Author Topic: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27  (Read 113087 times)

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weeblewobble

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE
« Reply #390 on: February 18, 2013, 11:42:39 PM »
- My relative, Susan, has struggled with her mom's PA behavior for years.  Susan's father recently lost his job due to hostile behavior in the office.  A few years ago, when Susan and her husband, George, were going through typical "early married" financial problems, her mother told Susan that asking family members for loans JUST WASN'T DONE in their family.  Susan was hurt that her mother would say something like that before Susan even asked for help and the tone was "We don't want to help you, so don't ask."  Father has been out of work for two weeks. Now, Mother is sending Susan texts like, "We'd usually go out for dinner on Friday nights, now we're having cold sandwiches.  Sure would be nice if someone sent us a restaurant gift card!"  or "I'm not even bothering with Black Friday this year.  Sure would be nice if Santa sent us Christmas money!" Susan responded with, "That would be nice." to both. (Please note that these people aren't hungry or suffering.  Susan's parents live a very "brand conscious" lifestyle and there are plenty of things they can do to scale back.  Not to mention items they can sell for extra cash.)

At Thanksgiving, which Susan hosted, Mother informed Susan, "It would be nice if you gave us some spending cash.  Otherwise, we're not going to be able to afford Christmas gifts this year.  And if that happens, I don't think we'll even bother coming over for Christmas."  Susan said, "Well, we would miss you."  Mother sulked and said maybe they would come over after all.


An update to the situation above:

Susan told me that her husband, George, made an error at the store (mis-read a price tag) that cost him about $40 he wasn't planning to spend.  Not a catastrophe, but an unexpected expense.  George told the story at a family gathering where Susan's parents were present, as a "can you believe this bone-headed, funny thing I did?" anecdote.  Susan's mother immediately launched into a diatribe about how LUCKY Susan and George were to be SOOOO rich that they could make mistakes like that. That a $40 error would have broken Susan's parents' budget and she couldn't believe how WASTEFUL George is.

Susan was so shocked, that like most of the other people in the room, she just stared at her mother in horror.  George told her, "Wow, I think you totally misinterpreted that story."  And then moved on to another topic.

Susan's mother later approached Susan to tell her how nice it would be to give her parents money to help with their bills.  Susan told her no and bean-dipped.

Shalamar

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #391 on: February 19, 2013, 12:06:10 AM »
My mother once called me a stupid idiot for racking up the gargantuan sum of $6 in library fines.   (In my defense, my husband and I were living in a motel with our toddlers at the time, waiting for our new house to be finished, plus I was working two jobs.   So, yeah, I forgot about the library books.)

Saying "It's only six bucks, Mum" was a mistake, as I quickly found out.

PeterM

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #392 on: February 19, 2013, 12:34:39 AM »
My mother once called me a stupid idiot for racking up the gargantuan sum of $6 in library fines.   (In my defense, my husband and I were living in a motel with our toddlers at the time, waiting for our new house to be finished, plus I was working two jobs.   So, yeah, I forgot about the library books.)

Saying "It's only six bucks, Mum" was a mistake, as I quickly found out.

I saw a mother/son exchange like that at my library a year or two ago. The son was maybe in his late 20s, and as he checked out I told him he had a few dollars in fines. I forget how many, but very far below the limit where we cut you off. He said he'd pay them another time, which is absolutely okay as far as we're concerned.

His mother did not agree. She lit into him like I'd announced he was harboring bin Laden. I don't remember her exact words, which is a shame because it was a fairly elaborate litany of insults. I do remember that she called both her son himself and his daring to have unpaid fines "disgusting" more than once. Through it all he just stood there like this was far from the first time.

Then it was her turn to check out. She also had fines, more than he did but still well below our limit. I was quite happy to tell her so, though I think I kept my tone neutral. In any case, her response was a nonchalant, "Oh, I'll get them next time."

Working in a library can be like flipping channels when nothing but soap operas are on - you see many little snippets of odd family dramas. We even have a lot of people who come in every day or close to it, so you even get the ongoing storylines. This woman was one of the oddest I can recall, in her way. Something like Alzheimer's that changed her personality seems like the simplest explanation, but it felt like that wasn't all there was to it. I never saw either of them again, so I'll never know.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #393 on: February 19, 2013, 01:00:14 AM »
My mother once called me a stupid idiot for racking up the gargantuan sum of $6 in library fines.   (In my defense, my husband and I were living in a motel with our toddlers at the time, waiting for our new house to be finished, plus I was working two jobs.   So, yeah, I forgot about the library books.)

