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the hippy and money (g2)

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The Hippy will be unemployed when her and her pornstar (the boyfriend) move back to their home state to await the arrival of their unexpected son or daughter. This is not making her happy at all. She is very prideful and a lot of her self-worth is tied to how much she brings in. Her boyfriend is more the “bitch, get in the kitchen and fix me a sandwich” variety, but I think most of that is just bluster.

Apparently, the point of contention right now is she is trying to demand that they have all joint accounts since they plan on getting married at some point anyway and wants them to have full disclosure on everything. His stance is more “not no, but HELL NO!”

I’m totally making him look bad, but the guy’s mom blew through the nest egg his parents had been stashing away since his birth and even stole money from her son all of his life while still living with them, and did it often. Her son! Stole from her own damn son!

Of course, this is what I pointed out to her when she was choosing to be offended because he flat out denied her this. Of course he would, he has massive trust issues and a lot of stunted maturity to work through. The attitude in my very first paragraph exemplified that alone.

I told her that as an unemployed single mom, which is what she technically is, she was in a better position to qualify for assistance. They already worked out this was going to be the best way for both of them, so hand over her bills that she will still need dealt with and let him handle it. Her contribution is not going to be measured by a paycheck but it was not to be belittled as any less important. In fact, she would be taking the brunt of the worst of it in a way he would never understand.

Their relationship really wasn’t ready to take on a third party really yet. There’s a lot of conflicts of attitudes going on and ways of thinking that don’t align with the two of them. But that’s part of the process. It’s not ideal, but I don’t think its impossible either.

I told her that different couples had many different ways of dealing with money in a way they both can live with. There’s a reason its one of the top five reasons for divorce so don’t make it such a massive issue she wasn’t allowing any flexibility on it.

Three accounts where only one is mutual and the other two are individual would make for a decent compromise, but don’t entangle herself in his finances in any way until after she was working again and off assistance. Whatever people may think about welfare in the US, the organizations that review cases are truly looking for ANY possible way to disqualify you for assistance. They want you talking so you’ll slip up on something, no matter how mundane it may seem. It’s very much like those interrogation rooms on crimes shows only they wear you down by ignoring you in the waiting room for hours first. The snide indifference is completely free.

In the back of my mind though, their relationship is about to go through the biggest hurdle one can and they weren’t on the best ground to begin with. If this whole situation hits shitstorm status, she can at least make a clean break.

Hopeful, yet ever the cynic, I am…

Personally, my former spouse was of the “as long as we have each other, I don’t need money” and I was more the “bitch, I’m not sleeping in a fucking car with you in -30 degree winters, go fucking get a job already or I will tauntaun your ass for warmth” so my perception is a bit different. We did have all combined accounts and expenses and a 17k credit card balance in their name hit my credit rating along with the house they let foreclose… so I’m a bit bitter on the issue myself.

What struggles have you had navigating relationship and finances and how did you handle them? Do you wish you’d done anything differently?

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the hippy’s pornstar (g2)

The Hippy and I bonded a lot as two divorced people who had also been thrown into an initially unwanted and thoroughly unplanned parenthood.

Don’t get the wrong idea, there is a decade or so of age difference and the sentiment I have towards both her and her boyfriend is more of a sibling who wants to see them succeed.

Her boyfriend I dub Big Ron the pornstar, due to his epic pornstache that never ceased to be a focal point when he came up as a topic, whether he was present to hear it or not. Neither Tom Selleck nor Burt Reynolds have anything on this guy.

At one point that pornstache was going to be the theme of the entire baby shower that Hippy’s coworkers were planning out for her. Sadly, Yankee Heather hijacked their plans and took over. I found this out from the other department much later.

He is one of two adopted children of a well off couple, his sister a complete mess gunning for a fat wallet to marry. He was spoiled in a lot of all the wrong ways and yes, I see a lot in which he needs to grow the fuck up and be more honest with both himself and the Hippy before he loses her over something stupid, like his dumbfuck machismo bullshit pride and his absolute compulsion to treat all women like his mother, whom he kind of despises.

