My husband came home from a long day trying to help his mother with her finances. He found out the situation is more dire than she let on— lots of debt.
He told me about their conversation and then explained a plan he had to save her house by selling it to him— or maybe trying to set it up as a rental property to get her a little money.
I, feeling my butthole clench at the idea of another mortgage, shot it down immediately. I asked what would we do if that house suddenly had an emergency, we don’t have enough cushion in our emergency fund, what if our roof goes at the same time as her furnace, what if we can’t find a renter, he already has so much stress at his actual job, he has no vacation days that aren’t already planned out to go deal with an emergency, what if the renters destroy the house...
I was so blinded by my clenching butthole that I couldn’t see how sad this was making him. I thought we were just having a hypothetical discussion, but suddenly his whole attitude changed. He said “I just came home from a day of planning for my mother’s death. I really just needed you to be on my side tonight.” He went from confidently explaining his ideas to totally shutting down.
And then I realized what a jackass I was being. What I just did goes against every single word of Laura Doyle and Helen Andelin I ever read.
He would have weighed all of these ideas eventually. He didn’t need ME to stab holes in all his ideas. He wasn’t coming home looking to intellectually spar with anybody. I should have put aside my clenched anus and let him talk about his ideas. I was so blinded by my fear of the financial risks involved that I really thought I was being prudent and helpful— I was actually being Completely Awful and didn’t see it clearly until it was already too late.
I promise I’m not always this dumb. I’m sharing this tale in the hopes that someone out there reading this, perhaps me, will STOP TALKING even when they feel their asshole clench— and remember the bigger picture!!!