Saying "It's only six bucks, Mum" was a mistake, as I quickly found out.

I saw a mother/son exchange like that at my library a year or two ago. The son was maybe in his late 20s, and as he checked out I told him he had a few dollars in fines. I forget how many, but very far below the limit where we cut you off. He said he'd pay them another time, which is absolutely okay as far as we're concerned.

His mother did not agree. She lit into him like I'd announced he was harboring bin Laden. I don't remember her exact words, which is a shame because it was a fairly elaborate litany of insults. I do remember that she called both her son himself and his daring to have unpaid fines "disgusting" more than once. Through it all he just stood there like this was far from the first time.

Then it was her turn to check out. She also had fines, more than he did but still well below our limit. I was quite happy to tell her so, though I think I kept my tone neutral. In any case, her response was a nonchalant, "Oh, I'll get them next time."

Working in a library can be like flipping channels when nothing but soap operas are on - you see many little snippets of odd family dramas. We even have a lot of people who come in every day or close to it, so you even get the ongoing storylines. This woman was one of the oddest I can recall, in her way. Something like Alzheimer's that changed her personality seems like the simplest explanation, but it felt like that wasn't all there was to it. I never saw either of them again, so I'll never know.


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Nora

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #394 on: February 19, 2013, 02:51:44 AM »
My mom has a slightly different variation on "you're so bad with money". She knows I'm generally pretty good with money, and she loves to tell me how much better at managing finances I am than her (my phone never gets cut off because I forgot to pay the bill) ad nauseum. She also has a history of offering money/loans to us without being asked. Then at the first sign of trouble she lets rip about how childish and irresponsible I am with money, how I can't expect to lean on her/others, how pathetic etc etc...
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

Coley

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #395 on: February 20, 2013, 10:08:47 AM »
Meet my dad:

It was 1985. I was 17 and had just graduated from high school. That summer, I bought my first car with money I saved from my part-time job and from graduation gifts. It was not a fancy car. It was very basic transportation that I planned to take to college with me.

My parents had an old early-'70s Dodge as a second car that I'd been using through high school. The week I graduated from high school, the windshield wipers stopped working. As was typical for my parents, they never bothered to get the windshield wipers fixed. What this meant was that the car couldn't be driven when it was raining.

One summer evening, I was planning to pick up my boyfriend in my car and go to a movie. My mother wasn't home, so she'd taken their car. I thought my dad was in the family room, so I called out, "Bye! I'll be back after the movie," and I went out the front door. When I got outside, I saw that my car was gone. Where was my car? Then it dawned on me that it was raining.

I went back in the house and realized I was alone. My dad and brother were both gone. Where were they? Had they taken my car? Was I going to make it in time to pick up my boyfriend and get to the movie before it started?

About 15 minutes later, my dad pulled up in front of the house in my car. I was upset because a) I don't know he'd taken the car, and b) now I was late. His response: "I had to take your brother to Boy Scouts, and it was raining. I couldn't use the Dodge." I explained to him that I had plans, and now I was late. I said I wished he would have told me what he was doing before he took my car. (I could have dropped my brother off on my way to my boyfriend's house.) He blew up at me, saying that he didn't know what I expected him to do. He couldn't drive the Dodge in the rain. I said that I hoped he would talk to me about using my car rather than just taking it because I might have plans. He didn't like that and was steaming mad.

I left in a hurry, picked up my boyfriend, and we walked into the movie as it was starting. I got home later and went straight to bed.

In the morning, I found a note on the kitchen table from my dad. In a nutshell, he told me that he would never, ever use my car again. He would never, ever ask if he could use MY car. Obviously, it was MY car. And I was too selfish to share it. So, he said he planned to use the same tactic on me that he used on my mother with the living room couch. See, she got mad at him once for lying on the living room couch after he'd been outside mowing the lawn. He was all sweaty and gross, and she didn't want him to get the couch dirty. She asked him to move to another piece of furniture. (I remembered the incident because it turned into a big fight, but I didn't know the rest of the story.) In his note to me, he said he vowed from then on that he would never, ever sit on THAT couch again. And he never, ever did. Therefore, because I was so selfish about MY car, he would do the same thing with it and never, ever use it again.