However the mom… from the stories I’ve heard from both, tries to firmly entrench herself into her son’s life despite his intense objections to the contrary. Its almost as though the more firmly he fights her presence, the more committed she is to being constantly around. She’s also prone to using the Hippy as a means to manipulate them. With Hippy’s desire to people please, this has been a struggle for both of them to establish boundaries.

Even more strangely, he was recently given the news that mom, specifically his mom, has blown through his inheritance. This is casually remarked upon by his father.

His sister’s though, is still intact. Apparently, this has been a part of her character while he was growing up as well. He would hide money he made from jobs he worked only to find it gone, mom having stolen and spent it.

She was the typical stay-at-home socialite with a well-off husband who seemed little interested in his wife’s activities, while still being one of the only people who could put her on a leash when she was going overboard. Dad’s involvement was to push his son to excel and be a man in all aspects.

The mom would call his girlfriends and tell them he had been cheating, was out with someone, tell them wild stories of various nefarious activities involving drugs, alcohol or whatever topic she thought might work to send them running. The Hippy told me she’d tried the same with her, but since they were in different states and living together, it wasn’t exactly plausible and thankfully died out quickly.

It all seems very Oedipal rather than maternal.

When the Hippy was telling me this, I suddenly asked “so how long has mom wanted to fuck her own son?”

She was a bit stunned by my remark (I was too) and I just said if he had no money to spend taking out his girlfriend or using it on gas to visit any of them, then maybe he would have to stay home and spend time with mom instead.

Getting rid of the girlfriend was usually a tactic only done by a person scheming to be the replacement. The way she behaves toward the Hippy sounds more like jealousy of the jilted than a mother.

Hippy told me it scarily made sense. I think we both shared an “Ew.”

I’m kind of surprised that was my take on it. Sometimes shit comes out of my mouth before I’ve had a chance to process what it is.

With the baby now completely given the full ahead by both parents, they are working on moving back to their home state up north, both to be closer to their familial support network as well as better enable Big Ron to streamline himself up the ladder since they will be on one income for a while. This would put them closer to both sets of their parents, which creates concerns for both of them for very different reasons.

This mom though. I’ve never come across one like this outside a Greek tragedy.

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a bit about the hippy (g2)

I haven’t really gone into this since I got sidetracked with anger.

The Hippy, who I met through Yankee Heather, works in another department from mine. One in which I rely on to get what I need done, but I get ultra busy and they do too so our ability to interact on topics outside of things we both need from one another tends to be minimal, It makes for a lot of misconceptions about one another when you’re not able to have a conversation with someone you work with so you can get a sense of their personality.

It’s not that I don’t have friendships with people in the department, but they’ve been slowly built over the years.

I had to laugh when The Hippy and I were sharing our first impressions of one another. I was hated and found terrifying and she was so glad I was the exact opposite, though she said a lot of that negative impression had to do with one particular member of her team who has a tendency to project a lot of their internal turmoil on others. It didn’t shock me. I probably would have been more impressed if the opposite were true.

Their team is run by a very tiny little woman who takes no shit and is swift and thorough and somewhat terrifying in her own right, and in that team are at least two who see enemies everywhere, one worse than the other.

One gave me the first impression of “elitist bitch” (this was the culprit) but kind of came off her pedestal over the years, while the other was just prone to being defensive. I once told them “I’ve never learned shit by getting it right the first time” when they messed something up and I was showing them how to fix it, and we’ve been vastly better ever since.

I told The Hippy I’d thought she was awesome the first time I’d met her. She’s laid back, but not lazy, expedient, you only had to point out an error once, she’s personable, intelligent, attentive and curious. She has a similar talent as G-uno in that you become fast friends and she can see right through a lot of shit…except when she has her own emotional investment in the view, I guess. That’s a hard one for all of us, I would venture.

