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November 5, 2011

I am pleased to report that we have survived both our first major financial crisis and my first major “I’m Not in Kansas Anymore” moment.

The financial crisis first: November 1st came and went and our housing allowance (BAH) still has not kicked in. In the meantime we have been scrimping and saving and living like little church mice, but it reached the breaking point this month, and we were officially broke. It would be a major understatement to say that I am irritated like you wouldn’t believe with the people responsible for getting this going.

For the past few months, C has been locked in a losing battle with the Training Room and S1 (the paper pushers who are the gateway to all things financial). These are the fine people who get paid too much to make miserable the lives of those just trying to go about the business of living, say… by getting their housing allowance? Yes, that would be us.

After they had ‘lost’ his paperwork for the 3rd time (and I had a hissy fit because we were going to have $15 dollars left for the month after paying bills) I finally broke down and asked one of the Army wives I work with what on earth we should do.

I told her what had happened, and lo and behold– the same thing had happened to her and her husband when they first got married and were trying to get BAH started. Then she told me about a little something called an AER loan, which in short is a program designed for exactly this situation… as in, there is a no-interest loan program specifically for this because the Army screws it up on a regular basis.

I would sigh, but the truth is I wasn’t really surprised to learn this.

It took two rounds of paperwork to get the loan approved, because naturally the first paperwork that we filled out wasn’t the correct paperwork, but long story short is that the loan was approved and we don’t have to eat our shoes.


This compounded with the more complex issue of my emotions this week. We found out about the BAH (or lack thereof) on Monday, and the rest of the week was just a downhill slide into yesterday, when I finally lost it. At work.

This is an approximate representation of me at 3:24 pm on Friday November 4th

God bless my boss, is all I can really say here. As I sat in her office sniveling and seriously considering quitting, she helped me talk it out and finally realize that the sadness wasn’t coming from being low-man on the totem pole… or at least not entirely. It’s more about the fact that I have (once again) uprooted my entire existence to go start a new one somewhere else.

New state, new marriage, new apartment, new job, new friends, new hobbies, and my support system 8 states away…That’s a lot to ask, even of someone adaptable like me.

I’ve been playing along, enjoying the bright spots– time with my husband, work, play rehearsals, my novel– but I hadn’t let myself grieve yet for the life I left behind.

And so I cried. For about 4 hours, total. And I got hugs from my boss and my hubby, and then I did what all good Southern women do and called my Mama for a chat.

She helped me put it all in perspective, and then promised to send me a box of the Bell’s stuffing mix that you can’t find outside of New England (it’s the little things).

Thank god for Mothers.

Today I feel like a cloud has lifted. I had a fabulous morning at work, and I’m ready to dig back into my novel and pour myself out. I’m trying to hit 15,000 words by the time I go to bed on Sunday evening. Pens up!

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