Okay, Dad. Take a stand.  ::)  Don't ever sit on the couch again. Don't ever drive my car again. I took his note, got a pen, and wrote, "Fine with me," and put it on his recliner where he'd see it when he got home. He never, ever drove my car again. Indeed, he got what he said he wanted. I never said another word about it, and neither did he.

Shalamar

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #396 on: February 20, 2013, 11:10:11 AM »
Hey, Coley, I had no idea I had a sister!

Seriously, that sounds like something my dad would do.  He has a history of going off on the deep end and completely blowing things out of proportion like that.

Just for the record, I'm outraged on your behalf.  What a lousy thing to do!  We bought our 18-year-old daughter a car a year ago when she got her license (nothing fancy; it's a used Yaris).  It's always been understood that it is HER car.  Whenever we've had a situation in which we need a second vehicle, I've always asked her if I may borrow it.  When someone at work heard about that, they said "Uh, you paid for it.  You should be able to just use it whenever you want."  I said "We bought it for HER.  I wouldn't like someone to just grab my car and use it without asking; we owe her the same courtesy."

Coley

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #397 on: February 20, 2013, 11:34:46 AM »
Hey, Coley, I had no idea I had a sister!

Seriously, that sounds like something my dad would do.  He has a history of going off on the deep end and completely blowing things out of proportion like that.

Just for the record, I'm outraged on your behalf.  What a lousy thing to do!  We bought our 18-year-old daughter a car a year ago when she got her license (nothing fancy; it's a used Yaris).  It's always been understood that it is HER car.  Whenever we've had a situation in which we need a second vehicle, I've always asked her if I may borrow it.  When someone at work heard about that, they said "Uh, you paid for it.  You should be able to just use it whenever you want."  I said "We bought it for HER.  I wouldn't like someone to just grab my car and use it without asking; we owe her the same courtesy."

I think that's really the crux of the situation. It wasn't that I would have refused if he needed to use the car; it's just that we needed to have some mutual respect about it.

Softly Spoken

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #398 on: February 20, 2013, 03:07:42 PM »
Coley: I am sorry your Dad took your car without asking, but I have to admit his response to your frustration made me laugh.

My youngest older brother H (who I should put in the Beggars/Moochers/Scammers thread) is the center of his own universe. When he has been "wronged," he loves to use this "punishment." My older middle brother E, who H is currently crashing with and leeching off of, is the one who gets to be on the receiving end of this behavior the most often. He tells me he loves when H pouts and gives him the silent treatment because it means he gets peace and quiet. >:D He tells H to change the tv channel or turn the tv off? H stops using the tv and goes and sulks in 'his' room. Yeah, way to teach E a lesson by giving him his own tv back. ::) H is trying to play the martyr - the massive flaw in his plan is that he assumes everyone else thinks about him as often as he thinks about himself. That same self-involvement is exactly why we can't get through to him that we don't give a rodent's patootie about the problems he's invited on himself.

I just love the empty threats that narcissists dash at our feet. It almost sounds like reverse psychology or something. "I'm never going to use your car and inconvenience you again, and then you'll be sorry." "Um...okay whatever. Thanks Dad!" >:D
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Coley

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #399 on: February 20, 2013, 04:33:43 PM »
Coley: I am sorry your Dad took your car without asking, but I have to admit his response to your frustration made me laugh.

My youngest older brother H (who I should put in the Beggars/Moochers/Scammers thread) is the center of his own universe. When he has been "wronged," he loves to use this "punishment." My older middle brother E, who H is currently crashing with and leeching off of, is the one who gets to be on the receiving end of this behavior the most often. He tells me he loves when H pouts and gives him the silent treatment because it means he gets peace and quiet. >:D He tells H to change the tv channel or turn the tv off? H stops using the tv and goes and sulks in 'his' room. Yeah, way to teach E a lesson by giving him his own tv back. ::) H is trying to play the martyr - the massive flaw in his plan is that he assumes everyone else thinks about him as often as he thinks about himself. That same self-involvement is exactly why we can't get through to him that we don't give a rodent's patootie about the problems he's invited on himself.

