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Monday, 29 November 2010

Letter to a Spendthrift Wife

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The Wrong Way

Dear Slippery Fingers,
Who do you think you are? Cinderella Revisited?

Is this what I work my butt off for at long days at the office? Is this why I brown bag it to work - so you can go out with your girlfriends and blow my hard earned salary on French wine and cherry cheesecake?

Your father was right when he said to me the night we got married, "Ha, ha - she's YOUR problem now!" I should have known when I saw those gold threads running through your wedding dress what was in store for me.

How did you manage to keep this a secret while we were dating? What a cheap date you were. You chose the cheapest restaurants, settled for half price tickets and never complained about my car.Now all of a sudden it's gourmet, first run films at the poshest place in town and kvetching for a foreign trade-in that will reflect "our status in life".

And was this really the best time to redecorate? What was that line of yours - "This living room furniture is five years old?!?!?!" My folks used the same furniture for twenty years. And I don't appreciate your comments about how my dad's leather chair makes your thighs sweat.

I also think it's high time you got up off of your butt and got yourself a real job. Enough with this painting nonesense. When are you going to get it through your thick head? YOU ARE NOT AN ARTIST! Your paint supplies are eating us out of house and home.

And speaking of eating, I can always tell when I've been on a business trip by the supermarket charges on the credit card. Did you ever hear of comparative buying?

Worst of all, the kids are learning bad habits from you. I mean, did Jenny really need to spend sixty bucks on that piece of material she calls a "skirt" but barely covers her behind? How can material the size of a handkerchief cost sixty dollars???

I don't know how I didn't realize what I was getting into when I married you. There are days I feel like walking out the door.

But I'd have to be sure to shut down our joint bank account first.

Your Pissed-Off Husband

The Write Way

Dear Lovie,
You truly are one of the most original people in the universe. Not a day passes that I am not amazed at your exuberance for life and creativity.

Having said that, I'd like to share just a few thoughts with you.

I think it would be helpful for the family finances if we thought together about how it would be possible to cut back a little on some of our expenses.

What would you think of the following? I welcome your input.

  • Instead of lunches or dinners out, inviting our friends over (or better yet, a romantic dinner for two!) for some of your delicious home backed goodies that only you know how to make!
  • Using those carpentry and sewing courses you took a few years ago to create some really original furniture, rather than redecorating. (Maybe you could even enter them in a contest!)
  • You choose the best videos, that are proven Academy Award winners, rather than taking a chance on going out to watch a dud.
  • Let's enjoy the opportunity to bond over fixing up the inside of the car so it really looks beautiful (remember - new seat covers - you sew), rather than trading it in exactly at this juncture. (Maybe next year I'll get that promotion!)
  • Sending Jenny to a sewing course, too, this summer, and asking my cousin Don if he can pick up some good material for her, cheap, from his brother-in-law's textile factory.
  • And how about you post a sign at the local artists' college? Maybe some failing student is selling his used paints.

I'm sure we'll be able to work this out so that we'll have just a little bit left over in our old age.

Reminding you that I still love your zest for life and hope we'll be together always,

Sample letters written (in great fun!) by Toby Klein Greenwald, Director, the WholeFamily Room

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