Separated things keep things, well, separate. In many things that is good. Like if there is creamed corn on your dinner plate. You, if you are anything like me, will need to peel the crust off of your bread to make a dam to keep that sloppy corn from invading the chicken fried steak on your plate. Just saying, for an example.
Then there are things that need to come together, without separation. Like the money in a marriage. It needs to all go in one pot. There I’ve said it. It needs to all go in one pot. No more of this his money her money stuff. I’ve been holding that back for quite some time. Here’s my take on the money of marriage. Oh, it won’t change the world, but! Yes a folded money “but.” But in some way maybe it will bring a much-needed conversation, somewhere out there, to the table to be “cussed and discussed” as my friend would say.
When I sat down this morning to write I was going to write about the difference in how things are perceived. Like curtains and drapes. Personally I am a curtain gal. I’ve never had drapes. I have known people who have drapes. The difference is money of course. Drapes are usually more formal, lined, made of nice fabrics of silk and the like. Most of all, in my head drapes are window treatments.
Curtains are what I put up to cover windows, usually something opened and closed with a slide across a rod. Except in my “front room” where they are insulated because it’s cold here in the winter. My curtains are not window treatments, they are needed for warmth and privacy, not so much for show and tell.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have seen some amazing window treatments and I am duly impressed. I am just a little more laid back. I made most of the curtains in my house. I would never have the guts to try to treat my windows. Nor would I want to make that distinction between money brought into a home. It all goes into one pot. It all covers the same windows.
Once I heard that some people keep this all important piece of their pie, their money, separate I just couldn’t seem to let it go. It seems like in many circles a marriage is set up to fail from the beginning. That is pretty sad. I do know some couples who have kept money separate and they are happy and have been for many years. There is just, to me, an underlying current of animosity. Pretty sure it’s just something I feel. They seem to be OK with it.
Then I talk with someone who can’t spend his or her money on this or that because there is that knife edge of separation. It drives me crazy. Is it just me? Maybe. I seem to fly with a different tail tied to my kite through life in many respects.
I recently watched a movie where there was a wedding and on the wedding day a prenup was delivered out of the blue to be signed. Well of course a huge kerfuffle ensued. Lots of “you don’t trust me” and a few “but my darling it’s for both of our protection,” comments came up. You would think this would come up before the day of the wedding. Accusations and family dynamics came into play.
See I think if the money is all in one pot from the beginning, the check is paid by everyone instead of just one, the prize of income from all sources is enjoyed by all there might never be a question or trouble knowing if your windows are covered with curtains or drapes.
There’s something we probably all know. You never know what goes on in someone else’s house. Probably because the curtains are closed. In reality not knowing is a good thing. I was very lucky to have a life of openness, on our side of the curtains. That’s the way things are meant to be. Of course, we all talk things over with our family and friends. We are after all, human.
But when the curtains are closed and important issues are dealt with? I would hope that both parties are in it up to the water mark, both trying to keep the pot full and flowing. A pipe dream? I don’t think so. It’s that Pollyanna un-suppressible side of me.
By the way… The prenup in the movie was delivered to the man by the woman. Yeah. Bet you didn’t see that coming did you?
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book, “They Call Me Weener,” is available on Amazon.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a signed copy.