what I would do:
- Take your incomes (figure on the low end) and make a budget. Make sure you make a deposit to your savings account as the first thing that comes out of your bill paying each payday. If you don't do that you won't get into the habit of it and you need to.
- If you have cell phones- get rid of your plan and get a prepaid. Use it as little as you possibly can.
- Diapers/formula- buy generic. If you aren't getting any kind of WIC assistance- sign up for it. Any kind of public assistance you can qualify for, take it. It's temporary and you need every bit of help you can get.
- Your husband needs a new job. TRUST ME when I tell you that your husband is going to burn out and it will be the tip of the fucking iceberg of horrible stress. I have been there and done that. The best thing my husband ever did for himself, our family and our marriage was to get fired. Seriously. Sure- it was the catalyst for the bankruptcy and we almost divorced- but in hindsight... it was the best thing. He hated his job and it was slowly killing him. He didn't feel like he could really get something new and was afraid to try. Getting fired solved that problem. So look for a new job for your husband.
- Have a talk with your dad. Be kind and gentle and just say, "Dad? I know you mean well. And I appreciate all the advice and tips you give me when raising my daughter. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I really want to try it my way first and if it's not working I'll turn to you for help. I'm trying and learning the best way I know how." Sometimes people don't realize how overbearing they are unless you explain it calmly to them. And you know what? Sometimes you should bit your tongue and say, "Dad? I'm having ____ problem with her- what would you do?" EVEN if you know exactly what you should do. It might keep him at bay.
- Look into section 8 housing. I bet you'd qualify and most of those require no down payment/deposit. Moving out on your own will be hard BUT it might solve a lot of problems.
5. I need a book with hot vamps that don't sparkle. Well dang. I haven't found any. BUT BUT BUT--- there are a bunch of books I highly recommend to you. If you like Young Adult (romance, but not sex)- check out Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series. There are 4 books total and while vamps are the bad guys... the story is pretty damn cool. If you like Grown Up books with sex and the paranormal- seriously get your ass to the store and get Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen Guardian Series. I'm on book 5 or 6 maybe. HOT SEX every few pages. There are vampires (who are hot), wolves (who are hot) other bizarre creatures that are hot, it's a fucked up, crazy ass mystery that leaves you on your seat and there's hot sex. Have a towel handy.
OK- I have 7 more questions that were sent to me.... so I'm saving those for next week. Hope you all enjoyed this week's virgin run of Dear Sara. And again.... email me your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You know you want to.