Her and her boyfriend have known each other a long time as friends, went their separate ways for a while, she had been married and divorced once already. an abusive situation, and the prospect of doing it again was terrifying to her. They crossed paths again in the aftermath of bad relationships and just sparked intensely.

Seriously, not once when I met these two outside of work could they ever be on time because they couldn’t keep their hands off one another.

Apparently, I’m at that age where, although I still find it mildly revolting, I also find it adorable in its own right. I always expected to be too curmudgeonly for that shit.

The Hippy recently found out she was pregnant. For all the years she declared to never want kids, when faced with the very real possibility of having one upon her, even with all the fear, she realized was excited about the idea. Especially considering she’d been told she’d never have any.

While she toyed with the idea of an abortion and if they were ready to be parents, when asking for his honest opinion, her boyfriend stuck to his “no kids” sentiment, while at the same time increasing his retirement investment, pouring over his budget, laid out when they should move into a bigger place,  and planned out how to fast track himself into a promotion.

It took a while for him to finally admit he really did want this child, but didn’t want to put any pressure on her to have it if she didn’t want it. So she was afraid to tell him she wanted to keep it because of how she felt before finding out she was pregnant, and he didn’t want to tell her he wanted the child because of…. shit….

aw fuck, it all make me want to beat the hell out of both of them from the nausea.

 

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the little ones talk sex (g2)

Inevitably in my family if we get together long enough, the dick jokes and dirty innuendo come out. We have a small subgroup among in my family who will declare loudly that everything we say is awful and we should be ashamed, but secretly they are right with us and we usually take a jab they might need to get some.

I don’t know if they feel some parental obligation to fight it, or if they just want brownie points to keep them out of hell.

It was no different with my little cousins. I’m not sure if its due to the fact I recognize them as no longer the darling cherubs of their childhood, but young adults on the adventure of life or not, but I’ve never felt the need to scold them for anything they wanted to say, except perhaps the sibling hate speech to one another. I’d love to carve that out like cancer. They’ve never held back either.

As the evening progressed I kind of wish we’d migrated to someplace involving couches and coffee and/or wine so the chatter didn’t have to ever end. The topic of sex and relationships of course came up. The little sister firmly declared she didn’t care for sex and would rather not do “that” for the most part.

My quick reply was of course that she must be doing it wrong, which seemed to be our eldest aunt’s problem as well.

I might be biased…

No, no… I’m not. Little sister is fucking gorgeous and has suitors from both sides of the fence that would be more than happy to lick the bottom of her boots if she asked them. She has no clue the vast power she possesses. In this, she is much like her half-sister. The difference being is her half-sister does understand her power and has used it quite a lot in her life, often to disaster, and only toning it down in recent years.

Don’t get me wrong, the older sister is beautiful, tall and graceful. But there is just this something some people possess that seems to render those around them completely subjugated. Helen of Troy would have HAD to be one of these people. I have about three cousins (suspect four, but that one keeps it firmly under control so I cannot verify), all female, who have this ability as well.

The older sister seems to be exploring her oats these days. I see a ton of myself in her while she spoke of some of her relationships and alluded to conquests. She wants so much to open her heart to something real, and from the sound of it, to one in particular, but she is equally fearful of being rejected so she keeps this wall up. It bites you in the ass when you cannot be vulnerable, you just come off as ice cold because people eventually get tired of trying to get over that wall.

I had to smile because some of the things were almost verbatim to things I’d declared at the same age, so utterly convinced I’d had this relationship shit all figured out.

I hadn’t a clue.

By the time I could even think of how to respond, it was time to pack it in and leave.

If anything I wish I could tell her that you cannot make your heart tough enough to withstand the hurt of having it broken if you don’t expose it to the possibility of having it loved thoroughly first.

Building walls, only turns what’s inside to mush… useless and unspent. Exposure is what makes it more malleable, adaptable, bendable… not breakable.

You never really regret trying. You regret when you don’t.

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the little ones complaint (g2)

I asked my two little cousins if they’d seen their elder sister and the tone just darkened suddenly. The last time I’d seen them all together, things were pretty good, they were even acting much like full siblings, only with less “I hate you”, “I wish you’d die” that I’d seen between the two younger. If anything, their elder half-sister was shutting that stuff down.

