My friend Amy, showed me this New York Time's article back in October. Since then, I've thought much more about "The Cost of Being Gay."
I think people (my family) assume that because I'm a professor, I make a lot of money. I don't. I make less being Professor Holzhauser than I did counting and weighing artifacts, digging holes, and drinking too much in cheap hotel rooms.
I make about 11.50 and hour. Before taxes. Yes, this is what I earn teaching English to college freshmen, our country's future leaders. Since Mindy isn't here, I'm not going to tell you how much she makes, but I'll hint that it's not very much more than what I make.
We have a nice house, but didn't overpay. We didn't take out one of those huge loans we couldn't afford (we bought our house just seconds before wall street fell). We have a budget and we're usually close to sticking to it. We don't buy much. What we do spend money on is beer, eating out and scrapbooking. But, really, we only eat out about 4 times a month. For a European that might sound like a lot, but to an American, I'm sure we're way under average.
With the widget on the way (in 4.5 months) we've been trying to think of ways to save/earn money. I'm applying to be a Census worker: It pays more.
Besides our house payment, one of our biggest bills is our students loans. It totals 500$ a month. That's like another house, you guys.
I called one of my loan places and asked if I could have an economic hardship deferral. I told the guy that my family size is 3 (as defined on the form), but of course, it didn't actually work out that way since 1. I'm single 2. I have no dependents. I explained that I was married (we live together and share the bills), and my wife is pregnant. It's not that he was rude, he just sort of ignored all that, since it doesn't actually matter. He said I wasn't eligible.
I've checked out getting food stamps, but we make too much. Of course, there isn't a section on the form for, like, *very high student loan repayments* so they think we have 500$ more a month than we really do.
Oh, I know, you're judging me. Normally, I wouldn't condone people trying to get food stamps when they don't actually need them. But, I pay the same taxes you do, and I get much less in return.
I can't have Mindy's health insurance.
If I had health insurance through my work, she couldn't be on mine.
This is a total bummer because, well, the widget will always have to be on her insurance. Even if I got a nice paying job and Mindy wanted to stay home, we couldn't do it because the widget needs health insurance.
I get so mad and I just fucking cry sometimes.
My taxable martial status is "Single." In fact, on all legal documents, I have to check single.
At our first OB appointment, Mindy had to write down an emergency contact and her relationship to that person. She put my name on the line that read "Spouse." The next time we went, when the receptionist handed her the paper and said, "Make sure everything on there is right," we saw that my name had been moved down the list to the line that read "Other."
Since my name is long, it looks something like this:
Relationship: Other/Christina Holzhau
So, no, receptionist, everything is not right. It's incomplete. In fact, it looks very, very wrong.