Brett Paesel is the only writer I know who can find a way to include a scene about sex in an article about how to get out from under $50,000 of debt.
Brett is amazing and irreverent and loves to talk about sex. Before she was rich [sic] and famous, she wrote one of my all-time favorite short stories, “Slow to Warm,” for an anthology of stories I edited and contributed to about parenting toddlers:
That story in Toddler describes how Brett listens to other mothers talk about how to get Johnny to eat vegetables all the while thinking about sex, “I don’t know about you ladies but what I could use right now is a big hairy cock.”
Some injudicious uses of the f-word and the mention of genitalia in Brett’s and one other story managed to get the book banned from a school sale in Ashland, Oregon, a place where we used to have a lady who biked around honking her horn in the nude (without even a g-string on) and where people protest folks who are prudish about sex by walking to the plaza in their birthday suits.
Here’s a teaser from the article about sex, I mean debt, by Brett Paesel:
I wake up to find my husband isn’t there. I look at the clock. It’s 5 A.M. Did he fall asleep on the couch?
I find Pat in the living room, in the maroon chair, his knees to his chest.
My throat clenches.
I crouch beside him.
“What is it?” I ask.
He looks at me, tears shining on his cheeks. “We’ll never get out of debt,” he says, softly, his voice thick with helplessness.
It’s merely our debt, a problem I’m already well aware of.
This particular morning, Pat is holding vigil over our money problems.
It could as easily have been me balled up in the living room with him in the role of soother—the one saying that everything will be all right without quite knowing how.
It’s likely that bouncing this anxiety between us has, in some primitive fashion, reduced our individual stress over money.
But our children are getting older—one is a third grader and the other is in preschool. It’s clear they need financial stability.
As do we.
My husband and I are both 48.
We have no retirement plan.
We have no savings.
We don’t even have an emergency fund.
Given the state of our life (not to mention the country), we know we must radically change our circumstances and our behavior.
Just wear underwear while you’re reading both of those books—you’ll laugh so hard you’ll pee your pants.
Published: December 1, 2008
Updated: January 8, 2020