Monday, March 12, 2007

Deal with the Devil

Cue fiddle music!

The Man is nearly done with his Business/Marketing degree.

I am really proud of him, and when he is done with school, it will be my turn to go back and finish my English degree and get my teaching credential.

So we are at this huge family shindig, and well...

I guess I would have enjoyed it more if we didn't feel like the poor relations.

My sister is a lawyer. My brother is in real estate. If we expand to extended family, you get a few major judges, a big time buisnessman or two, a few more lawyers, and a computer mogul. There are a smattering of teachers who are on the edge of retirement, married to the posessors of the aforementioned Big Impressive Jobs. They live in the Bay Area, they have vacation homes and brand new cars and designer clothes and timeshare condos in Hawaii. The younger ones all have kids. And they all look like they live at the gym.

My husband is in the military. I work with kids in a part-time capacity. We squeeze by every month, mainly because I quit my full-time job at The Company Which Shall Not Be Named, and because The Man's college education is freaking expensive. We have no kids. We're not into wine or gourmet meals. (They're nice, but not really a part of the big equation for us.) In short, we have nothing in common with most of these people.

Anyway. These people love me, and they don't intend to make me feel "small." And it pisses me off to no end that I couldn't just sit back and enjoy myself, without constantly comparing and analyzing everything.

There were moments that were awkward..."You've NEVER had a massage before?!!!" This was uttered in a tone like I had just swung in on a vine, wearing a loincloth.

There were moments that went beyond awkward to agonizing. Like the part where someone offered to sell me her three-year-old son, who was acting up, at a discount. It was one of those laughing things that mothers say because their kid is on their last nerve. I just sort of laughed and said, "Name your price!" in a jokey way. It was worse because I am sure her husband took her aside and talked to her afterwards, because she was visibly uncomfortable around me after that.

I guess I do have a point, and I am getting to it.

The Man was constantly asked if he was going to have to go back to the Middle East. They would thank him for all he did, thank me for giving up my husband for six months to defend our country. They's ask what was going on with us, so we'd tell them about his college, eventual job search, etc.

The Man has a job offer from a family member. However, it's a loaded proposition. We would have to to move to the Bay Area, but lodging is provided, which is a big part of the cost up there. The huge down side is that it's a trailer park, which we would have to live in. It bothers me more on the level that we already have a house, and I already feel like a "poor relation". Let's face it, there would be something of a stigma attached to it. And I am not sure how much I want to work for family. I worry that if we hate it, we couldn't just change our minds.

The upsides are huge too. Stigma or not, we would triple or quadruple our current income. This place may be a trailer park, but it has a fantastic location, with a view of the bay. SF is right there, and housing would be free, which means that we would be able to take care of our debts and have huge financial freedom in one fell swoop. Family would be close by, especially if my parents move to the Carmel house when they retire. We would be able to save money to buy our dream house fairly painlessly.

The more I look at the up and down sides, the main drawback (let's face it) is "What Will They Think?" Which is a crappy way to run your life. There is a lot of time to think things over, there are a bunch of details that we don't have yet.

Thw more I think about it...My main condition would be that we keep our house. I have so many friends here, and I am not giving up being a homeowner.

I know this is disjointed...I am just so incredibly conflicted, it is making my head spin!


SaraDru said...

WoW! There is quite a conflict there...I'd move to the Bay, but only cause it's my favorite place on earth and when does anyone ever get a free place to live???

But then again, I understand the feeling of stigma. Just saying, I'm from a town south of Fresno and went to Chico State, results in funny looks around Amazing's friends (all Ivy Leauge grads).

Pros and Cons list! That's what I do! It sounds like you have a lot more Pros though :)

jenna sais quoi said...

Hehe...good idea with the pros and Cons! We have three pages so far.

We do have more Pros at this point. The Man is going to have a discussion about the situation tomorrow, and we'll see if anything comes of it.