Writing

Pay Yourself First

When I was growing up, my mother always earned money. In Korea, she taught piano to the local children, and in America, she worked alongside my father at their small wholesale jewelry shop in Manhattan. When I married my husband, I was a first year corporate lawyer and he was a junior salesman at a bank. I made more money than he did. Two years after lawyering, I quit to write fiction. He became the sole breadwinner. This was in 1995. We didn’t have much left over after we paid the mortgage on our tiny apartment, and my husband had to take lunch to work, and I refused to meet friends from my old job for a drink because I was too ashamed to admit that I couldn’t afford my share.