Slackadelphia

Is it the warm, summer air… Oh, who am I kidding?

Is it the hot, humid, sticky air that makes your lungs feel like
they’re filled with honey and skin slicker than the ocean surrounding
the Exxon Valez that is making me lazy?

Or could it be something else? A lack of willpower, lack of drive,
get-up-and-go winner takes all sort of deficit that’s causing me to
stare, blindly, at my monitor while scanning craigslist for a coffee
shop job?

A-ha! Coffee shop job? Wait just a minute…

Methinks there is something larger at work, something intent upon
keeping me down in the dumps — literally and figuratively, if you’ve
seen my house of late — and sucking the energy from me like a
failure-minded vampire.

I have to wonder: has my self-esteem taken such a beating over the
last few years I’m happy to wile the hours away schlepping espressos
and counting the nickels plunking to the bottom of the tip jar?

Now, it’s not that I won’t necessarily go for the joe job. It would be
nice to have human interaction, and some extra cash in the pocket is
always a boon.

Plus, money has been more than tight these days, what with me being
the sole breadwinner in the fam and Mr. Spipster seemingly doing nada
to lighten the skint girl load. It’s just that part of me thinks it’s
unfair that I even have to.

Allow me to vent. Of late, things have been pretty dismal on the
interpersonal relations end when it comes to the two of us. It
basically consists of me screaming and him screaming back, assorted
household items going crashing into stationery objects, and increased
anger and hostility building on both sides.

Not exactly the most fun, my friends, and lately I’ve been unsure what
the best course of action may be.

In full disclosure of the stress-fraught circumstances, I was
(somewhat) okay with his unemployed status when he moved in. It was
the end of the season, and there’s not much work for a construction
worker in the middle of a snowstorm.

But things have not gotten better, in fact they’ve only gotten worse,
while the Mr. insists that things are indeed on the up-and-up and I’m
just a pessimist for giving up when the going is just about to be
getting good.

Harumph.

How can I be sure that’s not the truth? How could I possibly even
consider turning someone out who has devoted his time and energy to
taking care of myself and my (our) household. He cleans like a demon,
does laundry on a daily basis, and all the other manly tasks that my
less-burly girl muscles can’t quite do.

Car stuff? He’s on it. Heavy lifting? He’s the man. But I can’t help
but think that there’s got to be more, especially when dragging myself
out of bed at 6 a.m. so I can hit the (temp) workplace and schlep home
the soy bacon is akin to walking across a football field of hot coals.

To be fair, the boy’s got some serious health issues, from rheumatoid
arthritis stemming from too many hours of laying concrete in the hot
afternoon sun to other assorted ailments as a result of too-late
diagnosed Lyme disease. He is not well. He needs help. He has a hard
time getting around. He is in pain. I understand that, and it really
sucks.

Yet I look at those traveling on SEPTA to their workplaces with me in
the morning, and can’t help but notice plenty who, with their own far
share of painful ailments and disabilities, make their way to to the
grind right next to me.

Is it too much to ask a person to do their very best to find a way to
contribute to the mounting bills so I don’t have to spend every waking
hour slaving to make ends meet?

Obviously, the answer is no. But the boy has a way of making me feel
like the taskmaster and the world’s biggest, meanest hardass all
wrapped up in one. I honestly don’t know what to do at this point: the
ties are legally binding, so no matter what I choose we’ll have to
figure it out together at some point.

But in the interim, I really just wish this would all go away. I’ve
got too much to worry about — I’ve made the jump to being my own
boss, and unless I am determined to fail I’ve got to make it work.

But to make it work I’ve got to get to work, and when your brain is
sweating out your ears and your heart is torn in a thousand
directions, it’s tough to get the gumption up to go ask a perfect
stranger for a shot at a gig. Especially if that intereferes with your
shift at the coffee shop….

Sigh.

How do I get myself into these situations?

Next time, I’ll just bring home a kitten….

[editor’s note: The Spipster is considering continuing this draft in
serial mode, via an extremely cheap subscription (pennies, my friends,
pennies!) in order to defray costs and possibly give her inspiration
in the form of income. Your thoughts?

Many of you have expressed a desire to see more of many of her sordid
tales. Would you be willing to pay for the opportunity to delve into
the world of someone so hopeless she’s willing to turn to strangers to
help fuel her impassioned rantings? (Literally, people — PECO ain’t
cheap!)]

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