August 7, 2009
This is as good a starting place as any. Smack dab in the middle, or at least this is hoping we’re at that nadir where we can’t go any lower and the trip from here will only be up.
Let’s start out with the facts. We’re two men with a teenage daughter. We met in 1979 at a disco (that does not include our daughter). We moved in with each other in 1980, scared to death. We were both very traditional in our ideas about relationships, one plus one equals two not three or four. Our talents have always been on the creative side and our personal and business lives have been intertwined ever since. We set up our own business early on and became very successful in the industrial show business arena. In 1985 Rick decided to go back to school and complete a degree in interior design. Our business then floated from design and graphics (and eventually to the computer and video) on to sprout wings in interior and furniture design, more success, more work, more fun, more money. We had reached the pinnacle of our career, published work both nationally and internationally, an abundance of clients, the ability to give back with charity work, the repercussions and the benefits of a full life: a house in the country, vacations to Europe, a million dollar apartment, a boutique studio, friends, the adoption of our biggest joy: our daughter, and the worst business sense of anyone other than Annie Liebowitz. We jumped at every golden ring and hung on for all it was worth and that became our downfall. We weren’t good boy scouts (well we were gay – what do you expect) we didn’t plan ahead. Rick got sick. Not what you think, a combination of colitis, which had plagued him since childhood sending him into a clinical depression lasting for over two and a half years. Slowly all the blocks of our life began to tumble down. First it was the loss of clients in a field where networking is the key, then came the credit card debt built on a business that looked like a rising star, and then came the lose of all those things: selling the apartment we could no longer afford, losing the lease on the car, moving from cheaper apartment to cheaper apartment, IRA’s gone, then health insurance, now the house in the country being auctioned off in foreclosure, an eviction notice on the current apartment, the same on the studio, credit ratings so low even a mole couldn’t dig deep enough in the earth to find them. The complete shame.
Now it’s time to dust ourselves off and see if we can find a way out at the ages of 60 and 56. We’re doing this for ourselves but we’re doing this first for a little sweet thirteen year-old girl. The journey up begins here. We’ll keep you posted.