Trailer Park Monte Carlo

And the Award for “Best Trailer Park Manipulation Maneuver of the Century” goes to: DQ.  Hands down.  No competition.  Wasn’t even a fair fight…

My niece, DQ, is masterful.  Expending the least amount of effort possible, she is able to align events and manipulate situations to suit her needs and desires.  And the latest?  World fucking class.  Best of all?  There is no room for argument or discussion – so it shall come to pass that she not only gets a home, but most of Mom’s financial assets when she dies.

Not only will i not fight this move, i shall fully support it – as it is in Mom’s best interests.  Brilliant.  She should use her talents to affect world peace.  That pesky mess in the Middle East?  She’d have them all buying her furniture and baking her cakes within a couple months…

Mom cannot continue to live alone, due to her degraded health.  Some temporary measures were taken, installation of “Life Alert”, but we knew it was only buying time.  Mom also refused to consider assisted living, being terrified of ending up in a nursing home.  The other option would be to excavate her home and make it accessible for visiting home health care, but she refuses to allow non-family members into the house – they might steal something* you know!

This is very limiting.  With my niece, DQ, her husband, BJ, and their ever-expanding litter of children living next door, there is support. DQ, in fact, swears that she is unable to work because caring for her children and Mom is a full time job.  Mom, can’t drive due to failing eyesight, and has became very dependent on DQ.

DQ felt compelled to start tossing out a veiled threat about a year ago – “You know, we plan to move to the country one of these days, and I’m not sure what Granny will do when we’re gone…”.  Which, of course, led Mom to purchase 17 wooded acres in the country, with the plan to have DQ and BJ build a house, with a small apartment attached, so they could all stay together. 

The original plan was for them to build a modest house, and build on later as they could afford it.  But ‘requirements creep’ set in, and pretty soon it was a 3,000 square foot home.  DQ soon realized that she and BJ could not afford their portion of that mortgage – and she extracted enough information about Mom’s finances to realize she couldn’t pay for it either.

BJ was laid off again in early summer, so these plans were temporarily shelved.  Combined with Mom’s recent round of health care trouble, it was time to regroup.  DQ provided top-notch care for Mom after the pacemaker was installed in late July – putting a small bed in her living room, and letting Mom move in!  Much easier for the now-pregnant DQ to provide care, she doesn’t even have to leave the house to feed her…

More importantly, Mom likes it.  She likes living there, with the kids, dogs and people coming and going at all hours of the day and night.  Even after the last angioplasty, and a full recovery, Mom doesn’t want to go home.  The revised plan – concocted while Mom was in and out of the hospital last round – was to build an addition onto DQ and BJs home (just a bedroom and bathroom) as an interim solution.  After Mom moved in, renovations on her house could commence, and she could sell it to replenish her assets.

i priced such construction at about $35,000 if the entire job were contracted out, and Mom has that cash on hand.  When i asked DQ what the estimate was? “$65,000”.  Huh? “Well, it’s 800 square feet – she wants a living room, too!”.  Oh.  That’s the size of my first fucking house!  Missed that part.  There’s that “requirements creep” thing again… see a pattern?

There was a glitch in the plans, but DQ managed to find a means to bypass that as well… DQ and BJ are renting their house from his parents, who bought it after DQ’s bankruptcy to give them a place to live.  Mom wasn’t sure she wanted to put her cash into a house they didn’t own, and was reluctant to proceed… 

DQ pushed hard to get started – “Gotta get it under roof by winter!” When Mom still balked at the idea, DQ – who told me this idea came to her in a dream – suggested that the addition be added to Mom’s  house, and that they could then gut and renovate her home, which is completely paid for, using a home equity loan (against her house).

