The New Third World and Other Terrible Things

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The New Third World and Other Terrible Things

Post by fkwan » Thu May 22, 2008 10:54 pm

I have moved this topic to where it belongs. I find this fascinating.
Nichole wrote:We're a little OT, bt that's OK.

I just get very down because I think about how we're going to be married and we still haven't a place of our own. I just think about how bad that looks. Everybody who knows we live with his parents has been incredibly understanding, though, so it doesn't make that much sense that I think this way.

And besides 'how it looks,' I just want us to be on our own. We're adults. I hate watching as his brother is planning to get married and they seem to have it all together, while we don't. It stinks. I want to have kids, too! I'd like to have a kid in two or three years. Will we be able to? I don't even know. I hate the uncertain future.

I'm so hungry. I want dinner.
Onceuponatime, not that I remember THAT far back, families lived together forever, babies and everything. As far as I know (I only managed to travel as far as Canada in 50 odd years), in lots of furrin' countries they still do. As far as I can also tell, based on my experience with my surrogate mother the Sicilian, may she rest with the angels forever, various demographic/ethnic groups are particularly family-minded and live in close proximity. :)

But of course, what Nichole is describing is the American Dream. John Mellenkamp's little pink houses, and the Truman Show's white picket fences.

I don't think it exists anymore for ordinary people. I think it is a myth. One of the things Buddhism is all about is differentiating myth from reality. I've been thinking about other myths I've escaped from in my little life:

(1) Marriage is romantic (in the hollywood sense of the word, i.e, flowers, candy, sweet nothings)
(2) You CAN get a meaningful job and/or keep it
(3) You WILL have a decent retirement
(4) You will be surrounded by a comforting circle of folks with like minds and dreams who will be there to help in a crisis
(5) You can't do a damned thing about your weight unless you starve yourself :)

I'm just wondering if anyone else has gone through a pile of myths to emerge into the bright sunshine of the other side, or how Nichole can feel better in the New Third World.

One must know his limitations. -- John Milius
Beginning weight: 115
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Post by Blithe Morning » Mon May 26, 2008 1:31 pm

If living with his folks is what you gotta do, it's what you gotta do. Not having seen the original thread, I don't know the backstory.

It's really none of my business and if you would rather not go into depth (I don't blame you if you would rather not) that's understandable. I'd be willing to brainstorm ways that might help. I also participate on the Simple Living Forum board ( and there are some blackbelt tightwads over there.

Essentially the only two ways to get more money is to cut expenses and increase income.

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Post by noSer » Thu May 29, 2008 7:32 pm

Nichole -

It is hard being young, and being middle aged, and being old :) But there is also great joy in being young, being middle aged, and being old. Sometimes ya just gotta change your perspective.

Don't know your situation, but in general I find that if you want to have what people have, you have to do what they do. I watched the final episode of The Biggest Loser, and boy was that depressing. Here was this great looking woman who had lost 100 lbs in 4 months or something amazing. Anyway, I had to realize that I don't want to spend four months away from my family, eat strange food, and exercise all day long. I am much more satisfied in general with this gradual weight loss that allows me to live my life.

I don't know why it is that some around you seem to have it all together, and you're feeling hard to get to where you want. I know that like fkwan says, sometimes life throws curve balls that you're not expecting. Life's like that. I also know, like Blithe says, that you do (sometimes!) have some control. What's your plan for getting the independence you desire?

I know you're engaged, and I've got to tell you that many of the weddings I attend lately just stun me. Went to one this past weekend, though, that was beautiful in its simplicity. And they're just as married, just as not broke. :lol:

Heard a quote somewhere that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. So, forgive me if this doesn't apply to your particular situation, but get prepared. Then when opportunity arises, you'll be ready.

Congrats on you engagement and upcoming wedding. I know you'll be a beautiful bride.
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Post by Nichole » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:01 pm

Well, I didn't discover this thread until a few days ago. I wasn't really sure what to say because we were in between ideas.

We tried to get approved for an FHA loan, but, alas, Justin's credit score was too low. Mine is good. Or at least fair and good enough. So we have this new plan that we're going to put $1000 a month to his debt and he is no longer going through a consolidation company. He got his report and almost all of them had been paid late, b/c of the consolidator. So all those late payments = bad credit.

