Last night I watched the Real Housewives of Orange County and Episode 12, entitled You Can Dish It But You Can’t Take It, has Housewife Lynne Curtin and her husband Frank discussing the eviction notice they just got served. I see this show as often as I can and I always liked Lynne since she’s so easy going. But boy, not in this episode!
The last show ended with a sheriff’s deputy handing Lynne’s daughter an eviction notice at the front door. This week, the segment begins with Lynne walking into an outdoor public park where she confronts Frank at a picnic table and asks about the eviction notice. Lynne is really pissed. WTF is going on? Why is this happening to us? She has clearly rehearsed some things she is going to say to Frank (and the camera) and, no matter how Frank responds, she’s going to have her say.
When asked how did we get evicted? Frank, whose construction business apparently screeched to a halt some time ago, said there were other issues, other monies that were owed that he needed to pay on time. The big issue seems to be there was a deposit owed on the Laguna Beach home they rented when they downsized, that he wasn’t able to pay on time. Hence the eviction notice.
“A deposit??!!??” Lynne blows up at Frank. “You lied to me. You told me that was why this place was such a good deal, because there was no deposit.” Frank tells the camera, “I didn’t tell anyone the money was owed.” Well, we figured that out by now, since last season had Lynne and Raquel going in for cosmetic surgery, and since the beginning Lynne has been known as a compulsive shopper. She jokes and calls herself a sports shopper and spoils daughters Raquel and Alexa with lavish gifts.
Frank might have saved himself a lot of aggravation (and joint marital debt) by fessing up years ago. I completely understand how a man in the construction business, historically a cash flow business, would simply think any day now the market will bounce back and we’ll be in gravy once again and I’ll get everything paid off. The construction market has never not been good. He’s a man who wanted to provide for his wife and daughters to make them happy, and suddenly his income changed and he thought it would swing back before it became a problem. He wanted to keep any ‘bad news’ from his family as long as he could. After all, if his business began booming again, there would be no problem and no reason for them to have known about it in the first place, right?
During the eviction conversation, Lynne immediately brings up that she was feeling good about things, she had the surgery done, and she left it to him to take care of it and he didn’t do that. Frank told her, “we need to be on the same page and start saving money.” Lynne replied, “You’re not going to victimize me. I’m your wife and you don’t even care about me and I can’t handle it.” WTF?
Frank said. “You live in a little microcosm and it’s not even real and you don’t know what’s really going on.” Lynne said, “I just want to know the truth.” Frank replied, “You don’t want to hear the truth.” End of picnic bench segment.
Later in the show, after lunch at a 5 star restaurant where Lynne told the other housewives about the eviction notice, they all go shopping and Lynne as usual is charging purchases and joking about it. She is so wrapped up in the shopping and filming that she apparently forgets she is now supposed to be saving money.
So, if you found yourself in Frank’s position, would you have done as he did, hide the truth and bear the burden alone? Is that the kindest thing to do for your family? Or is it wiser to let everyone know everything involved in the running of the family? Even if you’re going to designate yourself as sole breadwinner, it’s simply good basic financial training to let everyone know what everything costs. To let them know how much manpower on Dad’s part is expended to buy Lynne’s facelift, Raquel’s nose job or her $1200 purse. To let them count the available hours in a month and figure how many of Dad’s waking hours must be spent working to get all the bills paid every month. And to figure into that how many hours he will have left to spend time and enjoy the family he is working himself to the bone to support.
I’m not saying the sole breadwinner needs to constantly rail on about every penny all the time, I’m just saying it is good financial training to let your children grow up knowing how much things cost and how many manpower hours go into the creating of the dollars to pay for it all. You’re doing them a real disservice if you do not prepare them. If Raquel had to buy her own purse with her own money earned from working her own job, I guarantee she would not have spent $1200 on it, as her mother did. She would have had some basic training in dollar management, which would over the years save her lots of money. Money she can spend on fun doings, rather than simply having a closet full of items with the tags still on them to show for all her hard work.
Of course, more valuable would be an understanding of law of attraction, but learning some basic financial skills is a step in the right direction.
Your finances, get a grip on them before they get a grip on you.
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