My friend (we did actually meet once) CR Jones wrote a comment on Foolish:

"Be careful, as it’s my understanding that you can get slammed for hiring an undocumented worker, and especially not filing the correct papers or paying the employment tax. The latter may not be an issue if it was less than 30 days– but if you haven’t documented pay stubs, it could be difficult to prove.

I predict you’ll move back to the States in less than two years.

By the way– I don’t blame you, if you do."

TWO YEARS? Yikes. That really doesn’t give us much time…

BTW, I just spent a few hours with my legal advisor and learned much, including the dangers of hiring an undocumented worker. I’m learning. Unfortunately, I learn via the 2×4 method. You can’t just tell me something or show me where it’s written down. You have to hit me over the head with a 2×4. Only then do I take it seriously. Lucky for me, it’s my only character defect.

We’ve been living here almost two years now, 20 months to be exact. On 9/28, my 52nd birthday, it will be 20 months exactly. We love our lives here. We are so comfortable and Key West seems SO far away. On top of that, we SO dislike life in the U.S. right now, what with the Iraq Conflict instigated by The Decider who finally admitted we’ll be in Iraq forever which will almost certainly require more of our personal freedoms to be eradicated in The Name of Freedom. Not to mention the devastated economy. Honestly? It’s really hard to say which is the stronger motivation to stay: love for here or aversion to there. If everything were wonderful there and affordable, would we stay here? I don’t know.

When this whole slander thing came up, my real panic was being deported. First of all, I’d have uprooted my children’s, my mom’s and my dogs’ lives. (Hal can handle it.) And then the burning question: where would we go? We are clearly not ready to go stateside. Even if we were, Key West, the known quantity, is still too expensive.

So I was thinking of all the other countries where we could go, but nothing appeals to me like here. Maybe we could go live with Jen in Dominica? You know, pool our resources… But who wants a slandering expat knocking on their front door??? With two teens, three dogs, a bossy mother*, and a husband in tow. Besides, I’d probably get us expelled from there, too.

And besides all that, we just got here and now we gotta go??? I’m thinking two more years just doesn’t sound like it’s going to be nearly enough. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s never say never. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d end up here. Forget loving it. Still, Mr. Jones could be right. Who knows where we’ll be in two years? If I can just enjoy this time right now, as best I can, I’ll have learned a thing or two. It won’t matter where I am, will it?

*My mother has decided she is going to sue me for slander as well, for suggesting that she is helpless and needed rescuing in Mexico. Yeah. Take a number.

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