It’s 11:56 PM on a Friday, and I’m about to do some dishes.

Welcome to the life of a 46-year-old widow with 4 teenagers.

And now it’s 12:48 AM, and I’m just sitting down to finish this post.

Did it really take almost an hour to do dishes?


Why are you doing dishes at midnight on a Friday?

Because they weren’t done earlier.

Why didn’t you do them earlier?

Because I was out driving deliveries for Uber Eats.

Why are you driving for Uber Eats?

Because I need extra cash right now.

Wait a minute. Don’t you have like a solid six-figure salary?

Yep. My salary is $150,000 per year.

And that’s not enough?

Nope. Not with 4 kids, all teenagers, who want things like braces and more braces and food and a young adult stipend and bowling club and clothes for band concerts and tampons and graduation announcements and driver’s licenses and emotional therapy and physical therapy and shampoo and the chance to go to a movie once a month. And because I have a house, which requires upkeep like paying the water and sewer bills and paying off the AC system from 3 years ago and fixing the garage door opener and unsticking the toilet and replacing the socket joint on the car so the wheel doesn’t fall off mid-intersection and paying the guy to complete your taxes because it’s so inconceivably complicated to understand the infinite-layer bureaucracy of the IRS.

Dude – you’re screwed.

That’s what I realized when I put together my budget at the end of January and saw that I have only like a few hundred dollars unaccounted for each month. That’s not enough. I don’t even have anything like an emergency fund.

Why don’t you have an emergency fund?

Because I didn’t change my spending habits during the few years that I didn’t have a full-time employment and was trying to build a freelance business.

That didn’t work?

Nope. I hated selling myself.

That doesn’t seem smart.

Well, I guess. And now I have to make sacrifices for a while to get back to a reasonable position.

So you’re driving Uber to make that happen?


How’s it going?

I made over $140 in 4 hours tonight, so that’s a positive. I’m targeting to clear, after gas, $1,000 a month. Plus when I have an anniversary at work in 2 months I’m going to make a solid case for a large raise. I figure it will be 6 to 9 months to get about 10 grand in that emergency fund.

Better be a pretty big raise.

Yeah. I think I’m worth significantly more.

Still – why were you doing the dishes at midnight?

Because they weren’t done before, duh.

But why were you doing them? Don’t you have kids that can do that?

Well, yeah. I guess.

So why don’t they?

Because I don’t make them do stuff around the house very much. They have chores, like one made dinner tonight and another is doing that tomorrow. But I haven’t enlisted them to do the cleaning-up stuff.

Why not?

Probably my trust issues.


Yeah, trust issues. I’ve been burned so many times by so many different people that I can’t really let go of responsibilities and expect them to get done in any kind of reasonable way. Or, if I did push additional responsibilities, then I would have to train them how to do it, manage that process, and that’s another administrative headache. Ugh.

So you’re just doing it all yourself?

Pretty much, yeah.

Sounds like you’re a control freak.

Well, not really that I have to control everything, but I just do stuff so that other people don’t have to. So I don’t have to ask them and make them see me as less than able to provide for them.

Oh, so you’re a martyr!

Yeah, I guess. It makes sense in my mind.

Not to me.

Who are you?

Your conscience.

Oh fuck.