One Way the Tax Code Punishes Domestic Partners

At the beginning of 2014, I put my partner on the medical coverage I receive though my full-time employer. It was a godsend, as going without health insurance and trying to buy your own health insurance in New York City are both surefire paths to the poorhouse. For domestic partners who aren’t married, or for those forbidden from wedding by law, it is perhaps the best work perk you can come by.

The Calculations

The calculations are based on what I have in disposable income in my checking account, which I’m looking at constantly, because it’s easier to keep your spending in check when you know exactly how many dollars you have to your name.

A Wedding, Two White Dresses, and Secret Spending

It started, like so many weddings do, with a white dress. Not the wedding dress, which would come later, but a little cotton sundress I found on a rainy San Francisco day. I was waiting for my fiancé to arrive from his nonprofit job so we could walk together to Williams Sonoma and start to register for kitchen utensils. I ducked into a high-end store to get out of the rain.

A Practical Mother’s Day

When I was very young, my siblings and I would each buy $1 roses at our church and give them to our mother on Mother’s Day. She found the gesture sweet, but of course, if a seven-year-old gives you anything, you’re going to find it very sweet.

The Cost of Things: Taking Care of LadyBusiness

I’m spending a small fortune on my personal appearance.

I Spent $400 On A Man’s Watch — And I Feel Great About It

Do not show me an oval with hash marks on it and tell me it’s a watch. A box on wheels is not a baby carriage.

For Poorer

As the twentieth century draws to a close, I find myself the father of three boys under five.

The youngest is born under circumstances that seem positively routine compared with our first outing. When I return to hospital six hours after the birth, my wife is dressed and ready to go, the baby packed up like hand luggage.

The Dilettante’s Approach to a Career

Work is work. We do it because we need to make money, to pay bills, to have a roof over our heads. We do it to imbue our life with a tiny bit of meaning. It’s the thing that makes it so that we can do the stuff we really like, like yoga classes and coffee with friends and fitful bursts of shopping on windy Saturdays. It is energy expended in order for money to be made. The very word sounds trying. The hard consonant is a closed fist. “I can’t meet you for apple cider and donuts,” you say, “because I have to work.” There are sympathetic sighs; a tacit understanding. The discussion is closed.

A Honeymoon Remembered in Receipts

A story in receipts.

Moving for a Relationship and Lessons From My Immigrant Parents

In August 2011 I’d just finished a year of wobbly misery in beautiful South Korea—teaching English—and by the end of it I had several thousand dollars and nothing else. I’d gone to Korea to travel and instead found myself in a swirling pool of depression, unable to connect with most of the excited ex-pats I spoke to, and unwilling to do the work to bridge the gap between myself and Koreans. This slow melt of melancholy meant that I rarely went out of my way to spend money on things, which allowed me to save more money than I knew what to do with. By the end I needed a break, so I took those thousands and went away to bum around in Southeast Asia.