August Tax Report

Here are the numbers for August, as well as year-to-date totals.  All amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar, so the numbers might not appear to add up perfectly. Sales tax numbers may be slightly off for this month, due to personal events that have precluded precise record keeping.

August:

Gross Income: $4,434
Fed Tax: $345
SS Tax: $269
Med Tax: $63
State Tax: $184
Health Care: $4*
Sales Tax:$103
Gas Tax:$39

Total Taxes:$1,006
Percentage: 22.7%

Year to date:

Gross Income: $39,917
Fed Tax: $2,728
SS Tax: $2,419
Med Tax: $566
State Tax: $1,246
Health Care: $35*
Sales Tax:$638
Car/Real Estate Tax:$220
Gas Tax:$113
Other:$612

Total Taxes:$8,578
Percentage: 21.5%

* I include this because in years past, FaucetCompany paid 100% of the premium for individual medical insurance.  During the open enrollment meetings for 2014, we were told that employer plans would be assessed certain fees mandated by zer0care. The decision was made to have employees share part of the cost of these fees. The amount listed above is my “share” of the fees.
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Soul Searching

I know it’s been a while. My apologies.

This is going to be a follow-up to my last two posts. Much has taken place since we last talked.

I have decided to go forward with the potential relationship with B. It is going to be at least a couple months before the immigration situation is decided, so the question may resolve itself before there is an issue. In the mean time, I will continue communicating with Wifey, and the immigration process will continue to move at its current pace.

B is away from her ex and in her own place now. It didn’t take a lot of encouragement to make it happen. She felt trapped, and needed a nudge to show her otherwise. Although me putting up the money for the deposit probably didn’t hinder the process any.

Between the move itself, the last minute school enrollment change, and running all over hell’s half acre to furnish the place with thrift store stuff, all while maintaining the required presence at work, it has been a busy week.

This has been very difficult for me. On one hand, I feel guilty. In her emails, Wifey writes about how much she is looking forward to the house, and of how nice it will be to have our own place. She talks about finishing the remodel and growing old slowly, together. And I believe her.

Then I remember her actions and decisions that left me alone almost three years ago. And all the other shit I whined about already.

B and I seem good together, at least so far. She’s passionate about her feelings for me. She appreciates the things that I do for her. She likes me. She wants me. When we’re together, life is great.

But there’s the house. I’ve moved probably thirty times as an adult, and I am fucking sick of it. And I put tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, gallons of sweat, and more than a few drops of blood to get it this far. I don’t expect B to ever live here. It’s in town, the school district is somewhat less than desirable, and with two rug rats, I’d have to give up my office.

I’ve made conscious choices to get where I am today – near zero debt, minimal responsibility. I really like where I am in my life, and I would really prefer not to give all that up. I mean, can you really see old Grumpy playing daddy to a fucking toddler?

But when I am with B, nothing else matters. She becomes my world. She responds to me in ways that no woman ever has. She feels as lucky and blessed to have me as I do her. I’ve never had that before. Certainly not with Wifey.

Nothing in life is free. If I want the awesomeness that is B, I have to hurt my wife, probably piss off one of my best friends (ex-Roomie) and accept the drama and baggage that comes with her.

God, please grant me strength and wisdom.

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Confession, and a Dilemma – Part II

So, my wife has a pending immigrant visa case currently with the National Visa Center.  She could be back by the end of the year if everything goes smoothly. It probably won’t, but I figure that there is a 90+% chance of it eventually being approved.  Great, right?

Maybe not.

I’ve mentioned talking to this new girl at work.  Well, she’s not new, but the talking part is. Things are happening that I never saw coming.

I’ve had a crush on the girl for months, but that happened once before with another girl.  They are fun, but I don’t act on these crushes.  I am married, even if I haven’t seen my wife in nine hundred thirty-nine days. I’m a chickenshit of epic proportions. It’s almost never a good idea to date someone where you work.  And both she and the object of my last work crush are/were too young for me.

