It is no secret that I basically hate the area we live in. Sure, I like Maine, it has some beautiful areas. And we're about an hour drive to some really cool places. However, where we directly live is not a cool (except for the temperature) place to live. So now Mary is interviewing with other universities. Her goal is to get a counter offer so that she can get more money in her current position. My goal is to MOVE.
Of course, since Mary is a professor, the job opportunities are pretty limited as far as we can't just pick a place and live there. And for me, meeting ALL my goals of a place to live is pretty much impossible. I would like to be...warmer, closer to family, in a "walking" area, in an area where I could work, in a place where there are actual yoga studios, closer to other gay/lesbian families, and I would LOVE to be around friendlier people (Mainers are NOT friendly and even Mainers will tell you this and seem proud of it). Of course, as much as I'd like to be back in Boston, I just know it's no longer possible. Housing prices are outrageous and we really need to own something to not get screwed on taxes.
Being a gay couple and one of us making a decent amount of money, our tax situation sucks. So owning a home where we have a large tax deduction (interest, property taxes) pays off in the end. I also get my health insurance through Mary which is great. However, the gay factor comes in again and we get screwed. The amount that the university pays for my health insurance is added as taxable income. This basically bumps us up into the next tax bracket which, of course, sucks! In Maine, we also have to pay state taxes on this portion, in Mass we were legally married so didn't have to pay state taxes on it. Of course, in all states, we have to pay federally.
There have been some advantages to not being married in Maine. Aside from filing our taxes one way. In Mass, we filed as married, then a "phantom form" as single (so we could get the information for the fed form) and then filed federally as single. We were also advised to file a federal "phantom form" as married so they could never say we lied since we were legally married in Mass. Confused yet? Try actually doing it.
Anywho, in Maine, Mary can claim me as a dependent if I make next to nothing. Of course, when Mary got me some contract work, I had to take a lower amount than they wanted to pay me to make sure I didn't make "too much" where she couldn't claim me. I never thought I'd be asking someone to pay me less. I had also thought of getting a temp job a few months ago and we figured I really couldn't do that until the new year and then I'd have to limit the time I worked. Since I plan on staying home with the baby, it's just not worth it if I just go slightly over the dependent amount.
So aside from moving to Candice-princess-land, I'd also like the U.S. to get it's head out of it's a** and start treating all it's citizens equally. :-)