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"Will you do the happy dance with me?"

January 10th, 2011 at 01:35 pm

I have a very good friend who is the parent of one of my daughter's best friends. She and her husband married late and had three children, the last well into their 40s. The husband lost his job on 4/15/10 - he was a very well paid professional (most likely over $250K). He had to get legal counsel to get a decent severence package which was 6 months. He thankfully got a job on 12/15/10. How they managed financially, I do not know. She mentioned borrowing money from her mother, cancelling some trips, etc. I could see no outward changes in their spending: first run movies on a regular basis, buying a 2 year membership to certain places we frequent, constant dining out, etc.

Today we were on the phone when her doorbell rang. She put me on hold and came back and said quite excitedly, "Will you do the happy dance with me?! Apparently our car is paid off! I thought we had a six year loan ... it must have been a five year loan! Wa-hoo ... we have two paid off cars!"
(Her congratulatory letter and the title of the car were fed-exed to them, and that is what she opened.)

I said, "Of course, I will do the happy dance with you ... but didn't you know that this was the last car payment?"

She laughed and said, "No ... no, I didn't know. But I sure am happy!"

I don't think I'd function well like that. Is ignorance really blissful? Apparently so ...

7 Responses to “"Will you do the happy dance with me?"”

  1. Savings Queen Says:

    No, ignorance is NOT bliss. They were probably terrified through the whole lay off experience, but too "deer in the headlights" to really look at their situation honestly and make changes. I am so glad he got a job when he did. That is pretty crazy not to know what year your car pays off...don't mean to be judgmental, but that is a couple who didn't have a clue. Having lots of money coming in is sometimes an excuse to enter the financial haze and think, "there will always be more coming in." As they found out, that is not always the case. Thanks for sharing. It reminds me to keep MY eyes open.

  2. laura Says:


    I wondered seriously how they managed during the time of the layoff. My husband makes significantly less than that, we've got almost double the kids (they have 3, we have 5), AND in the past four months we lost the income from my husband's second job which he had with my father. In conversations I would say, "We have had to really prioritize our expenditures since ..." and she would laugh and say, "Oh, you're good about pulling in the reigns. I don't know what we'll do." I should add that we DO have an EF of three months bare bones. I assumed that people who have a lot more income have a lot more saved than us. I guess that assumption isn't really true ...

  3. Digging out of the hole Says:

    Wow. One Wow because of a potential 6 year car loan (how much car do you have to buy so the payments were affordable over 72 payments?). Another Wow because I can't fathom being ignorant of my finances.

  4. HouseHopeful Says:

    Good for them, but it is scary not to know how long the loan was for.

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    That's pretty crazy. Granted I'm the only one who knows when things are going to be paid off in my family, but I take care to remind the others periodically, so if something was about to be paid off you better believe they'd have heard about it in the weeks or months leading up to the payoff. So even they wouldn't be surprised a year early like that!

  6. anonymous Says:

    If I got 6 month's severance pay and was only out of work 8 months, I'd still have more money at the end of 8 months than before I lost the job. But I would not have been blissful. I would have worried a lot! Frown

  7. frugaltexan75 Says:

    The question is now, what will they do with the "extra" money? Smile

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