I just love the empty threats that narcissists dash at our feet. It almost sounds like reverse psychology or something. "I'm never going to use your car and inconvenience you again, and then you'll be sorry." "Um...okay whatever. Thanks Dad!" >:D

I know! It is funny, especially so many years after the fact. "So, what you're saying is that you're not going to use my car. Yeah, that'll teach me!"

Between that response and the couch story, I couldn't figure out what he thought he was trying to accomplish. Even back then I couldn't get over the couch story. I had no idea he'd even taken a stand about the couch. I don't know whether he verbalized it to my mother. If he did, she didn't seem to care. To my knowledge, no one was aware that he had taken a stand about the couch except me.

My mother is just as bad. I can't tell you how many times she'd get mad and yell that she was just going to move out of the house because she was so unappreciated. Stomping off with a huff and a puff ... She's still there, BTW.  ;)

Shalamar

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #400 on: February 20, 2013, 05:10:55 PM »
The couch story reminds me of one time when my dad, who has very smelly feet, decided to lie on the couch with his slippers off.  I, being a very tactless teenager, said "Geez, Dad, your feet stink."  He ignored me (probably because I was always being rude like that.  I was a bit obnoxious at that age).  Then my mum said "Uh, Roger, your feet really do stink.  PLEASE put your slippers back on." 

Whereupon he stomped out of the livingroom in a huff for daring to imply that his toesies didn't smell like gardenias.  Yep, giving us breathable air that didn't make us want to pass out - that'll teach us!

m2kbug

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #401 on: February 20, 2013, 05:33:19 PM »
My mother once called me a stupid idiot for racking up the gargantuan sum of $6 in library fines.   (In my defense, my husband and I were living in a motel with our toddlers at the time, waiting for our new house to be finished, plus I was working two jobs.   So, yeah, I forgot about the library books.)

Saying "It's only six bucks, Mum" was a mistake, as I quickly found out.

Haha!  Never say that to me when my money is on the line here.  Example, trying get a wrong fee reversed or blowing through all my DVRs "trying something":  ONLY SIX BUCKS?  That's two gallons of milk.  That's lunch meet and juice boxes for school lunches for the week.  Don't tell me only six bucks!

On the other hand, as I justify a purchase I probably shouldn't be buying...well, it's only six bucks.   ;D


wolfie

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #402 on: February 20, 2013, 05:37:58 PM »
My mother is just as bad. I can't tell you how many times she'd get mad and yell that she was just going to move out of the house because she was so unappreciated. Stomping off with a huff and a puff ... She's still there, BTW.  ;)

hahaha! My mom did that once. Huffed that she could just go and visit someone any time and maybe she should go and do that right now. Didn't like it when the response was "okay. Have fun". Didn't pull that one again.

BB-VA

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #403 on: February 20, 2013, 09:27:24 PM »
Hey, Coley, I had no idea I had a sister!

Seriously, that sounds like something my dad would do.  He has a history of going off on the deep end and completely blowing things out of proportion like that.

Just for the record, I'm outraged on your behalf.  What a lousy thing to do!  We bought our 18-year-old daughter a car a year ago when she got her license (nothing fancy; it's a used Yaris).  It's always been understood that it is HER car.  Whenever we've had a situation in which we need a second vehicle, I've always asked her if I may borrow it.  When someone at work heard about that, they said "Uh, you paid for it.  You should be able to just use it whenever you want."  I said "We bought it for HER.  I wouldn't like someone to just grab my car and use it without asking; we owe her the same courtesy."

I think that's really the crux of the situation. It wasn't that I would have refused if he needed to use the car; it's just that we needed to have some mutual respect about it.

Some parents do not believe that children are entitled to their own possessions.  My first stepmother had a little of that trait.
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weeblewobble

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #404 on: February 20, 2013, 10:13:05 PM »

My parents had an old early-'70s Dodge as a second car that I'd been using through high school. The week I graduated from high school, the windshield wipers stopped working. As was typical for my parents, they never bothered to get the windshield wipers fixed. What this meant was that the car couldn't be driven when it was raining.

