Taking Mom to the cardiologist this week allowed me a chance to check in on the ‘State of the Trailer Park’.  And it leaves me shaking my damn head, as always…

An e-mail from my niece, DQ, on Wednesday informed me and my local siblings that she and her family would be taking off for Florida for two weeks – beginning Saturday.  She asked if we could make an extra effort to visit Mom and take her out for meals and entertainment.

Two weeks.  This is after the five-day vacation they took over Memorial Day weekend.  Progress on the renovations to Mom’s house?  Somewhere between “Jack” and “Squat”, since DQ’s husband, BJ, has to work on paying jobs when he’s not fucking off on holiday.

Helping Mom into the car, i asked if she had any concerns about being mostly alone for the two weeks.

Mom:  Well, it’s just that nasty black dog that’s always under my feet.  I’m just going to poke him out-of-the-way with my cane, so i don’t trip…

daisyfae:  Wait.  They’re leaving you to take care of their dogs?

We talked a bit more about the lack of progress on the house.  Mom has held back enough money to buy an air conditioner and furnace, and to pay for re-plumbing the entire house.  Because she’s making sure there’s enough money for these big-ticket items, she has been unable to pay BJ to hire help.  Which is why he hasn’t done much of anything on the house.

daisyfae:  Do you know how much it’s going to cost to do all that?  Why don’t i get some folks in while they’re out of town to give us some quotes?

Mom:  Oh, I don’t want to upset anyone.  That would make them mad.

daisyfae:  Do i look like i fucking give a shit if they’re mad?  You’ve been living with them for two years.  It’s time for the house to be finished.  This is shit.  i don’t like it.

She’s worried that they’ll be mean to her.  Not that they’ll mistreat her, they just get snarky and make snotty comments apparently. 

i reminded her for the millionth time that she has options.  Options she refuses to consider.  She just wants BJ to finish the work so she can move back into her house.

daisyfae:  Well, you paid him, in advance, for work that wasn’t completed, by giving him the land you bought out in the country.  That’s a bad business plan.  You need to find a way to incentivize him to finish the job.  Rather than spend the summer on vacation.

It was then that i hatched a plan.  At least something for her to think about…

Put the property on the market at a fairly high price – maybe $5,000 more than you paid for it.  It will take a while to sell.  In the meantime, BJ can bust his ass on the house.  If he finishes before it sells?  He still gets it.  If it sells?  You use the money to help hire a crew, and then when he’s finished?  He gets the rest to buy some more land, upon which he can shoot deer to his redneck heart’s content…

She didn’t like it.  But she said i could go ahead and get quotes for the furnace and air conditioner, and the plumbing, so long as it was my idea, not hers.

daisyfae:  Momma, it’s really up to you.  You keep doing what you’re doing, you’re gonna keep getting what you got.  Let me know if you want me to help, otherwise, i’m here to listen.

[monstrous sigh]

41 thoughts on “Checkmate?

  1. Ugh… so frustrating… I know you have mixed feelings… wanting to help but not wanting to be dragged into family drama that’s not really about you… my heart goes out to you.

    But damn, pretty shitty to leave an old women with health issues to take care of a dog that ain’t hers for two fucking weeks.

    • two dogs, by the way. one noisy, slobbery and obnoxious. the other? just slow and smelly. every time i think about pulling the chain and getting back in the fray, mom tells me not to… so i don’t. very frustrating….

    • BJ works hard on his construction jobs. but DQ? um…… nope…. stays home, takes care of kids and mom, which is a full time job. but she has a 15 year old to help with the 3 year old, and with mom. so….. yeah….

  2. ‘Fess, up, you really were adopted. I don’t see how you can share the gene pool.
    Also, you have amazing self control.

    • nope. my genetics. i still see lots of trailer park in me. i just manage it more effectively, and with less outside intervention required…. some of the self control is that i want to respect mom’s ability to make her own decisions. some of the self control is because i really don’t want to get down in this muck again….

    • not much. he has to make money to pay their bills. DQ doesn’t work. They burned through money mom set aside to do renovation because of unforseen problems, so she can’t pay him cash — she paid him with land instead. plus, they’re going to get the house when it’s built. so he’s being compensated, he just can’t afford to work on it because of the way mom paid him…. grrrr….

    • she gets cranky as hell when i say i’m going to ‘do’ something. so i have been inclined to do nothing. i hate being sneaky. not my style. but it’s hers. it’s DEFINITELY hers….

    • trying to ignore the bad bits. trying, trying, trying. she hasn’t directly asked for help – it’s that passive aggressive stuff that makes me cranky….

