Mercifully, Dad had been dead for almost a year when DQ’s first husband, LC, was sent to prison for four years. Dad would have been pretty upset with the circumstances that sent him away…. as well as the subsequent festivities at DQ’s ‘trailer’ next door.
DQ was in her early 30’s, and their daughter, DQ, Jr. was about 7 years old. Claiming post-traumatic distress as an excuse, DQ went a bit wild on the dating scene after divorcing her jailed husband. During one of my weekly phone calls, Mom informed me that DQ had moved her current boyfriend into her house. Seemed sudden to me, but i was willing to spot her some degree of trauma from the events of the prior few months.
Josh, this new live in boyfriend, was 18 years old. And still in high-school.
DQ was also in the midst of a huge financial mess. She and her husband had been in debt up to their eye sockets, including a second mortgage at an obscene interest rate. This had created a situation where her house was worth less than she owed on it. My sister, T (the Business Professor) and i were consulted by Mom and DQ’s mother (my oldest sister, S) as to how best to resolve DQ’s finances.
Running the numbers, T and i were in complete agreement. Bankruptcy. The court would be sympathetic, due to the jailing of her husband, and this was also prior to changes in bankruptcy laws that were to become more favorable to the creditors. It was a no-brainer. Which, of course, means the suggestion was dismissed (DQ: “I don’t wanna give up my stuff!”) and Mom and S decided they’d take over DQ’s finances and throw their own money at the problem to help her dig out.
This brilliant financial solution amounted to S handling all bill paying, at a personal cost of $1000/month. Mom kicked in for food, which was costing her about $500/month. DQ was living on unemployment at the time – again, claiming trauma had prevented her from working, she was eventually laid off.
i had divorced myself from this mess after being asked for advice, providing the requested advice, and that advice was rejected. This was, in fact, the first time i told them – “i will not bail you all out of this mess if your plan fails”.
My sister, T, came to town for a week to stay with Mom. It was her “play by play” account of the situation at DQ’s that did it. i finally realized just what a Redneck Freak Show it had become. She called me her first day in town to unload:
T: Holy shit! Have you been over to DQ’s in the last month?
daisyfae: Nope. Been avoiding it. Weak stomach…
T: I walked over there with Mom, and there are these people huddled on the couch in the family room. It’s a pregnant girl, her boyfriend and a toddler. I asked Mom “who are all these people? Since when can DQ afford to be taking in the homeless?”
daisyfae: What? There are other people living there?
T: Oh, and this 300 pound ape-man comes walking out of the kitchen, eating an entire Domino’s pizza. A fucking large! That’s Josh. I told Mom “You wonder how she’s spending $500 a month on food? Look at how big that bastard is? Can’t she find a skinny briar for a boyfriend?”
According to Mom, T said this in front of everyone there… and no one reacted. T has a refreshing habit of calling ’em like she sees ’em…
Within a couple months, however, there was trouble in trailer park paradise. One afternoon, DQ Jr. shows up on Mom’s porch, frantically knocking…
DQ Jr: Granny! You’ve got to come over! Josh is beating up my Mom!
So, my mother, in her late 70’s, follows the 8 year old child next door. Swinging her cane in front of this 300 pound caveman, she said “If you ever hit my granddaughter again, I’m going to club you, buddy!”
Within a few days, Josh moved out, graduated high school, and was supposed to be getting a football scholarship to a local university. DQ later met up with BJ, who was also about 18 at the time, and they eventually married. And they lived happily ever after…
Oh. Wait. Trailer park stories never end that way…
* Mom and S continued to dump their cash into the black hole of DQ’s debt for 18 months. It became a sore point between S and her husband, J, and almost broke up their marriage. $27,000 later, DQ was still in debt up to her eye sockets, was unemployed and was not going to be able to stay in her house much longer. Yep. That’d be about the time they threw in the towel and had her declare bankruptcy. After the laws were changed, becoming much more rigorous for debt repayment, of course. (sigh)