This would provide a nice, comfortable living place for the entire troupe!  And it wouldn’t cost DQ and BJ a cent!  i discussed all this with Mom – to make sure this is what she wants and that she’s not being railroaded.  She was concerned that DQ and BJ would possibly be ‘thrown out on the streets’ after she died.  She wanted my assurance that they’d be allowed to keep the house (which represents the vast majority of Mom’s assets).

daisyfae: Momma, you put it in your will, and i promise to execute according to your wishes.  As i’ve said before, if you want to leave it to your cat, that’s your business…

Mom: I’m a little worried about cash.  I won’t have much left after we do this…

daisyfae: You have 17 acres in the country that can be put on the market and sold.  That’s cash.  i strongly recommend that you sell the land to replenish your liquid assets.

Mom: DQ said they want to still try to build the house out there…

daisyfae: Of course they do!  You’re already giving them a house.  After you’re gone, if they want to sell it and do something else, you will have put them in a position to do that… very generous of you, i think.

Mom: Will the rest of the family be mad?

daisyfae:  Doesn’t matter.  DQ is taking care of you, since she’s the only one without a job, she’s in the best position to do that.  If you want to leave her everything, that’s your business.  i don’t see anyone else offering you a bed in the living room…

Mom’s worried about change, worried about creating a rift in the family, worried about the emotions that will come with gutting her home of 50 years.  Me?  None of that is on my list… but just a nasty little tickle.  Once DQ has maximized her “return on investment”, and there is no chance for increased profits?  What then? 

i knew DQ was good.  But even i didn’t see this unfolding until the final ‘reveal’.  Bravo…


* Clearly it was a family member who stole, and likely pawned, my father’s tenor sax. Right. We trust family. Paid strangers, who are bonded and insured? Notsomuch…

19 thoughts on “Trailer Park Monte Carlo

  1. my kudos to your niece….she’s savvy, or so second-nature manipulative that she’s not even making an effort at it.

    my mom’s dad died about 6 years ago. he left me one quarter of his assets. dear mom, having somehow come into possession of my portion, said that she would dole it out to me over 3 years so that I wouldn’t have to pay income taxes on it…..not thinking, I acquiesced.

    after I asked for the second installment, to her surprise….I never received the rest….while she bought new furniture and electronics for her apartment and took her boyfriend on vacation for 3 weeks in Baja. not long after she had a back injury, lost her job and all her stuff. she is now living on disability/SSI and the good will of her boyfriend.

    she’s never mentioned the rest of the $ to me.

    bright side, I know my mom a lot better than I did before, and, I know that if she’s ever single again (which will leave her destitute) I’ll be changing my identity and moving to another state.

    -anniegirl- you nailed it

  2. “Will the rest of the family be mad?”

    there’s been a lot of that round here recently…..worrying about what others may think….I chose to ignore that thought and when steaming ahead with my big mouth….it appears I have no family apart from the cousin now…..soooo not all bad then

  3. I’ve seen stuff in my life. I’ve witnessed some of what I figured was the ultimate in family dysfunction.

    But, after reading the above? I ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

    Wow. Just…

  4. uncle keith – goal is to avoid conflagration. mom wants me to make sure the rest of the family doesn’t melt down. my job? fucking united nations. right.

    annie – am i horrible to be looking forward to the day when i no longer have to give any of them a second thought? i’ll be cordial… keep them on my facebook and all… but i hate mucking in the business. i take care of my own shit, and would NEVER expect anyone to take care of it on my behalf…

    jenuine – as always, i know i’ve hit resonance when you ‘de-lurk’. i don’t fault my niece. she IS taking on the day-to-day stuff that i (and the rest of the family) will not do. mom and dad saved for a rainy day. and at 82, with a bad heart? it’s raining… i just want mom happy and cared for, and this is the right thing. i just get SO flustered with the sense of entitlement… sounds like you got hosed. my sympathies. some how it is harder when you are let down by the people closest to you…

    manuel – i only care about what’s best for mom. and since mom wants ‘peace’, i will expend some effort to at least hold a ‘cease fire’ until after she’s gone. unfortunately? i love them. understand why they’re wired as they are. sometimes wish i could just wander off, say whatever is on my mind and be done… and i may yet get there. stay tuned…

    rob – as i said above, i don’t fault my niece. she is a product of poor parenting by her mother, and her grandmother (my Mom). the sense of entitlement wasn’t born in her – it was bred. she is what she was crafted to become… and we are fortunate that she is willing to take on the responsibility of care for Mom. i sure as fuck wouldn’t do it… so yeah. “perils of benefactors, blessings of parasites”. there it is again…

