Chatter Post — Friday, January 16, 2015

Hello and happy Friday, my friends! Several reminders before I launch into your Friday Chatter.

1) Submission deadline for Utopia: Unity is Sunday, January 18th 11:45pm EST.

2) darlinleo is hosting a workshop on dialogue. Join in on the exercises!

It is a few minutes into Friday. I am pretty tired – fighting a dental infection that my dentist didn’t want to prescribe anything for on Wednesday, when I saw him. (I have issues with antibiotics, and the issues make no sense.) He said “Your Primary physician knows you better than we do, ask him to prescribe something for you.” (At 6 PM, when most physician’s offices are closed. And, by the way, I’ve been a patient at this dental office for many years and my Primary physician’s merely two, so SHE does NOT know me better, in terms of antibiotics.) So, I called my Primary on Thursday morning, and her assistant took the message. They called it in – about 10 minutes after I had gone to fetch another med. OF COURSE!! I now have antibiotics and pain meds – so I should actually be able to sleep. I hope.

As some of you may know, Peggy (my sister) and her fiancé (Brian) moved into my house seven years ago in February. (They originally came for a visit, and Brian conned me into letting them stay. I had always planned for Peggy to come and stay, but Brian was a new variable.) Two years ago in the summer, Brian went to Ohio to visit his grandkids, was stupid and hateful to Peggy while he was down there, and she told him not to come back. Last year, about this time, he came for a visit. Peggy told me that he was *just* coming for a visit, that she would never want him back, that she couldn’t trust him. It started snowing about a day into that “visit”, and basically snowed for two weeks. A few days after it became clear that he wasn’t going to be able to make his bus heading back to Ohio, Peggy asked if he could stay. I was uncomfortable with that, but my husband was willing to let him come back, and Peggy wanted him back, and they both promised that he had learned his lesson and would not do drugs again — so I said “Yes.”

Things went well. Until August when Ruedy and Brian had an argument on the way home from vacation. I went into hospital right after that trip and, when I got out, Ruedy and Brian were just angry with each other. It never really got any better.

Two weeks ago, Peggy told me that she and Brian “might” be moving, that he had been bugging her to move since August. Then she went into hospital. Brian spent all four days that she was in hospital at her bedside. When she came home from hospital on Sunday, they were moving. I feel used and abused. I love my sister. Right now I don’t think he is worth the powder and lead to blow him up. They are now planning to move to West Virginia, to be near her grandchildren. I have no counter to “I want to see my grandbabies grow up.” I am being very helpful to Peggy. I am being nice to Brian because I don’t want to make things more difficult for Peggy. Ruedy and Brian seem to have a truce. I hope that continues until they leave.

I have declared that NO ONE IS EVER LIVING IN MY HOUSE AGAIN except me and my honey. I feel like I’ve been used. But it really makes me sad that Peggy is leaving.

Have you ever had anyone take advantage of you? When was it? Who did it? Did you learn from it?


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3 Responses to Chatter Post — Friday, January 16, 2015

  1. Sorry to hear you are feeling poorly again. I’ve had numerous dental infections so I can empathize.
    I can also epathize with your family drama. My son came to me in the beginning of 2008 and asked if he and his girlfriend could stay with me for a week while they waited for a securiy deposit to be refunded from his landlord. I was skeptical about the week. I did not know his girlfriend and I was a pretty old-fashioned when it came to my son and girl’s sleeping over. That week turned into a year in which neither worked, cleaned, or contributed in any way to he household. It ended disasterously and we are only now getting to be friends again.
    I think when it comes to family, the boundaries of acceptable need and reasonable responsibility get blurred. LIke you said you want your sister to live near or with you, but you don’t necessarily want all of the other things that go with it. My son was 18 when he moved out (to an apartment a small stretch of grass away from me) and had just turned 20 when he moved back. You always want your family to feel like they have a home with you, but sometimes that natural offering of home can be warped into something that leads to negativity instead of the positive feeling of kinship. I think it will always be the plight of those inclined to nurture another person, to be taken advantage of on some level.

    I have an interesting (hopefully) story for you on the subject of being taken advantage of.
    Many years ago when I lived in Jacksonville, I managed a bead store in a very bohemian part of town. Most of my weekdays were spent working alone in this shop roughly the size of a Photomat (maybe a small Subway for those too young to remember Photomats) nestled between a vintage Mom & Pop pharmacy and a leather store.
    I loved it there. In addition to spending my days listening to music and making jewelry, a diverse array of people passed through my doors and I got to talk to all of them. Some became regulars and I got know them. When I say diverse, I’m not just referring to ethnicity or religion. There were your standard (vanilla) people – business types, aerobics instructors, and soccer moms with their shiny, soccer kids. There were also street kids, college students, new era hippies, New Age mystics, old-school hippies, artists, musicians, drag queens, a coven of witches, and one excessively old and wheezy woman who came in once a month for me to make her a pair of earrings.
    There was this one young guy who showed up now and then who claimed to be a Houngan, a voodoo preist. I would see him about twice a year and I always enjoyed his company. He told the most outrageous stories as he sat on the floor with me sorting through bags of seed beads. He also offered me relationship advice once on how to keep a man faithful. It involved putting rather disgusting things in my boyfriend’s food without his knowledge, so I merely thanked him and filed it under weird anecdotes for the future.
    The very last time I saw him he told me that he’d woken up that morning with no knowledge of the last few days – the Loa had taken him on a journey. He was starving and a bit strung out so I offered to take him across the street to Subway for some dinner. During that dinner he talked about strange images from his downtime that he couldn’t understand, did a Tarot reading for me that I couldn’t comprehend, and warned me to commit some ritualistic honors for one of his Loa because he felt them close and he didn’t want them to follow me home. At the end of our lunch he told me that he needed to travel to some other state for a gathering and had no money to get him going.
    I had already paid him a $20 for the reading, but in all our time getting to know each other he had never asked me for money. Ever. So I had him follow me back to the store and I gave him another $40 out of my purse. He hugged and thanked me and he promised that when he passed through town again in a few months he would repay me with cash and a charm of some kind.
    One of my regular customers had come in with us (she was there for an after hours beading class I was teaching) and heard the tail end of our exchange. After he left she said, “You know you’ll never see that money again, right?” I did and it was sad because I knew that meant I’d never see him again either. To me, the $40 was nothing compared to the glimpses into his life (or mind) he had shared with me over the years. I think only another writer could really understand the value in that. (Okay,maybe a shrink or anthropologist would get it.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • A writer, a shrink, and an anthropologist walk into a bar …

      I’m glad you and your son are getting to be friends again. And now, I think I’m just as interested as you are to know what might have become of your strange little Houngan.


  2. I wonder what would become of all those people who’ve taken advantage of us if we weren’t ready targets? Ya know what I mean?

    I lived on a lot of couches from age 19-20, and was sustained by quite a few free meals. So, the first opportunity that arose for me to open my house to someone who needed a place to stay, I did. Six months later I remember thinking, “Oh, Jesus, please tell me I was never this much of an annoying mooch!” Twice more, the same results. Why is it that when people are given a free room–regardless of what they’re cleaning habits and lifestyle was like before–they suddenly turn into slovenly jerks who think it’s okay to hog the TV remote and get into LOUD phone arguments at midnight? I just don’t even…


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