On a sidenote, sibling behavior freaks the shit out of only children like Spawn and myself. We would never talk to anyone the way we hear siblings talk to one another. I’ve never understood if this is just normal stuff, or not enough intervention from like huge guys named Guido, floggings, duct tape, etc. 

On another sidenote, it freaks the shit out of people with siblings the way only children will talk to themselves. It helps us resolve things going on in our lives, but how in depth we can get really makes people think we’re nuts.

When both girls didn’t say anything, I asked again. Apparently, Knievel had indeed visited recently but it hadn’t gone so well. I cannot help it, the fixer in me pushed for details and I wanted to understand the hurt look on the younger sister’s face.

Then the older one pipes up and says “Apparently, she wanted to blame and punish us for having the father she never did.”

My heart sank. I’m often in awe the perception especially the older sister has about things but this is one of those moments I wish it wasn’t so good and they just thought she was being a bitch.

I did agree that the person their father was before their mom was completely different than the person he became when she was a factor, but it was utterly unfair to take that shit out on them.

I apologized for her, which I know means nothing. I was both angry at her and for her simultaneously. She didn’t deserve the shitty parents she got, and it had to be an epic slap in the face when one of them really bucks up… for his other kids. But at the same time, it is completely out of fucking line to get mad at them for that.

But its hard to take it out on the source of the discourse when the dumbfucker is dead.

We talked a little about their dad after that. The older sister isn’t quite as venomously angry as she used to be, and his pedestal with the younger seems to have whittled down a bit. I went over what little I felt I could without either shitting on him or giving him more credit than he was due. I did talk about his lack of impulse control and how that seemed to play a factor in much of his life, how much of a ghost he was before their mom. How much more focused he was with her…

I looked at the older one when I said it, but I told her she needed to call her sister out on her behavior. Let her know her feelings were justified, but she was unleashing them on the wrong person. Put her foot down that neither of them deserved to be treated that way.

But don’t write her off.

She’d been written off enough.

Other than her mom, they were all she had.

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culture with the little ones (g2)

When I was having dinner with my little cousins, we talked about so many things that I believe there were at least 4 conversations running simultaneously the entire evening. The youngest even enlisted us in playing a cellphone game that worked kind of like charades in reverse. You hold your phone to your forehead outward and everyone else is supposed to give you hints without saying the word or phrase on the screen.

The youngest blazed through the music category and wanted me to try.

I love music.

With how many posts I have made that involved a video, or song reference, I’m sure you’ve figured this out. The only group I have joined on any social media has to do with music, mostly indie/alternative.  I played three different instruments growing up, I listen to college radio because I think its awesome to listen to dubstep going to work, then spanish rap on the way home, for example.

My hunger for music has only increased with age, contrary to what psychology/sociology doctrine says I should be. When I first interacted with Pandora, I was in heaven… a genome project for music? What the hell? I plugged in a few songs I could think of off the top of my head and it played completely different shit that I totally loved. I plow through my Spotify weekly… well, weekly and add anything I like to a current playlist to get me through work. Any band I like two or more songs of goes on a list of things to purchase an album… or two. I’m the revenue online music sites can’t track.

Spawn and I go to the local music store that still specializes in records and spend an ungodly amount of money and take out stacks of stuff. I am so connected to them via social media, I send them instant messages to request stuff I know they will have to order so it will be there when we get there. They show me stuff when I come in they think I will be interested in. They are my people.

Yes, I still buy CD’s. I figure when I make my first mill, I’ll invest in albums again and the stereo system it would take to make me happy, but I like the liner notes and inserts regardless. We listen to each in the car until we’re tired of it, I burn them all when we’re done so I can access them online or burn them onto mix CD’s for road trips.

I have a system, man.

I love music.

I also sincerely believe that my former spouse only owning two albums, one of them being a soundtrack, should have been sign enough to run the other way and I was just being stupid.