  5. Have faith in DQ- there is quite possibly no ceiling on her ROI. She’ll find a way to exploit all of it. Lumber yard from the acreage, feedlot after the trees are gone… Who knows what she’ll dream up, and who she’ll coerce into doing it for her…

  6. I wasn’t going to read this because I don’t need high blood pressure this early in the morning but, Nurse M is right. Taking in a sick mom is pretty tough stuff, whether you’re manipulative or not. Maybe she’s got something coming to her.

  7. tigereyesal – oh, there’ll be more. as they excavate mom’s house, there shall be treasures to be sold. i once suggested that DQ set up an e-bay business, and liquidate all of the useless crap mom is drowning in. at least that would be a job, sort of… and her husband, BJ? even though he’s out of work, she rides his ass day and night to keep him working projects to keep the cash flowing. she needs her WalMart mad money!

    nursemyra – yes. that’s just it. her willingness to take care of mom earns the right to do whatever the fuck she wants with the resources. hence, my complete silence… just let that train roll…

    unbearable banishment – i’m not arguing. i wouldn’t do it for ten times the cash she’ll be ending up with after mom’s gone. the rankle is from the overpowering sense of entitlement along the way — “I can’t move my family into a home less than 2,500 square feet” and “I need at LEAST three bathrooms”… that’s where i bite my lip until it bleeds…

  8. ‘keep them on my facebook and all’…. god, that’s hilarious. because it’s true! you KNOW someone’s pissed when they delete you from their facebook profile.

    every family has the entitled person – in ours, it’s my stepmother. when i was 16, my grandmother was drawing up her will. she brought my family over, took us to her antique collection (despite all the ‘crap’ in her house, she’s sitting on a fortune of true antiques as well) and said that i had first pick, as i was ‘her one and only granddaughter’. everything i pointed to, or had cherished since childhood, my stepmother vetoed and claimed for herself. she’ll get it,too. at this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if i’ve also been written out of my father’s will.

  9. stephanie – it’s not entirely evil. i suspect there is a place in heaven for a blood sucking tick, if it provides some degree of service to humanity along the way…

    little fish – it’s not really the ‘stuff’, but the ability of these folks to jack any situation toward their benefit… i almost had mom convinced at one point to leave everything to her church. it would have made me deliriously happy to deliver that message while watching DQ’s face melt… but that was before she really stepped up to the rigors of taking care of mom… (sigh).

    manuel – peace corps. i hear they’re hiring?

  10. Good on you for letting it go. I’ve watched different parts of my family estranged from each other for many years (and counting) over family assets that no one really wanted, but “wanted things to be fair.” You are definitely an old soul.

  11. I’m with Nurse Myra, she deserves a house for putting up with your mother. Even if you mom was angelic, she would deserve a house. My sister deserves something spectacular for splitting up Dad’s assets seven ways without mayhem.

  12. chris – well, you’re half right. i’m old. there is part of me that wants to see ‘justice’, but it’s no longer clear cut what that would be. years ago? DQ just milked the grandparental machine for all it was worth. but since mom’s hit the “2 minute warning”? she’s been reliable and is taking on the hard stuff… so i’ll let it go. make peace. move on….

    silverstar – i agree. it’s just a question of ‘how many houses’ at this point… she’ll be compensated for taking on the worst of the caregiving. but i won’t stick around when she’s looking for vacation property.

    alex – i love them. but would rather stick cigarettes in my eyes than voluntarily spend time with them. family. fuckitall.

    kono – i suppose if i were alone in this world, i’d wish for family. maybe.

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