Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Rental Agreement

So I talked with Gary, over his 1pm breakfast, about his rental agreement. He looked like he was just barely able to keep from rolling his eyes. When I got to the payment for room and board being $50 a week, payable in 5 hours of course a week he said stunned, "A WEEK?"

"Yeah. 5 hours a week"

"That is freaking lot of hours."

We talked on and I mentioned some things he could do today. "I don't have time today! I have to train from 3-8, everyday."

I took a slow quiet deep breath and did not mention that that was 5 hours, every day. Hours that he is training because he wants to. Hours for which he is not getting pain. Instead I told him that I had a list that Roland had made of things he could do so the chores did not pile up. He did not quite resist rolling his eyes at that. I said I thought it was a good offer, and was actually less that Andrew and Alice were going to be doing. He said, "Yeah, but I don't even get my own room, so what's the point?"

He went on to tell me that he could move in with his best friend for $175/month. He would have to sleep on a sofa, but he could create a private space. It was in the same town as his gym and the community college so it made a lot more sense than staying here. Especially since he doesn't even have a car anymore.

I agreed that it did sound good and asked if he had made any definite plans yet. He said no.

I kept my voice calm and unemotional throughout. In the inside there was another voice being loud, yelling about how the ungrateful little shite has being doing nothing for months and offering to pack up his things and move them to his friend's right now. I don't like that part of me, but it has been trying to get out recently.

I feel badly about being so happy and relieved that he might really move out.

I want things to be better for him and I want to be able to help him to make them better. I just don't think he is ready for that though. He has to do it his own way.

You know that nasty voice that wants out? It wants to start nagging and bitching and fighting with Gary to push him over the edge so he will grab his things and storm out before his friend changes his mind.

I am not always proud of myself.


I have been keeping my sense of humor though. I have just found out about the wonderful "first world problems" meme and have been having fun with it. When Andrew caught me scowling while doing dishes and wanted to know what was wrong I told him, "I'm just so frustrated. I could make Gary's life perfect if he would just do what I want him to do when I want him to do it!"


  1. You know, this reminds me a teeny little bit of my approach to panhandlers.

    If they’re young, they get nothing.

    It’s not lack of compassion: I’m quite pleased that my United Way donations fund organizations that will help them in appropriate ways. But... part of growing up is figuring out that grownups aren’t going to fix it for you. I don’t want them on the street, I don’t want to help them stay on the street, I don’t want to teach them that panhandling can work. Figuring out what will work is really hard for these kids; I don’t want to muddy the waters by participating in the idea of panhandling being an option.

    Old folks, no problem. Confused and cranky old drunks get my money. It’s not going to make a difference to their life choices, but it might make a small difference to their lives.

    The part of you that doesn’t want to participate in Gary’s notion that other people will take responsibility for him is probably not completely wrong. I think you can cut her some slack!

    1. Thanks, although it isn't her attitude that bothers me. It is more her burning desire to yell bad words at people.

      I was just feeling so proud of my emotional detachment -- you know, the one I had before the idea of my mother moving in became REALITY at the same time that Gary moving out started to appear to be FANTASY?

  2. I'm so glad that you are writing again. Reading you really helps me put my own parenting in perspective. Thank you! <3

  3. Forget Gary and all his drama, I am in a state of total shock over the fact that Brian is off to college and Andrew is finishing up. I'm more in shock over Brian, I'm used to Andrew being grown. When I first started reading your blog he was eleven or twelve and making you crazy fighting with Evan! Actually, he was bedeviling Evan!! I remember writing and telling you they reminded me of my nephews, how the younger one made the older one nuts doing things to get a reaction out of him. They are 20 and 25 now.
    Gary will be fine, think back you had some of these problems with evan. You were more stuborn and he moved out. Things will be fine, I was terrified until my Dad got in the house, then we were fine. It was the thinking about him moving in that was so bad! It's been three years now and I still miss him terribly.
    Hang in there and take care of yourself.

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