It turns out that this girl, who I will call B, had been trying to catch my eye for about as long as I’d been crushing on her, maybe even a little longer.  I’m not sure why, since she turned down my dinner invitation the other week due to having a boyfriend.

She’s been with this boyfriend for roughly eight years, and has a sprog by him.  Some time between the creation of said sprog and the present time, dude developed quite the taste for recreational pharmaceuticals. They haven’t shared a room or bed in quite some time. She has another kid, age 2, by “an old boyfriend with whom she had a moment of weakness” who hasn’t seen the baby since it was four months old. Yeah, she picks winners.  She claims to stay with him because she works third shift, and worthless though he is, he will refrain from getting too fucked up so he can keep an eye on the kids while she’s at work.  She has nobody else who can or will help.

So, while neither of us are technically available, neither of our current situations are even remotely fulfilling.  And we’ve both been interested in each other for several months.

Well, we finally found each other.

I won’t bore you with the details of the hours-long conversations that we’ve had pretty much every day since establishing our mutual interest. There are many reasons nothing should develop between us. My wife. Her boyfriend. The age difference (14 years). Her kids and my lack of a desire to deal with that. She’s quite the people person, and I’m a reclusive hermit.  She can’t stand the heat of a jalapeño pepper, while I regularly cook with habanero and ghost pepper. Hell, she’s a fucking deomcrat.  I’m not sure she understands the word, though.  She has no issues whatsoever with guns, and I have yet to find any real topics about which her claimed democrat-ness shows through.

She actually likes me.  She blushes furiously if I hold eye contact for more than a second or two. You cannot imagine how flattering that is.  Pretty girls just don’t notice me, much less have physical responses to my gaze.  Hell, even the ugly ones don’t usually acknowledge my existence. I’m usually the one embarrassingly trying to impress the girl. But she liked me without me approaching her and making a move. And I liked her before she finally dropped enough hints for me to figure out that she was interested. It’s only been a short time, but we just click so far. Conversation with her is easy. I admit that the lust is thick enough you could cut it with a chainsaw, but beyond wanting to do bad things to her, I like her.

I just don’t know what to do.  I want to go forward and see if there is anything there that may stand the test of time.  But I don’t want to break her heart.  She’s too sweet of a girl, and she’s already had a tough life.  And I have given my word to my wife that I will give her a second chance if she can get back into the country, despite the fact that I haven’t fully forgiven her for leaving. She’s not back yet, but there’s not that much time between now and when she may be.  There’s enough time to fall in love, but not long enough time for any real long term viability test.

If I move forward, we’ll probably fall in love, and either I must risk that it will last long term and blow off my wife after almost two years of immigration struggles, or I keep my word to my wife and break B’s heart in the process.  Perhaps along with my own.

If I don’t let it move forward, I will always wonder what could have been.  I could wait out the immigration process and hope that B will wait.  She knows the whole story, and has been very understanding so far.  It should only be a couple more months.  But who the fuck knows what’s really going to happen? There could be more delays before the interview. The 04 August notice did say that they expect it to take “at least 60 days to review documents”. Everything else has been running at almost double the estimated time. Then there is the time to transfer everything to the embassy.  And their processing time.  And the time to wait for the interview. And if they deny her after the interview, which is a real possibility, there is an appeal process.  That will take another indeterminate amount of time to get through. With no certain outcome.

And there is absolutely no guarantee that Wifey and I will be happy together, regardless of when she gets here. We know each other, but not as a couple. We’ve never spent the night in the same room. Yes, there were a few intimate encounters, five to be exact, but every time it felt like we were sneaking around. I never saw her completely without clothes. Draw the curtains, do the deed, get dressed, and get on with the day. At no point have I ever felt for her anything even remotely like what I feel for B.  Not that that’s much of indicator, but it is something. Right?

Decisions, decisions.  Whichever way I go, it will be wrong.

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Confession, and a Dilemma – Part I

I know that I am about to lose the respect of at least a few of you by admitting this, but so be it.

