07 February 2009

Full House

By MARCUS WYLER

Four months ago my sister-in-law made the decision to quit her job as a graveyard-shift pharmacy manager in exchange for a better schedule working as a bank teller. To her, taking a monthly pay cut of almost $2,000 was worth it... if it meant she had more time to take care of her newborn daughter. At the time, she could afford it, my brother was the main bread winner in their marriage, bringing home $85,000 annually. He worked for a mid-size software company as a computer programmer, a job he had held for almost a decade. Three months ago my brother was laid off due to downsizing. So far, he hasn't had any luck in finding a replacement.

Last month my father, who worked as a furniture salesman for the same company for over 15 years, was laid off. Two days ago my mother was laid off. They are both 55 years old with college degrees that don't hold much value in the United States. I don't know how lucky they will be in finding new jobs with comparable salaries to the ones they had before.

Both my parents and my brother also made some crucial financial mistakes, mistakes that I was able to learn from like... racking up mountains of credit card debt, buying a house they couldn't afford, and getting suckered into some pretty bad car deals.

The string of bad news made me realize that for once in my life my family desperately needed my help. Both of my parents have sacrificed more than I could ever imagine just to ensure that I could have what they did not. For starters, an American citizenship, an American education, and more high-paying job opportunities... It struck me that after everything they have done for me, it was now my turn to give back, to do what I could to ease their troubles instead of it always being the other way around.

Although I personally don't have a six figure income, I am financially stable and perfectly able to give them a helping hand. I knew my brother couldn't afford to stay in his apartment and I knew my parents couldn't afford to keep up with their mortgage payments. After a bit of discussion, I convinced Mason to let my entire immediate family move in with us. Why have a 4 bedroom house if you never intend to use all the rooms, right?

Sure, we can't run around naked or have wild sex parties like we use to but they won't be living in our house forever (HOPEFULLY). I'll admit, it's a less than desirable situation, even if it's not permanent. The baby is always crying, my brother is always watching Fox News, and my mom is always barging in on Mason and I at the most inopportune times... But they're family and I am extremely grateful that I am at a stage in my life where I can afford to help them out. I'm even more grateful that I'm with a man who understands. In the mean time my parents will try to rent out their own home to generate some income while they all search for new jobs.

HOW HAS THE RECESSION AFFECTED YOU?

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28 comments:

  1. That's a very nice gesture of you- I know we are all going through some rough times in life. Even to those whom this financial crisis has not affected them economically, somehow it does affect them.
    Good luck for them in finding a job and You and Mason are gonna have to be nice boys while they are there.

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  2. hey mark, sorry to hear about ur family's situtation, hope everything works out,
    -carlos

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  3. very nice of the two of you to do...maturity isn't always fun, but is most always interesting...marcus, your brother sounds like a great guy with good tastes :-)

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  4. WOW Marcus. As someone who was laid off on January 2nd, that is an AMAZING thing you two are doing! I wish you all luck!!

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  5. In times of crisis, the best thing is for the family to come together and support each other. The fact that a gay couple - you guys - is offering the help to everyone else in the family won't go forgotten. You guys are giving the little one a good example and helping him grow up to be a supporter of gay rights.

    And if you guys ever miss the wild parties, you can always throw them in some other venue. ;-)

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  6. that has got to be one of the sweetest thing i have heard in a long time. i think it is incredible that you are willing to help out your family like that! when the times comes to cash in your karma chips you will be getting a HUGE reward! best of luck to all!

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  7. Grrr I've tried to sign up for a Blogger account the UID/password combo ain't working.

    Anyways, that's king of you two to step up to the plate to give your family a 'home run' in times of desperate need.

    Assume the best, prepare for the worst they say.

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  8. May God bless the two of you!
    Lord only knows how long this slump will last, but it's good to hear that there are those out there that are willing to step up to the plate and help family out!

    Chris-n-AZ

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  9. THOSE OF US BORN AFTER THE LAST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY, LET ALONE AT THE END OF IT; FORGOT THE CHALLANGES OF THE LATE 19TH CENTURY IMMIGRANTS, WORLD WARS I & II OR THE GREAT DEPRESSION. TIMES ARE TOUGH, BUT NOT AS CHALLANGING AS THE PAST. GOOD YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PULL TOGETHER.

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  10. That's great for you to take care of your family like that especially in the economy now. This also explains a lot about the missed web shows

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  11. Thats very sweet of you Marcus. I believe most Asians would do the same, I do at least!

