Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What it Means to be Wifed Up

Ever since I became a "wife" and a "Mrs." I've been feeling very frumpy and old and dowdy and boring. I feel that I must fill the role of fun-hating buzzkill. What's happening to me??? I like fun just as much as the next person (the band, and the activity)!

Proof: I have fun occasionally

Then I realized it was the connotation associated with various relationship related words that was bothering me. I went from "omgENGAGED!" to old married lady in a single day. I went from having a fiancé ("how exciting!") to having a husband (who inevitably leaves the toilet seat up). I went from planning a wedding to planning my finances. But I don't think I'm actually any more boring now than I was in my single days--right? RIGHT? And Mr. Unicycle has always been boring. I mean, he hasn't changed either.

So allow me to overanalyze a few words to illustrate. And by "overanalyze" I mean "project my own insecurities onto innocent words."

Phase 1: Dating
Everything in this phase is juvenile, precarious, tenuous, full or drama, and temporary. We're just dating. Nothing serious. "Dating" literally means going out on pre-scheduled meetings with someone. In that case, you could say I'm dating my co-workers. Or my leopard print wedges (I'm just testing the waters; it's nothing serious).

 Personal pic
See how juvenile we were when we were merely "dating?"
  • Girlfriend: Your girlfriend is some floozy you met at the mall who makes you win stuffed animals for her at the carnival. Instead of hanging wit your bros, your girlfriend drags you to a Justin Bieber concert. Your mom doesn't like your girlfriend, and you'll probably break up soon (before getting back together, before breaking up again etc.).
  • Boyfriend: See Justin Bieber song.

Phase 2: Engaged
Could there be a better phase to be in? Everyone is excited about cake flavors and fabric swatches, people fawn over you, marvel at the beautiful woman you've become (I heard this daily, obviously), and swoon at you and your fiance's romantic love story.

Those were happier times...
  • Fiancé: All I think about when I hear "fiancé" is a dapper gentleman on one knee presenting you with a ring that cost 3 months salary. What a romantic! What a lovesick fool! What a big spender!
  • Fiancée: If a guy introduces someone as his "fiancée," (especially if he pronounces it as fian-SAY), he is, again, a dapper, gentlemanly sonofabitch. And when I hear "fiancée" I think of a beautiful, svelte, blushing bride about to embark on the first day of the rest of her life...

Phase 3: Marriage
Marriage looks like an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond or a yogurt commercial. 

Both parties are instantly and permanently middle aged, vaguely unattractive without being hideous, and mildly unlikeable. They're both numb to the point where they haven't even considered if they like each other or their lives in years.
  • Husband: A guy with a potbelly who can't find anything on his own in the fridge and leaves muddy shoe prints on the carpet. He can't do anything right and occasionally says things like "I just live here!"
  • Wife: Her sole purpose in life is to roll her eyes at her husband's jokes, nag him to put the toilet seat down, keep him from watching football in peace, and remind him to take an umbrella because it's raining.
As you can see, married people suck. And don't even get me started on what it means to be a "mom," or a "dad." Shudder. Apparently, the day I said I do was the day I said goodbye to being a likeable person.

Can you think of any wedding or relationship words with bothersome connotations? Let's complain together!

P.S. I promise recaps are coming right up :)
P.P.S. For the record, Mr. U always puts the toilet seat down. But since I'm a wifey, I will still complain about it for some reason.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pop Quiz: Marriage and Finances

Hey bees, Unicycle's back in da house! Before I begin recaps I wanted to get in on the Pop Quiz series. As you may recall, I moved to Milwaukee after the wedding and started a new job. I no longer write about crafts for a living (womp womp). Instead, I'm elbows deep in finance writing...w00t! As untrue as this sentence may sound, I actually enjoy it. In fact, it inspired my Pop Quiz topic idea. I want to know about you and your SO's/fiance's/spouse's finances. GET. EXCITED. Or GTFO.

1. Did you or will you join bank accounts?
A) We joined our accounts before we got married.
B) We joined them/will join them after the wedding.
C) We're keeping our finances separate.
D) Still deciding what to do about that.

My answer: B. It was on my to do list after the wedding and it's done now. I instantly felt richer, so I highly recommend it if your husband is rich. Kidding! (Or am I?)

2. Do you have a joint credit account?
A) We keep our credit cards separate.
B) We share credit accounts.
C) We don't use credit, thank you very much.
D) What the hell is a joint credit account?

My answer: A and D. I didn't even know this was a thing until I researched it for work. For now, we're keeping our old credit cards as they always were.

3. Do you have similar philosophies toward money?
A) We're both spenders--help us!
B) We're both savers and thus better than you.
C) I'm a spender marrying a saver and it sucks.
D) I'm a saver marrying a spender and it sucks even more.

My answer: C. Sort of. I'm not a huge spender--if you've followed me closely you'll know I've called myself cheap a million times. I also don't have credit card debt and I don't own anything designer. So I'm not a traditional spender, but I still like to spend money more than Mr. Unicycle does. It can be annoying, but it's definitely better than marrying someone who wants to spend all our money.

4. Do you budget?
A) We keep meaning to make a budget...oops.
B) We have a strict budget that we stick to and we're obsessed with it. We also use pocket protectors.
C) Budgeting is for LOSERS. And we're filthy rich, so why bother?
D) We made a budget but have trouble sticking to it.

My answer: I suppose all of the above? If you'd asked me a few weeks ago my answer would have been A. Then I switched to B, but now I'm bored of it so I'm closer to D. Also, we're clearly filthy rich, so C applies as well.

5. Did you get a prenup or a postnup?
A) Yes, you gotta lock that shit down.
B) No, it's like setting yourself up for failure.
C) No, we don't have enough assets to make it worth our while.
D) Yes, my spouse/family/spouse's family made us.

My answer: C. I used to think it was setting yourself up for failure, but since I researched it for work I realize they can be helpful depending on your situation. But not ours, since we have basically nothing!

6. Who controls the money?
A) I pay the bills, manage the budget, etc.
B) My spouse does everything and I am blissfully ignorant.
C) We are both in the know and manage finances equally.
D) To be honest, neither of us could tell you what's in our checking account right now.

My answer: C. I am very against choices A and B for myself. I think it's really important to both know what's up with your money and have equal control over it. I've seen marriages end because one spouse had to ask the other for an allowance, and dat ain't right.

I'm also curious to know about how getting engaged and/or married has changed your finances or feelings about money. For me, planning a wedding obviously drained my bank account as we made wedding purchases left and right. I also noticed that I started thinking of our money as our money as soon as we got engaged. Before the proposal, if he offered to pay when we were on a date I'd be like "Yessss! I'm getting steak!" After we got engaged I was all "you spent how much on that dumb humor t-shirt??" And I'd run almost every wedding purchase past him even though it was coming out of my paycheck. Now that we're married I've become obsessed with building an emergency fund, finding a good mortgage lender, and planning for retirement (though that could be my job's fault).

So tell me about your cash money in the comments!