Sunday, July 15, 2007

It is not the same thing

So this year Evan is paying me rent, which he does very reliably. He pays me in cash on a weekly basis.

Last year I was being paid room and board by the agency (more than I am getting now). Before we left on vacation I stocked up on all sorts of foods. I told him that if he had to buy more food he should keep the receipts and I would reimburse him. I came back and it seemed that most of the food I had bought was still here and that he had pretty much lived off of fast food, for which he knew I would not reimburse him.

This year I suggested that he not pay me rent for two weeks. He could just buy his own food instead. If he budgeted carefully he would actually end up with extra money. A month or so ago that seemed to him to be a good idea. In the past couple of days though he has been asking me when I was going to to shopping. I explain that I wasn't. He could buy what he needed.

His anxiety went right up. He had to do the shopping? He didn't realize he was going to have to do grocery shopping. And what about teenage pet sitter who was coming in?* Did he have to buy groceries for him too? I said that I wanted him to keep the house stocked with things like milk and bread, but that he did not have to buy the house sitter special items.

It was all so overwhelming.

Finally I said, "Okay. How about this. I will go shopping and stock up the house. You put the rent money you would give me into an envelop and if you or the pet sitter need any food you can use that money to buy it. You can make a run to the store, or you can give the pet sitter some of the cash. When I get back you can give me what is left."

He was relieved. That was different.

Just so long as he doesn't have to do any PLANNING.

*There is no way the puppy can be allowed to stay alone for 10 hours while he is at work.

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