Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Paul's grandma offered him (us?) a large cash endowment to start our life together. I was taken aback when he told me. He said he had kept her money in a savings account and helped her maintain it over the years, but last night, she told him he could keep the entire balance.

She is a frugal woman, like my own grandma. They both lived under the Soviet system and still re-use plastic milk bags meant to be thrown away. So when I say this is no small amount, I mean it's no small amount even by our (inflated) standards.

I can't quite wrap my mind around it. When I told my parents, my dad was borderline emotional. This woman resides in a tiny bachelor apartment and stores Paul's childhood drawings beneath her mattress (along with photos of her late husband). So she quite literally lives for her grandchildren. And the fact that the gift is intended to be shared between me and Paul? Let's just say her kindness is not lost on me.

Granted, there are strings attached. Both Paul and I believe she expects us to eventually get married. Good thing we're on the same page regarding that or we would be in deep doo-doo.

We plan to use half of it to furnish and decorate the new place, but have yet to decide what to do with the rest. (If I had it my way, I'd use it to pay off the house sooner.)

Everything has been moving along rather quickly and uncharacteristically smoothly. I went to see the mortgage lender yesterday ... and felt super naked. He looked over my financial history and told me it would be difficult to get approval from the top due to my reliance on freelance assignments in the course of MY ENTIRE ADULT LIFE. I brought along stacks of contracts and T4 forms that attested to my consistent employment in the film and news industries, but they were deemed useless. But when my broker joined me at the office, he said I forgot to mention my time spent working at my parents' store. I'd been there since early high school and didn't think it would count.

That sealed the deal though. Funny how my boring job as a retail salesgirl was more readily acknowledged by lending institutions than all my other job titles. I guess that's why my film colleagues regularly advise newbies to marry rich.

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