For those of you who are new, or who have forgotten, a summary: Several years ago, I divorced my ex-wife but stayed on friendly enough terms to continue to share a roof with her. Mostly because it was a nice house, owned free and clear by a corporation that she and I own along with a couple other investors, which essentially let us live there almost rent free. A couple years after the divorce, I married her sister.

Both were Ukrainian nationals (although the ex became a US citizen in 2007) so immigration was heavily involved. The first time, it was reasonably easy. The second time was anything but. Post 9/11, with it being my second request for a fiancée visa, and the familial relationship between the first and second beneficiaries – you can understand their skepticism. Eventually, it was approved, she got here and we got married.

At the time, I was working at BigBoxRetailer, after having been fired from my last real job on some bullshit that isn’t worth explaining.  After the termination, and the subsequent two years of unemployment, I had had enough of the rat race. I had made lifestyle adjustments, so I didn’t need $25+/hour.  I was living with ex-Roomie free in exchange for keeping the company’s books. I could support myself and my new family well enough on thirty hours a week at minimum wage. Living arrangements had been discussed prior to the marriage, and everyone seemed to be on the same page.

About a month after we got married, she started having panic attacks. A month later, she decided that she needed to go home. I had already sent in the green card paperwork, along with the requisite fees, which totaled just under three thousand dollars. So in addition to being hurt, I was pissed!

I explained that she was walking away with no second chance option. By leaving before the process could be completed, the money was lost and the petitions were withdrawn.  I explained that I would not shell out that kind of cash again.  She acknowledged, and left anyway.

I kept in touch with Wifey after she went back home almost three years ago. At first, the communication was sporadic, particularly while ex-LadyFriend and I were trying to make a go of things.  At first, it was nothing more than brief, polite conversation. After ex-LF and I parted ways, contact became a little more regular. Wifey congratulated me on my job at FaucetCompany, and was particularly interested when she found out that I had bought a house and moved out. I was still pretty upset about her decision to leave, so I didn’t notice at the time.

I decided to stop being polite. I asked the hard questions, and insisted on real answers. What did I have to lose? She had already left, and I figured she’d just quit writing back when I started pushing. She didn’t. She gave answers.

I’m sure that she didn’t tell me everything that contributed to her decision, but she hit the high points. The biggest factor was ex-Roomie. While ex-Roomie can be a sweet, kind, lovable kitten when she wants to, she spends a significant percentage of the time being a demanding, disagreeable bitch.

Wifey couldn’t handle living with her sister. The ex’s bitch fits an the fact that she and I had been a couple for roughly a decade before Wifey entered the picture was bad enough. But the whole situation reminded her of her first marriage (forced to live with her impossible to please mother-in-law for the entire fifteen years) she just couldn’t deal with it.

Of course, she failed to share these details before she left. She claims that she didn’t want to present me with as an ultimatum. That left me wondering how important our marriage was to her. Looking back, I see a lot of myself in her decision. I have to fight the instinct to run when shit gets tough.

And it was tough. New country. New language (even with the translation assistance provided by ex-Roomie). New relationship (we’d never lived together, and hadn’t had much of a traditional courtship). Difficult roommate. Knowledge that her new husband and said roommate used to be a couple. Worry about her eldest son who was finishing up college in a country where even menial jobs are rare, even with a degree – much moreso than here. Financial concerns for the family that she left behind, that I couldn’t afford to help support, and she wouldn’t be eligible to work until immigration approved her petition. Hell, I’d have probably ran away a lot sooner than she did.

She admitted regret over her decision, but I didn’t see how that changed anything. I wouldn’t pay for round two of the immigration nightmare, even if she wanted to try again. There were hard questions during the fiancée visa process. Leaving the country after less than three months of marriage, before completing the permanent resident paperwork, would almost certainly prompt a very unpleasant interrogation.

A little over a year ago, Ex asked me out of the blue if I would be willing to give Wifey another chance. I was alone.  The search for ex-LF had been so arduous, only to have the relationship end with a whimper after less than three months.  I had finally come to terms with how my life was going to go.

