This post was originally written in August 2010. I've since updated it and felt impressed to enlighten you.
Allow me to expound on a couple of my other major life choices so I may convince you: I married Jeff. Of course I loved him, he's athletic, good looking, tan and a super nice guy...yadayadayada. Said virtues being standard issue, it was actually his steady job, family values, and o.c.d. work ethic that charmed me into a virtual arranged marriage less than 150 days after we met. Today, it's his killer back rubs and brawny super-human ability to scrub toilets and clean up kid vomit that keeps me wedded.
Fast forward seven years and two more kids later, I became a Realtor. It began as a short term gig. I mean, I had dreams, I was an Artiest. I had journals to publish, grammy's to win, more babies to make! Originally I had assisted my mom at the Real Estate agency to make a few extra bucks. After a couple months I learned how to do her job. So, I got my own license! We needed the money, I was good at schmoozing and arguing, it seemed like the thing to do. Poof, another seven years later and I am still working this job I never dreamt of. Literally. *Sigh* Well, it pays the bills. Or so I thought it did until the housing market got diarrhea. Now it's 2011 and the economy's still in the toilet, sooo I am basically unemployed. Which got me thinking about this communal living thing. Then, I saw a TV show on plural marriages and I was SOLD.
Stay with me.
In our house there are no extra wives or additional husbands but we do have revolving door policy that begets a steady stream of company at any god-given moment. Visitors are constant and our hospitality protocol is something outside folk just don't quite get. It is what it is though and I love that people like to hang with us. I learned a long time ago that if you feed your company they will come back! And come back they did. But times got lean and we were trying to get out of debt. Money quit growing on trees when the houses quit selling and we were feeling the pinch. We needed to do something.
It was time I had to face my budget, or lack thereof, if we wanted to keep feeding all these people. But to have a budget meant we needed to figure out how much of our (my husbands) income should be allocated for food, utilities and debts. This forced me to reveal
That's right, two-weeks! I poured over three random bank statements and added up totals from every grocery store, restaurant and drive-thru we invested in. A disappointment of Costco size proportions was unveiled.
I discovered that we didn't generate enough
income to subsidize our open soup kitchen. The fact that we spent equal parts on food as our mortgage meant we had abruptly come to the end of a 12 year era. We were devastated. How would we be proper disciples of Christ and have Bible study without the loaves and fishes and wine and chocolate cake?! How were we to reconcile the food bill and desperate lack of funding and function in the reality that there would always be vagabonds at our house anyway?? We were doomed.
(dramatic sobs ensued)
Then, a still small voice. I was reminded about co-habitation. We could find a house guest or family in need to live with us and start charging! It would solve everything. It was brilliant!! It would only be temporary, we could do it!!!! And it'd benefit all parties, RIGHT?! Right?...right?
**UPDATE 3/16/2011**Ha! We did both! Erm, the house guest thing didn't end well, but that's another post. The 'family in need' turned out to be my x-bro in law, Steve, along with my two nephews and niece.
So far so good! My BIL's kids are about the same age as our three so we bunked them all together. They're lovin it. Steve brought with him another flat screen and uber manly sound system. He goes to school the same time as his kids so he's here when they come home. We split the groceries, house chores and he cooks 2-3x a week! And get this--he also fixes stuff, Hallelujah!!! He's already painted, rotated our tires and installed closet systems.The possibilities are endless. It feels like I'm in that episode of King of Queens when Doug got two wives (one for fun and one for labor), teehee. Anyway, don't think there's any funny business when you hear me callin' Steve my #2. He knows his place and we're all living happily ever after:)
We converted half our garage into a 'dorm' room for the teenagers...