  3. Good decision by you, the situation needs someone with balls to take charge and steer the whole project to a close. If I was nearer I’d be on the case and out again within a couple of weeks. Do keep me informed hen.

  4. Tough spot to (continue) be(ing) in for your Ma. And for you as well. I’m thinkin’ the same as Jimmy Bastard : If I was nearer…..

    Maybe it’s time to call up one of those dastardly TV shows on TLC? We have a guy up here too: Mike Holmes. His old “Holmes on Homes” shows are in syndication on HGTV, I think.

    *Sigh* Like to read the updates; disappointed to hear the (lack of) progress. Take care you.

    • thanks… the idea of assembling my own work crew is entertaining, but not practical. she got very agitated when i discussed this. but agreed that having quotes might help frame how much the job should cost.

      they’d all love the TV coverage…. could milk the angle that BJ broke his back a couple years ago, got a sizeable compensation for it, which they have now completely burnt through in about 4 months…. oh, yeah. that’s great TV…..

  5. I’m sure DQ is a nice enough girl but that Blow Job of a nephew really blows. If any in my family did that to my Nanna, they’d be guilt-tripped and harrangued and tormented hourly until the situation was righted. Put the house on the market at get yo mamma to higher ground.

    • DQ is bright, manipulative and the laziest human being i’ve ever met. She can torque any situation to her advantage. Her husband? Hard working, immature, YOUNG (he’s only 25, she’s 38).

      Mom has been presented with many options. She continually chooses this one. She doesn’t want an apartment. She wants to live with family. My niece is the only one of us willing to take her in…. because she’s difficult, and she knows it…. Checkmate, across the board….

  6. I just hate people that have absolutely no respect for their elders and take advantage of them. You need to bust out a can of ‘Whoop-Ass’ and get busy cleaning some house. Start with the lazy f-cker first! Shame on him anyway!

    • on the up-side? they have agreed to take her in – which is what she wanted. because DQ doesn’t work, she’s the only one willing to take this on. never mind that she gets a house out of it when mom croaks… he works, but he just can’t work on mom’s house because he’s got to pay his bills. she paid him – in advance for his effort – with property that he uses for hunting and four wheeling and playing around on… grrr….

  7. It’s a pain in the butt trying to find a place for the dog. Most of the time, my parents will watch her, but when they’re coming with us, it’s kennel time. I suppose I could just let her wander the neighborhood while we’re gone, but she’d probably kill all the cats in the area.

    • two dogs. i hire pet sitters to come in, twice a day. supplementing with friends dropping in to play with them. tonights drama: she had to call for help because one of the dogs refused to go outside, and hadn’t been out since the weekend. she’s 82. she is not a dog sitter.

  8. Well, if it makes you feel any better, my brother has taken the last 15 years to complete his house …. and it’s still not done.
    I feel bad for BJ, being the sole income AND trying to get the work done?
    It’s too much.
    He knows it, but he’ll never admit it.
    DQ is …. well,let’s just say, bless her little heart. (you know what that means if you’re from the south!)
    I say take Jimmy B. up on his offer and just be done with it all.

    Besides, THAT would make for some VERY interesting stories! 😀 lol

    • oh, i’m not sure that helps! and yes, BJ is in a bit of a pickle — but it’s a pickle created by many, many bad decisions. he got paid, in trees and dirt, for his labor. not something he can use to pay his own bills, or feed his family.

      would love to fly Jimmy here and see what happens… on the job site and off! a few black pints might be in order…

  9. The whole situation blows. Do you think your mom gets any satisfaction out of working you up about DQ and BJ? I don’t know why, but I’m thinking she enjoys watching you get pissed off and then playing the martyr. That’s what a Jewish mother would do. Maybe she’s a trailer park Jew.

    • you raise a fascinating point, Dr. Altman…. in fact, i spent a bit of time on the phone with her tongiht, and i was spitting venom because she had problems taking care of the dogs… i was ranting and raving and saying leave the damn dogs outside until they can have someone pick them up…. and she started trying to calm me down. saying it was ok… “Oh, i’ll manage… Don’t worry…”

      if that ain’t Trailer Park Jewish Mother, then i don’t know what is….

      you are an insightful woman. the old “Love me, hate me, show me you care” ploy… she’s playing me. damn. she’s good.

  10. By the time I got to read this and follow the comments…nothing I can add.
    Except to say I sympathise. Yeah, maybe there is a Yiddish Momma in there. Try chicken soup?

  11. Brilliant plan. Give her the radical choice to make the small step seem more reasonable. Maybe you should suggest burning the place down for the insurance so that putting it on the market is the safe option.

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