Monday, July 16, 2007

Hit Up

My dad just hit me up for twelve hundred to pay for the insurance policy that he let lapse. This happened a couple years ago, and I ponied up then like I'm doing now. What can I do. He's my father and as much as I know that he has done this to himself, I don't have a choice.

That's not true, but it's so true.

A year or so ago, my dad called me and asked me to finance his move to Alaska. He had a job lined up sitting behind a desk and designing plans for a friend's construction outfit. I called his friend and had a little talk. It had the flavor of a cold call, because I've never actually met the man, though his son was on my high school football team.

"When is the last time you heard from my father," I asked him.

"Oh, I'd say... it'd have to be going on twenty years now."

"So I take it then that he doesn't really have a job with you if he comes to Alaska?"

He laughed. "No."

I thought about this for a moment. "Would you give him a job if he asked?"

"I don't want you to take this the wrong way--"

"Don't worry about it."

"--but your Dad was a loose cannon when he was here the last time. I have no reason to think he would be any different now."

"No, you understand him perfectly, Tom. I appreciate that you told me."

Dad's made many requests for my money, and each time it is so difficult to say no. Now he's getting old. His back and hips have had surgery, and there is more damage in need of repair. Thus the emergency we have today.

But how in the hell did he let something so critical just go away? I'm tempted to pull the net. Five years ago he wanted me to cosign for a cabin costing eighty grand, with his wife on the other line telling me to refuse, refuse, refuse him because she would rather die than move to that cabin.

I had a plan that I could take a second mortgage on the house and borrow enough to buy a fixer upper and have my dad do the work. It was almost set when his wife called me and reinforced the nagging doubts in my head. "Don't give him a dime, Scott. He means well, but he will spend it all. All of it. And you will lose everything."

I see my kids faces, and I wonder if I will some day be like this. Please God don't let that happen.

If I listed out all the scams, cons and outright crimes my father has committed, you would be stunned. There's something wrong with him. Up in the head. He's a force, a wrecking ball, and someday he will be mine to take care of.


24crayons said...

All you can do is the best you can do Scott.

All I can say is that I'm sorry that you feel like this responsibility is on your shoulders. My father in-law isn't so great with money and I have this nagging feeling that we'll have to take in his widow one day.

I hope your day gets better!!

Alan said...

Uucchhhh...! These parents of ours! What the hell! Insomuch as they've given us life, thanks and all that, but damn! Couldn't they have made sanity a prerequisite for parenthood?

And you know I'm only talking about my folks.

And you know what my therapist told me. I think it goes for parents too. Draw the line. Don't enable the dear man to continue his self-destructive patterns, if that's what you feel they are. Tell him it's for his own good and let him cuss you out.

You know, after you make sure he's insured again.

I wish you wisdom and strength, my friend.

magnetbabe said...

Is there a way you can make sure the money goes to the insurance? As much as I'm a "tough love" kind of girl, if you don't pay for his insurance now, you'll be paying his medical bills later.

mr. schprock said...

Magnetbabe just said what I wanted to say. Maybe you should have your old man send you the bill and pay it directly.

Kaycie said...

Bless your heart. My father is a jewel, but his brother is a complete mess. Someone in the family is always bailing him out of a mess he got into. About two years ago his wife of 35 years shot him in the leg. They divorced. We all took sides. It was nasty. About a year later they were living together again, unbeknownst to me and I stuck my foot in my mouth. Oh well.

Pay it directly if you pay it at all. Be careful what else you do. He's a grown man and for better or worse should take care of himself. As they say in my neck of the woods, you didn't take him to raise.

Anonymous said...

What a crappy deal. The son is supposed to be the deadbeat who's getting money off of the dad.

kathie said...

Hey Scott, you seem to be in a really tight spot--you almost sound like you are the parent instead of the reverse. I'm sure you're not alone as flaws of personality combine with the aging process and the result is added responsibility for people like you. HOpe you're hanging in there.

Tee said...

What a terrible position to be put in, Scott.

Just remember that there's a difference between being kind hearted and being taken advantage of. I learned that the hard way myself.

Don't become an enabler. We don't gain much by giving a man a free fish when he needs to learn how to fish.

Kathleen said...

I have complete faith that you will NOT do to your kids what your father has done to you. It's too much in your head. You're a good son. I don't even speak to my father.

The Zombieslayer said...

No. You won't be like this. Because you realize he's a liar/scam artist and don't want to be like him.

Don't give him any money. I know it's hard to do, but don't. If you have to burn money, at least give it to a worthy cause, something you believe in. Because you'll never see it back.

Jada's Gigi said...

well twelve hundred is a lot cheaper than 80 grand! its probaly not too high to pay to keep him healthy and out of your hair...but I'd side with magnet and schprock on paying the bill rather than forking over cash...its a tough job to have to raise parents but many of us are being faced with MIL is terrible with $$, she's gonna lose her house, and gets angry when the kids step in etc...there are no classes on this stuff.

jenbeauty said...

YOU are doing the right thing Scott. Its your dad with the issues. You have your children and your family to take care.

Dad will manage, he always has. Do the small thing that you have to. The ones that will not impact your life so drastically, yet enable your father to live.

Go easy on yourself hun.

Toni Anderson said...

Isn't it amazing to grow older than your parent?

Don't get sucked in Scott. Pay for insurance (directly), but don't do more.

Not everyone can handle money.

I have a friend's mom who is a gambling addict and phoned all her daughter's friends asking for a $1000 to help the daughter pay the mortgage (all garbage). In a matter of months the mom wiped out the daughter's hard earned savings to play at the casino.

Tee said...

Hey Scott - just popping back in to let you know, I'm having a blog contest again.

The prize this time is a kid's prize pack including 3 computer games.

Good luck if you decide to enter!

Beth said...

Just checking in after vacation to find this. What a drag, Scott. I have to say, Magnetbabe took the words out of my mouth too.