A first and final pimp for Part XIV
for those who missed it, and then it's back to the creative workshop with me.
I paid the bills yesterday, including the gargantuan tribute to my mechanical sun. If it weren't for the fact that my mother is going to have her hand out for the per annum taxes on this prefab chalet the second she returns from Florida, I would be looking at quite the surplus, but she will, and so I'm either going to have to cough up the precious cash or fight her on moral grounds.
What moral grounds? Well, when I moved in here, the agreement was the she was the landlord, and as such, she would be responsible for any repairs or accessibility modifications. I would be responsible for utilities, routine upkeep like cleaning the floors and keeping the house in order, and for payment of the homeowner's insurance. She also made some vague noises about paying the property taxes, but she paid them last year, so I thought that was off the table.
Since I moved in here, the roof needed replacement. She paid for that as promised, but when it became apparent that the bathroom was inadequate and needed modification, she dragged her feet, and then, when she finally cottoned on that having her daughter going about town smelling like old gym socks and brie because she hadn't been able to bathe anywhere but the sink reflected poorly on her, she charged me for the labor and materials even though a remodel like that fell under the purview of our agreement that she would pay for all modifications. She charged me $5,000.
decided that our aging refrigerator wasn't good enough and needed replacement, but once again, I was on the hook for her decision. There went another $600 from my supposedly sacrosanct trust that I was never, ever to touch because that was my nest egg for when I needed nursing home care, and wouldn't it be nice if Roomie, who has cared for me all these years, was rewarded when I popped my clogs?
I had been faithfully paying the homeowner's insurance dues for nearly a year before she casually informed me that she'd canceled the policy several months previously because she thought it too expensive. So...where had my money been going? She'd been pocketing it as a fee for various "favors" she'd done me. What favors? No idea. She refused to specify.
When we got into a huge fight a few months later, she retaliated by announcing that there would be no more freebies, and that I was now expected to pay rent, with her as the landlord. When I told her that was agreeable to me as long as she drew up a written contract that delineated our rights and responsibilities as tenants and her rights and responsibilities as landlord and had it notarized, she immediately played the pity card.
"You don't trust your old mother?"
No, frankly, I don't.
The subject was immediately dropped.
Then this year with the heater debacle, when I nearly froze to death for want of a sixty-dollar service call that she was unwilling to authorize until I shamed her into it by having Roomie call up the heating technicians and tell them that a disabled woman with circulation problems was freezing to death in her home because the heater was malfunctioning. Then she was only too eager to authorize the service call, lest word get around that some soulless cretin was allowing her disabled daughter freeze and risk pneumonia rather than swallowing sixty dollars for the service call. Stories like that would be a big scandal here in endstage Mayberry, where families routinely care for their elderly relatives and churches pay utility bills for the desperately poor.
And then there is this: Since the day I turned eighteen and got my own bills, I have been responsible for them. If I couldn't pay because I was foolish and overspent, then I sucked it up and dealt with the consequences. I never asked my mother for a dime because it was my job to pay my bills and my problem if I couldn't.
I asked my mother for help twice. The first time was because the trustees in charge of paying my rent had gone on vacation and forgotten to pay the balance of the rent before they left. The university was going to drop me from my courses if the rent wasn't paid by the start of term. So, I asked her to loan me the money.
Her response wasn't, "No," which I would have accepted as her right, but "I could help you, but I would rather you asked your grandfather because him giving you the money would help heal old wounds between us."
Excuse me? Your issues with your father are your business. You refused to let me see him for years because you were pissed at him, and now you want me to help you mend fences by begging him for money? Fuck you. I'm not going to ask my grandfather to bail me out so you can stroke your ego. I refused and called my grandmother. She'd paid it within the hour, and my mother, perhaps shamed that her aging mother on a fixed income acted more quickly than she, repaid her in full. My trust repaid my mother a week later.
The second time I asked for help was when my teeth were rotting inside my skull because I hadn't seen a dentist in years. I called and asked for help since it had been drummed into my head that touching my deathbed money was verboten. and back then, I was unaware of how the trust worked and what my rights were. Since my original trustee's death, I've learned, and quickly.
My mother's response when I asked if she would help me work out a payment arrangement with a dentist? "Call the health department." I did. Dental care was only for children. What now? "Oh, well." Cunt. If it were her teeth softening inside her mouth and causing pain, and I were the one with the purse strings and the case of Asshole Syndrome, she would flay me alive with accusations and recriminations, not unfounded if I were allowing her to suffer, I might add, but since it's me and thirty-three years ago, she didn't drown me in a bucket, I should be grateful and never point out the hypocrisy.
So now she wants me to pay property taxes on a home she owns--her bill, in other words--with no guarantee that she won't sell it out from under me if the mood takes her. She's already tried once, shortly after I moved in. I thwarted that by plying the potential buyer with the "but this is my home and where would I go?" gambit. Yes, I felt guilty and skeevy, but I didn't want to be homeless so that my mother, who owns five houses and three cars and never lets me forget it, could line her pockets with more.
I don't want to pay her bills. She's never paid mine, even when I was sick and desperate and in pain. I might feel differently if I had a written guarantee that she wouldn't try to evict me for the next yuppie with a fat wallet, but as it is, I've put $6,000 of my money into a home that isn't mine and have narrowly fended off her schemes to charge me to replace the windows($10,000) and install central air($8,400). If she ever succeeds, that will mean I've sunk $25,000 into a house I don't own. $25,000 worth of investments and improvements that will only benefit her if she ever finds a less compassionate buyer.
So, I'm grumpy about being asked to pony up money to my mother, who wouldn't give me water if I were dying. But I'm not sure I can refuse, either. If it goes to court, a judge might look at me, buy my mother's assertions that I'm just a poor handicapped child who doesn't know her own mind, let alone the law, and grant her complete control over everything.
The best part? She hollered long and loudly about me squandering my money on Rammstein when I drew from it to see them at MSG. It seems I should only spend my money when it benefits her.