Word Count: 486
I Don’t Do Math
By Peg Scarano
Whoever created the adage, “opposites attract”, truly nailed a bull’s eye as far as my life is concerned. My husband and I are so far apart on the color spectrum, we challenge the concept of black and white!
He has always been the logical and practical member of this team, majoring in Business Administration in college and spending his life organizing and running several different companies that offered various products and services. From the first day we were married, he managed our finances and developed our budgets. I have to say, he was excellent at this job and I was thrilled not to have to deal with any of it as my personal preferred proverb was, is and will always be, “I don’t do math!”
I, on the other hand, have always been the impractical, romantic, idealist of the family. I spent my college years musing over Shakespeare and Chaucer and losing myself in the worlds of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. English and American authors alike took me places I wanted to be and reality was something I only had to deal with when my nose wasn’t in a good book. The majority of the time, a bad book was better than the realities of math and science.
So we glided through our married life, brought up a family, sent them all to Hartwick College where two of them went on to become doctors and the third went off of to get a science-based administrative job with a large, international company. Apparently, they took after their father!
During all these years, someone spent hours upon hours saving and investing our money in all kinds of things – what these things were, I didn’t have the foggiest idea. When it came time to retire, I suddenly started to wonder – how does one live day to day and travel from place to place when there is finally all this free vacation time, but no paycheck? This is when I started listening to my husband when he spoke of our portfolio.
I had heard this word in previous conversations, but chose to daydream through most of his lectures. Now the words, “4%, IRA, pension, Social Security, Medicare, interest, etc.,” suddenly became more important to me. While I was collecting a portfolio of romantic books, daring adventures and exciting mysteries, I never appreciated all the time and work my husband put into paying the bills, planning budgets and investing money – until now.
So I thought, now that I am retired, maybe I should get practical and become passionate about this little piece of necessary reality. It didn’t take more than one session sitting with my husband and his nasty numbers for my mind to kick in and remind me that, “I don’t do math!” I quickly ran from the room and retired to my preferred form of reality – a good book! And, after all, two portfolios must be better than one!