After thinking about it for a while, I answered in the affirmative. I was still upset about her decision to leave.  I still cared about her, though.  I figured, what could it hurt? There were only three possible outcomes.  Either she is denied the visa, she comes back and can’t handle it again, or she comes back and we manage to tolerate each other and grow old together.

Well, Ex-Roomie financed the endeavor.  I did the paperwork, and paid for a couple copies of official documents.  The case is now at the National Visa Center, where they are reviewing the financial and civil documents. Assuming everything passes muster, it will then go to the embassy in Kiev, where she will be interviewed.  I expect this interview to take place by the end of the year. Almost there!

But life just threw me a huge curve ball.  Explanation in Part II.

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Kids These Days

I’ve spent a lot of time the last couple of days talking to the pretty, young thing that I wrote about a few posts back. I don’t know if it will go anywhere, and aside from not having gotten laid in *damn has it really been that long?*, I’m not sure I want it to. But it has made for some interesting conversations.

Yesterday morning, she complained of what felt like the initial stages of a cold. Last night, she confirmed the diagnosis. She said that she was going to stop at a convenience store and pick up some cold medicine on her way to work. Since I come in an hour later than her, I offered to pick some up for her. C-stores aren’t exactly known for having low prices, and she is supporting two kids and a perpetually unemployed boyfriend on a temp job paycheck.

She declined my offer. She instead picked up a few single dose packages. For $1.50 each. I suggested that maybe I could offer some suggestions to help her get the most out of her income.

Why do I stick my nose into other people’s business? I mean well, but it is never taken the way I intend.

omg it was $1.47 each I don’t think that’s gonna break me

Followed up with:

I should still be able to pay the bills this month but it probably did take my life savings away! lmfao

One day I’ll learn. Scratch that. No I won’t.

Karma’s a bitch, though. Not an hour later, she found out that she’s only working a total of three days this week, instead of the usual six or seven. I chose not to point out the obvious.

Kids!

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Sore Neck

On Monday morning, I picked up my new eyeglasses. I now have a sore neck. The correlation? They are my first pair of bifocals, and finding the correct angle to get clear vision requires a lot of head movement.

Yes, getting old sucks.

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Damn Verizon Wireless

I have Verizon’s prepaid $45 per month plan that comes with 500MB of data. A provision of the plan is that if you sign up for automatic payment, they will double the data allowance to 1GB.

After an internal debate about privacy versus the advantages of automatic payment, I signed up. A month or so later, I needed to change the credit card number. The only way I could get the system to allow me to do so was to cancel AutoPay and re-enroll with the new card number.

Unbeknownst to me, that forever disqualified me for the additional data allowance part of my plan, although the identical plan is still available, including the AutoPay incentive. The only way to get it back is to cancel my service, which will mean losing my current number, and sign up as a new customer with a new number.

At least, that’s what the asshole I talked to on Friday night said.

Normally, I would take my business elsewhere, but I need service that uses Verizon’s towers, otherwise I won’t have coverage at work. StraightTalk has agreements in place to use Verizon’s towers with some of their devices. Unfortunately, my phone is not one that ST supports.

Ex-Roomie was on the road to Florida Saturday, so I decided to wait until Saturday night to cancel and reactivate. I didn’t want her to have a problem along the way and try to call me, just to get a recording telling her that the number is out of service.

Saturday night after ExR let me know that she had arrived safely, I called Verizon. I was all set to do what asshole told me was required. But it was not to be.

I actually got a kind and competent representative, to whom I explained my situation. She informed me that they could easily opt me back into the promotion with one click. By a supervisor. Which she made happen. She then added the additional 500MB for this month to ensure that I had enough to get me through until my monthly renewal and the reactivated promotion kicked in.

Friday night’s asshole either didn’t know, or was too fucking lazy to get a supervisor to fix it for me.

For now, VZW and I are back on speaking terms.

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