For the last two years, Dorian and I have been caught mercilessly in the direct line of splatter from the proverbial sh*t hitting the fan.
In early 2010 Dorian lost his job. Being the sole breadwinner of our household, his job loss tossed our young family into a tailspin. Our original five-year plan got scrapped; after getting married in 2007 and bringing two little ones into existence, our plan was to get stabilized and prepare for Dorian to return to the military. But money was already tight and once Dorian lost his job, the financial wiggle room we had vanished into thin air.
We had planned to buy an SUV because my small four-door and Dorian’s sport coupe were not conducive to a growing family’s needs; but after Dorian lost his job, the possibly of us obtaining a car loan vanished as well. As the weeks passed without a job prospect for either one of us, out of desperation we decided to sell his car to make ends meet. Moreover, the threat of not having a vehicle at all loomed because my car was leased, and I had to turn it in two months after we’d sold Dorian’s car. By God’s blessing, a family from our church allowed us to borrow one of their vehicles after we turned mine in.
Then a glimmer of hope: Dorian became eligible to return to the military! But sadly, after all his hard work and our devotion to preparing him to return, he was slapped across the face with a fat “NO THANK YOU” from good ol’ Uncle Sam. Why? Because it’s cheaper for the military to hire fresh, young single kids that they can slap into barracks and pay less, than re-hire a veteran for whom they would have to shell out more money to house (because he’s got dependents), re-train and reinstate at their last rate of pay.
Dorian was devastated. And quite frankly, so was I. How dare they turn their backs on one of their own?
Some months later Dorian found another job. But by that time we’d fallen behind on our rent, so we worked out a repayment plan with our leasing office. They were happy to work with us; up until that point we had been clean, quiet, dependable tenants who had never been late with rent before. But right before the holidays, another blow knocked us off our feet – an eviction notice. Confused, we contacted the leasing office to find out what was going on. They assured us that they were just “following procedure”, that when we appeared in court we could show that we’d made arrangements to pay the arrears and that everything would be okay. Unbeknownst to us, they would take us to court each month we were still in the hole, and that each court visit would add at least $200 in court costs and filing fees to our already negative balance. Since Dorian’s current job paid less than his previous job, we realized that it would take us longer than expected to pay off the balance. The property owner caught wind of this, and instead of taking our past record as sterling tenants for the previous four years into consideration and allowing us to pay off the balance, they overturned the leasing office’s payment arrangement and demanded we either pay them in full or get out. IN TEN DAYS.
It was obvious that we would have to pack up our things and get the hell out of dodge, quickly. After all, we couldn’t pay the entire balance up front; if we could do that then we wouldn’t have had to make payment arrangements!
…To Be Continued…
Have you ever been faced with trying times? How did you make it through? Let me know, leave a comment below!