Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Money the Root of All Discord

Two Thoughts for Tuesday

During my bowl of oatmeal this morning, I caught a tidbit that the big story that is to excite and incite me at 4:30 on the channel 5 news is "Money is causing tension in marriages".  Wow, what a news flash....

Thought #1  "Money is causing increased tension in marriages." 

I can hardly wait for 4:30 to find out that people are disagreeing over money and that it is news.
Frankly, I thought that caveman spouses spent their day fighting over the number of rocks each of them had. 
According to the promo, the economy is the blame.   HMMMMM ....call me suspicious.  

While I am thoroughly on-board blaming the economy on all the evils of the world, I think there might have been some marital discord regarding money even when the economy was booming.  (I can't be certain of this as my memory only goes back so far)

The fact that I have been in real estate for a lot of years and prior to that I worked as a bank manager at one point, I will tell you that I have had the pleasure of seeing a lot of people's personal financial information.  Always a really good time!  Really, if ever given the chance to look at peoples finances...do.  It's pretty fun.
(Oh, by the way...I am known for being a snoop...check out the levels of my snoopydom at Simply Junebug. I am over there right now, going through her stuff.)

My guess is the 90 percent of spouses look at money differently.  I would say 100% but there must to be some that are either super naive to what the other is actually doing, just plain stupid or one of the partners is just fine at letting the other take control of the money.  Take your pick.

A few year ago, I happened upon an interesting couple.  The couple  looked to be the perfect, successful, middle-class wage earners. Decent house, nice cars, two kids and a dog...you know the type...All looked pretty rosy.

Turns out husband (jerk) was in charge of all the bill paying, tax paying, and wage earning.  While from a wife's perspective this sounds AWESOME.  BUT...not so fast.  Husband (a**hole) had a gambling problem and wasn't paying the bills with his "more than adequate" wages.  He was particularly clever in covering his trail, however.   Some of his clever tactics to keep wifey from realizing his "problem" was that he filled out fake tax returns, had her sign them and never actually paid taxes.  He also, took a 2nd mortgage out on the house and for this he forged her name.  Turns out neither of those things are legal.  (who would have guessed?)

  Of course, she did eventually find out when she got the foreclosure notice on the house and then got a letter from the IRS.  The down side of this particular money disagreement was that she lived in a community property state and was left hold 1/2 of the bag.  I might add that bag was pretty hefty.  The back taxes and penalties were in the millions. 

This couple had some tension in their marriage regarding money before and after the divorce.

Another example:  When I was still managing the bank, a surgeon's wife was one of my regular PITAs.
She came in pretty regularly to scream at me about her overdraft charges.  How dare, I charge her for 18, 22, 35...whatever... overdraft charges as her husband made millions.  She couldn't appreciate that there was no money in the account.  The surgeon, also, got angry with me when I called him to tell him the bank was going to repossess his car.  Seemingly, he was under the assumption he had money in the bank. (what a fool)

To prove his extreme displeasure with me and the bank, he torched his car and called me to come and get it. He actually thought this was great fun and came in to pay the car off so technically at that point the car was his to do whatever he wanted to with it.  I don't think he ever understood that, while he proved his point that he had money, (albeit, not in our bank) he was out the car.  Had the doctor (sh**head) paid the car off in the first place, I wouldn't have threatened repossession and he would still have his Beamer.

Thought #2  Advertisers are using this idea of Marital Discord to sell there products

My Kiddo #2 mentioned last week that his new "commercial to hate" is an AT&T commercial.  He said that it is appearing all the time and it is just ridiculous.  Tell me more I say.  As I personally never watch commercials (thank-you, my pal Tivo) I had no idea what he was talking about. 

Seems that AT&T in there infinite wisdom has, again, come up with a commercial that makes no sense and has nothing to do with their product.  As you might remember, I sent a letter to them about one of their other stupid commercials and got a "less than friendly" letter from them.  In my article To Offend or Not Offend I was merely pointing out that I didn't see how two guys in a bar talking about want to become "players" had a good connotation to sell their phones.  They wrote back saying something to the effect "sorry we offended you".  I maintain I wasn't offended, I just think their marketing firm consists of a bunch of idiots.

Seems they still are using those same idiots for their advertising.

Yeah, idiots!!! What are they promoting here???? That this wife is a total BE-ATCH or that this husband is the best example on the planet as a cowering hen-pecked, spineless husband.  (dare I say pu***whipped)
And might I add, I don't think this couple looks like an actual couple.  I initially thought the bitchy wife was the mother until she referred to herself as the wife. 

I can't see where this would inspire me to run out and change my cell phone plan.  I would write them another letter but I might get another letter back with "Sorry, you were offended."