It was the elder of the two who piped up and said “pick a different category, they’re not going to know that crap.”

I asked what kind of music they thought I listened to. I barely see these girls anymore, which kills me, so I made no assumptions of them knowing my musical taste or taste in anything really. Hell, most people who did know me couldn’t tell you what my music tastes are.

The eldest responded immediately with, “eclectic, very eclectic is your taste.”

They really couldn’t be more right. I actually thought that would be to my advantage in a music category, but apparently they only put current music on the Gaga front and any other female singer willing to wear plastic and pasties to cut a record.

The older sister was right, I didn’t know anything about the current stuff they played in that music category. I could only nail it when they played stuff before 2k or the 90’s and earlier. The younger sister knew all of it, from classic rock on, she nailed it all. It’s not that I don’t listen to recent stuff either, I just don’t listen to recent “popular” stuff apparently.

I truly cannot tell the difference between almost any of the female singers that are currently being gushed over these days. It all sounds exactly the same to me.

The older sister and I share a mutual love of books. One of my most favorite gifts ever is when she gave me The Perks of Being a Wallflower. At the time, it was one of her favorites and she was the same age as the protagonist. I loved it as well. Probably not least of which due to it being set in an era I was growing up and experiencing some of the same things. We talked about our current reads and made mental notes of ones to check out from the other’s coffers.

Spawn was mostly silent throughout dinner, looking exhausted and overwhelmed. I often wonder if they might be a little closer to what good relatives we do have if they would just give a little more input into the conversation or reached out just a little more. However, I wasn’t much different at that age, just preferring to listen because I felt nothing I said would be interesting enough to contribute.

I sincerely hope that isn’t the reason for Spawn’s silence.

Little sis loved picking on Spawn on about this, to which the older sister would immediately defend them. I found it amusing. I’d always operated under the assumption that Spawn would talk when they wanted to and not a minute before.

The older sister also went to the school of fine arts that Spawn wishes to also attend, only for the cello, which Spawn has been playing too and loves. I doubt either of them have discussed the commonality at any point ever unless I brought it up.

The younger is putting aside her dreams of being a DJ to become a professional student. I would love this. Get up, learn shit, go home. If I could do that every day, I would be in heaven. I get the sense she is just feeling really directionless whereas her sister was very driven and had solid goals. In this area, I empathize with the younger sister more. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, I just know I’m not doing it.

 

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dinner with the little ones (g2)

As much as my antisocial tendencies govern most of my actions, I thoroughly immersed in enjoying the company of my two littles cousins. I even started remembering a me that actually enjoyed going out and spending time with others regularly.

I look at these two grown lovely ladies and their free flowing banter and sharp wit, and with a certain expression or just how they would say something, they would transform to two toddlers fresh and crisp in their Easter Sunday best, spinning in the foyer to make their dresses fly up. Golden ringlets, chubby elbows and a laugh that can never, ever be duplicated by anyone past the age of four, completely full of nothing but sheer joy.

It makes me ache in a nostalgic way. It reminds me how little I see them, how much I missed, moving around and completely focusing on my own shit. It makes me wonder if their half-sister ever has these regrets as well, ever looks at them and feels a pang for the time gone forever.

I ponder the days when their half-sister and I were nothing more than gangly, awkward kids ourselves, then young adults completely convinced of our intellectual superiority and ready to take on the world, bent on making it our bitch or just making it better and being nothing like our parents or any other adult we met while doing it.

It reminds me of a time when the little cousins first met Spawn, fresh from the hospital. They rigged up a laundry basket as a makeshift crib and just cooed over them like the most awesome thing they’d ever seen.

Now Spawn stands between the two in height, and is still growing.

I finally get the need to want to watch films of the past over and over. It’s not that you wish you could go and relive it all, but maybe just visit. Get a little more connected. Slow down and give a few more hugs, listen a little more attentively, be more in the moment. It’s a shame you have to get to a certain age before you fully understand that and so much is already lost.

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