Someone to watch over me

By Gill Alexander on Mar 19, 09 10:34 AM

I have often extolled, through the auspices of this blog, the advantages of being single. Never having to hide a ridiculously expensive purchase in the bowels of the wardrobe, for example, to be brought out at a later date and dismissed with a "What, this old thing? Had it for years darling," throw away remark in response to the quizzical face of one's husband. A Twitter friend however has a different method. She buys a new dress that bears a remarkable similarity to the other three in her wardrobe in order to confuse her spouse.

This seems a magnificent ruse and one which I would highly recommend to all my married friends (few).

The Credit Crunch of Doom seems to require increasing sleight of hand when it comes to marriages. At the same time, however, there must be tremendous solace to be found in having someone with whom to share these frankly frightening times. As someone who works from home I cannot deny the advantages of not having a husband to criticise my penchant for eating cereal straight out of the box. On the other hand, when the bath leaked this Monday and the ceiling below fell in, it would have been handy to have someone with me to (a) commiserate and (b) clean up.

And yet, and yet. I have two friends who have been made redundant recently, both of them single. Our little circle of friends all rallied round, giving advice and help where we could. Had they not been single I wonder if they would have had only one person to share the burden? Although it cannot be denied that probably, there would still have been one salary to depend on instead of none at all.

I can't deny I'm having a hard time of it, financially. And my remedies for dealing with it haven't been entirely successful. Lidl has just opened up a store in the town next to mine and since I can't afford our local Waitrose anymore I thought I would give it a whirl. Taking the whole money saving exercise seriously, I virtuously got the two buses necessary to reach said Lidl store and filled up my trolley with low-cost store cupboard staples that I could recognise only by the photographs on the tin/packet. Thrilled with the savings I had made, I went through the checkout (a process memorable for the speed with which the operator hurled my shopping into my trolley) and went to stagger to the bus stop for the return journey. Problem. No matter how I switched round the bulging bags of shopping from hand to hand, I couldn't carry them. Dismissing the wish that I had actually done some weight training instead of having a facial when I could afford gym membership, there was nothing else for it but to call for a taxi. Result? Permanent red weals on my fingers: 8. Savings: 0.

If I was still married it's unlikely I'd be in this financial mire because I'd have had someone watching over my every money-related move. Having said that, my last significant relationship lasted two years and was with someone who spent money like water, (he was 17 years my junior, judge me all you want, it was fabulous,) so perhaps we are all, ultimately, on our own. Terrifying thought.

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