So, like I had begun to say, he's going to pull out of the consolidation and pay the bills on his own. So for ANOTHER 6-8 months we're going to have to live with his rents as he builds his credit and will pay off most of his debt. :( Then we'll try again to get approved for a FHA house loan. It all sounds so complicated and I'm extremely worried and cried some last night. I just can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Justin does and accused me of always seeing the cup 'half empty.' Oy, I hate my life.

I wanted to have a huge bowl of ice cream, but I knew it would only make me feel worse, so I didn't.

At least I'm going to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Philly with my best friend tonight. I hope I'll be able to enjoy it.
"Anyone can cook." ~ Chef Gusteau, Ratatouille

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Re: :(

Post by NoelFigart » Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:07 pm

Nichole wrote:At least I'm going to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Philly with my best friend tonight. I hope I'll be able to enjoy it.
While it is completely responsible to take action on problems that beset you, once you've taken all the action you CAN take, it's also responsible to let them GO and do something else.

I didn't internalize that until a lot of damage was done. I thought I had a responsibility to focus on my problems AT ALL TIME unless I had none....

(Hint: Life's not like that. You always have problems).

I'm hardly an advocate of sticking one's head in the sand, but let's say you... oh break down on the side of the road. You check the car. There's nothing you can see to do. You call AAA. The tow truck isn't going to be there for awhile. You CANT fix the car, you can't hurry the truck.

But you CAN have that picnic you'd packed for the afternoon. It's okay to go ahead and spread out the blanket with your friend who was in the car and giggle over the picnic.

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Post by Nichole » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:44 pm

Thanks for your reply-- it made me feel a lot better. The last six months went by fast, so I guess the next six will too, especially since we're getting ready for a wedding. And if he pays all his bills on his own, then his credit score will DEFINITELY go up, right? All will be well...
"Anyone can cook." ~ Chef Gusteau, Ratatouille

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Post by kccc » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:21 pm

I REALLY need a macro for "What Noel said." :)

Do what you can. Let it go.

Oddly, I find that when I stop obsessing over all that's wrong (or needs doing), I notice and enjoy what's RIGHT in my life a lot more. Things I sometimes take for granted, because they're always there... like a strong relationship with someone I really like as well as love.

No one gets a perfect life. But you do get perfect moments - savor them.

The things that are hardships now will improve. But there will always be new challenges, so the big goal is to learn to "ride the waves" and keep your own center.

Have a wonderful wedding!

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Post by Over43 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:34 pm

Your list is compelling.

1. My marriage is not necessarily romantic, but we love each other, there is a difference. As much as we'd all like be be Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lazlo real life steps in the way, just like it did Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca" at the Paris train stsation.

2. You can get a meaningful job and keep it. You can, but for some you make less than you want to. Almsot 20 years ago I had a bachelor's degree and was stacking produce at a grocery store. I decided to teach school. It has been meaningful, and as of yet, I have never wanted for a job. In fact, I probably could work anywhere from San Francisco to Maine if I wanted. Currently I live where I want. I have actually had people criticize me for my job choice: not enough money, union, blah, blah, blah. Most of these people have been through several jobs that I know of.

3. A decent retirement. I have just planned on working as long as I can. I like working, plus I am tuned into reality enough to know that I may not have enought o retire and live comfortably.

4. You will be surrounded by a comforting circle of folks: When did that happen? I am a bit of a hermit. Have a few friends scattered across the US: LA, North California Coast, New Orleans, West Jordan Utah, Sacramento. We see each other once every 1-5 years, have BBQ's laugh, hug when we part, and that's how it works. Most people I have found are coniving turds.

5. You can't do much about your weight unless you starve yourself: I am beginning to look at this more seriously. When I taught health I used to tell the kids to take a good look at their parents because that's probably what they'd look like when the reached adulthood. One young man cried. Now as I have hit the middle 40's I am becoming shaped more and more like my father and grandfather. Irregardless of how many laps I run, how many skips I do with the rope, or how many push ups I do. Genes are a very important part of our lives.

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I made myself be hungry, then I would get hungrier. - Frank Zane Mr. Olympia '77, '78, '79

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