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  12. You are a good son...I would not be able to live with my parents....but we would work something out.

    The recession has hit my humble home - my partner has been laid off. Thankfully, we do have a decent amount saved up, so while he looks for something else, we won't be sellin' it out on the street for a buck.

    Good luck,

    Your fan in Chicago

    Nathan

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  13. The recession (or depression) hasn't affected me yet, because I'm semi-retired, collecting Social Security, and have a modicum stream of income (fortunately not from investments with that Madoff crook). But I sure wouldn't want to be in the unemployed workforce at this point. Bill Gates recently predicted that things are likely to be tough for 3-5 years.

    You and your family should probably make sure you express your appreciation to Mason and go out of your way to make him happy. There is no way this cannot be an imposition on him, though of course he won't say so. Y'all may also have some Filipino cultural stuff happening that he won't get. (He may like the food, but he ain't gonna learn much Tagalog if you speak it amongst yourselves.) You need to keep things sorted out emotionally, because this might be less temporary than you'd wish.

    Hopefully you can rent your parents' house for as much as the mortgage payments; if not, try to refinance it (or renegotiate the mortgage) and lower the payments. The government is trying to help out, so take advantage of that. You need to talk tough to the bank/mortgage company, as in: "Do you want to do yet another foreclosure, or do you wanna make a deal on the mortgage?" They will probably deal. Good luck.

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  14. This is why a recession/depression may be the best thing for any country.

    People need to realize that all you need is a support system to get along. People who love and care about your well being!

    You two have shown this by extending your home to a large amount of people.

    Money has been lost, but the bonds that will be forged through helping one another will never be forgotten.

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  15. besides maybe when you own the house u can give it to them so you can go to a new place and have your parties and your fun there... karma shall reward you!!!

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  16. Ah so THIS is what happened to the web shows. I was beginning to think I was robbed of 50 dollars!An explanatory email would have been nice. ESPECIALLY in this economy 50 bucks is nothing to sneeze at. Still it's wonderful you are able to do that for your family.

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  17. Marcus, I am so thankful for you guys. It is awesome that you can help your family in this manner. I also believe that you are seeing things honestly, trying to have some boundaries, and I think they have a plan on how to get out of there. All of this is hopeful. I will pray for you guys and your family. Good luck!
    Kirk

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  18. I just think you guys are awesome for doing what you did-that speaks volumes of you guys as a couple
    Good luck

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  19. That is seriously sweet of you and Mason. I'm going to sign up at the end of the month just because of this.

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  20. This is an incredibly generous thing that you have done for your family. If my parents were in the same situation, I honestly could not live with them, partiularly if I had a pornstar boyfriend who had...obligations!

    I and many others of my circle have been affected by the EFC, but not in the same way as some. Our family has lost close to a billion dollars, and one of our family friends has lost in excess of 6billion dollars. It is a shock to the system. In times like this, we are so grateful that we have homes that we own, we have a great support network and the belief that everything will right itself with perserverance and hard work.

    Also, though we may be tempted to save our money to weather the storm, be aware that there are only two ways to solve a recession. The first is to eradicate your debt. The second is to spend money to spur the economy. So if you earn any extra money and feel relatively secure, pay off your debts as soon as possible and just go buy things!

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  21. It's amazing of both you and Mason to let your family move in. Honey, this shows character (from both of you)! Any man that understands and adjusts to your family is truly a keeper.

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  22. mason,marus
    it is so nce of you two to open up your home to your parents in there time of need during this very hard time they are going though it t=has to be hard for them that they rae dealing with this i know it would be for me

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  23. Hey Mason Have anyone told u that u're a super nice guy? I don't know if I can do so if I were in ur situation. And Marcus u're really really lucky to have a man like Mason. Wisk u guys and ur families all the best. Luv u!

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  24. that's very nice of you

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  25. Look, if yout truly think about it, America would be the worst hit place for the recession. All major companies are imvloved in America, so everyone will be hit. The only reason why we, the British, are affected is because we always get the back end of your problems, such as weather conditions and/or credit problems. The only thing I can say is that everyone will be affected in one way or another. And let's face it, there will be a lot more selfishness in this world at this time, but hopefully this phase should pass.
    One last thing, this is a test of endurance. We must all rise together in order to beat this challenge. See what I mean?
    Take care
    Xx_RavsDesire_xX

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  26. It's kinda funny when you wrote, "my brother is always watching Fox News..."

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