So, my bloggee friends....just be on the look out that there might be some NEW tensions brewing in your present environment of marital bliss. According to KC NBC news, send your thank-you to the economy and be sure to go out and sign up with AT&T

The Good for the Day....The couples that agree on their finances

The Bad for the Day...Idiot marketing

The Weird for the Day....The waste of a perfectly good BMW

The guy in the AT&T commercial must of gotten his direction from the Man Song

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Bodaciousboomer said...

I LOVE the Man Song. would Doug? Probably not so much...

Cheryl P. said...

I thought it was pretty funny as well but I suspect any man that isn't totally under the thumb of their spouse would find it less funny.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

The Man Song makes me giggle. As for the idiots you worked with... At least you have some awesome stories!

meleahrebeccah said...

I saw your guest post over on June's sight. Very, funny!

My mother & father definitely look at money differently. While my mom is the one "in charge" of paying bills, ect… he is the one that worries much more. But thankfully, they don't really fight over money. And, as far as I know, it doesn't cause TOO much tension.


I hare that commercial too.
The wife is an ASSHOLE. And that husband needs a pair of balls.

Horrible, HORRIBLE advertisement.

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl!

I love the whole post! Young couple are having a really hard time with this economy and trying to learn how to be a couple. The ending video.. He's the man! So Funny!


Trina said...

Money is a trouble in every marriage. I think that the equasion should be updated to include how very common divorce is. When things get had couples used to work to solve them.. now is straight to the courthouse!

You make me laugh every week. I totally love the video.

Happy Tuesday!

Leah Griffith said...

Cheryl, you never cease to ammuse, entertain, and tickle me! When I see couples separating their finances (mine vs yours) I say to myself, "that relationship won't last long." My experience has been that both partners need to be equally involved and invested in the money. Both should know the input and output of it all. Great post!

Nicky said...

The gambling story is rough, as a friend of mine went through that with her ex-husband. She spent years working 2 jobs to pay off his debts. Thank goodness they didn't have kids.

See now, I would have given the guy a quart of motor oil as a "gift" for making his final payment and included a card with it wishing him many years of driving pleasure. But I'm mean like that.

As for the marketing idiots, well...not that I think it's a good commercial, but it is getting people talking, even if it's to complain about how stupid it is. That means it's effective. Eventually, people will forget the commercial, but remember the company.

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Kimberly, The stories I could tell. When you work at a bank you meet some strange people. I think money makes people crazy. Of course, it is nothing compared to the 4 years I worked as a 911 dispatcher. Crazy times 10.

Cheryl P. said...

My husband and I are like your parents. I totally relate to that...we don't necessarily agree on money issues but we tend to work it out, compromise, or whatever to keep peace.

OH MAH GAH, I love that you hate that commercial. The guy is such a freakin weinie. I can't believe how that was cast. They don't look like they go together.

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks, Wolf
I agree that young people especially have to learn to deal with money issues and in today's world everything has gotten harder.

Doesn't that video remind you of an old skit on SNL where the guy whispered subliminal messages after each sentance? I don't remember who did the skit any more.

Cheryl P. said...

You are so right. That's the part that I found laughable when the promo came on...like it is some breaking story that people fight over money. Haven't they always??? That is an interesting point. When you factor how common divcorce is there are fights about a lot of things, efidently.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you, Leah. I did find when I worked at the bank that a lot of couples don't know what is going on. (Doctor is prime example...he was just angry as he didn't know the wife was spending everything he made) Scary really.

Cheryl P. said...

That is rough when something like a gambling addiction leaves a spouse owing a lot of debt. The people that I know have 2 kids and the kids were bitter that they lost their home, car everything thanks to a "bad" dad.

After my friend divorced him she did get the debt paid off with the help of her family and friends but it was a hard road. After a couple of years, she met someone and remarried. She is doing fine now.

I am sure you are right about these types of commercials getting people talking. Some of those really annoying catch phrases have become iconic. Still it makes me want to kick my TV when they are on.

oldereyes said...

Hmmm. I think Muri and I have always been pretty much on the same page financially. Addictions of all sorts cause financial disasters ... sometimes, I think if they didn't many marriages would survive them.

Yes, I dare say pudding-whipped. When you're AT&T and you have the worst mobile phone service in the world, of course you talk about something else.


Cheryl P. said...

Good for you and Muri that you have the same financial sensabilities. I think that is sorta rare. Probably explains why your marriage is so awesome. (yeah, I read all those endearing blog posts of yours) Wayne (husband) and I agree on long term goals but we occassionaly part ways on the "don't we need this?" or "should we replace this?" I am the tighter fisted one of the two of us by far. Still we rarely fight about it. We talk, compromise, or let the other have their way.