I had the title for this post picked out for a few days, relating specifically to President Obama, and how he needs to step up against the obstructionist Rethuglicans. (That is not a typo; stop calling my party the “Democrat”, which ends with rat, party and maybe I’ll stop calling you thugs.)
But then life got in the way.
I was really happy at work on Friday because, for the first time, I was allowed to work with an expensive piece of equipment usually only handled by someone senior than myself. And I did a fairly good job. But, not five minutes after completing my project, my mother called. And she needed money. And I said yes, because I was happy and she sounded desperate, like she always does every time she asks for it. I regretted the entire conversation as soon as I hung up the phone.
My mother owes me $2900. She used to owe me more, but there was a stretch where she’d send me $50 a month. Then it was every two months. This past year, she’s given me $200. In her call, she asked for that amount, and then some.
I let the situation stew, getting more angry and frustrated as the night wore on. I called her the next morning with a few questions. Why didn’t she just use a credit card for the bill? She only had one and it was almost maxed out by a termite bill. What about the emergency fund we had set up, back when I coached her on financial responsibility? She had spent it on “this and that.” I said okay and hung up the phone.
I continued to seethe. The money was to pay for the heat bill. Her furnace broke and a pipe broke. Before calling me, asking me for money, she called asking to possibly stay in my apartment overnight. To this I of course said yes. I understood a lot was happening to her at once. But I also saw that she had not been saving like I told her she needed to do, every pay check. And, in twelve months, she had told me multiple times she planned to pay me back, but my last $50 from her came in July. Not only that, she said she would get the money from someone else, because she needed it as soon as possible, but would pay them back with my money and then just owe me.
The entire situation was so convoluted, I couldn’t stand thinking about it anymore. I was done. I decided this was it; after this money she was never getting any more from me, at least not until she cleared her entire debt.
I called her back. I told her how angry and frustrated I felt every time she asked me for money, especially because she only gave me $200 this year. I cried as I spoke. She stopped me and just told me to forget about it, pretend like she never asked. She hung up.
But I can’t pretend, because she did, and now I feel angry and frustrated and guilty, because yes I have the money, but why does she always do this? She’s 58 years old with a steady job and no rent. Why can’t she be responsible, save the money, be prepared for when shit hits the fan? Why do I have to carry an IOU from her for over three years?
I’m her daughter, but why do I always feel like the adult?
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