One summer evening, I was planning to pick up my boyfriend in my car and go to a movie. My mother wasn't home, so she'd taken their car. I thought my dad was in the family room, so I called out, "Bye! I'll be back after the movie," and I went out the front door. When I got outside, I saw that my car was gone. Where was my car? Then it dawned on me that it was raining.

I went back in the house and realized I was alone. My dad and brother were both gone. Where were they? Had they taken my car? Was I going to make it in time to pick up my boyfriend and get to the movie before it started?

About 15 minutes later, my dad pulled up in front of the house in my car. I was upset because a) I don't know he'd taken the car, and b) now I was late. His response: "I had to take your brother to Boy Scouts, and it was raining. I couldn't use the Dodge." I explained to him that I had plans, and now I was late. I said I wished he would have told me what he was doing before he took my car. (I could have dropped my brother off on my way to my boyfriend's house.) He blew up at me, saying that he didn't know what I expected him to do.

I know it would be disrespectful, but I think my response probably would have been, "REPLACE YOUR WINDSHIELD WIPERS, MAYBE?"

I love my dad, and we have a really good relationship now.  But he had a few moments sort of like this when I was growing up, in which I was given a choice to do whatever I thought was appropriate, and then when my choice didn't line up with my dad's values, he blew up on me.  I felt like I was being set up to have a bad reaction so he could correct me.  He was so convinced that I was an irresponsible flibbitygibbit* that he put me in that position, so he could be sure that I would receive a "life lesson lecture."

Episode 1) I decide that I'm going to try out for a fun extracurricular activity as its my senior year of high school and my last chance to participate. Dad didn't think this was a good idea, as he thought I already had too much on my plate with my classes and the activities I was already doing, but he "left it up to me" to decide whether it was good idea for me to try out.  I looked at my schedule, decided the opportunity was important enough to me to devote my time and energy to it.  I told my parents.  Mom said, OK, but we expect your grades to stay up.  Dad stayed silent and stewed... then woke me up at 4:45 the next morning before he went to work so we could have a long heart-to-heart talk about why my trying out for the activity was an irresponsible choice.  When I didn't respond to this lecture in the way he thought I should (i.e. being fully awake, responding with thoughtful, mature comments and agreeing with him) he said this was another example of me being spacey and irresponsible. 

I stood up, told him that he had to wait until after 6 a.m. for thoughtful, mature responses and went back to bed.  That made him really angry, but he "washed his hands" of the situation. I tried out for the activity, participated, kept my grades up, all the while my dad predicted academic doom.

Episode 2) I was very heavily involved in Activity A since middle school.  My parents were very active in the booster club.  I was one of the more dependable kids in Activity A and never missed a practice.  My mom and I went on a long, very tiring trip, the last day of which happened to overlap with a scheduled practice.  I checked with the coach while the trip was being planned and he was fine with me missing one practice. 

Mom and I happened to get back a day early from the long, tiring trip, about an hour before the practice was supposed to start.  Dad said it was up to me to decide whether I would go to practice.  But it was clear he expected me to immediately turn around, get in my car and cheerfully drive to practice, since I was able to go. I told him no, I was hot and tired from the long trip and I'd already cleared the absence with the coach, so I was going to eat some dinner and shower and probably go to bed. 

Dad. Was. Incensed.

How could I shirk my responsibilities to the coach and the team?  How could I be so irresponsible and flaky?  How could I even thinking of missing a practice after all the hard work HE put in with the boosters? 

I told him that if the coach was OK with it, that was good enough for me.  And then I was treated to a lecture about how "good enough" wasn't a way to approach life.

I didn't go to practice.  I did invite dad to spend less time with the boosters, if it was such a burden.

*I'm not saying I wasn't a little irresponsible and spacey, but I was a 17 year old.   Show me a 17 year old that isn't.  And I know I'm making my dad sound awful.  He really is a good guy.  He just had no clue how to talk to me.   We are of absolutely polar opposite personalities and he doesn't understand how I process problems or information.  I think he was so terrified that I would turn out flaky and silly that he over-compensated with "instruction."

Ironically, I turned out to be the most responsible of his children.  Now that he sees that, and the way I've taken care of my children, my spouse and several other family members, he treats me with a heck of a lot more respect.