Substitute Moms

The cats are fighting again. Pearl will slink around on the dining room chairs until she gets close to Max, who is usually sitting beside one of them, in the sun with her eyes closed. Pearl will carefully reach down a paw and bat Max in the ear, then pull her paw back and watch the reaction. It worried me when we first got Pearl, that they couldn’t get along, but now I know that they won’t really hurt each other. They just do it to relieve the boredom of sitting by the back window all day.

It was a nice sunny day here, but still kind of cold outside. We went out to buy some new carpet for one of the bedrooms and asked my dad to come along to help us, since we’ve never actually had to buy carpeting before. When Megan painted her room, she really made a mess on the carpet, so it needs to be replaced. Dad found us a really  nice remnant that was also on sale…very affordable.

On the way home, Dad said that my sister Barb had called him last night, very upset. Dad didn’t really know what to say to her, he’s not that kind of a fixing personal problems kind of person, but he said, “I think our family is falling apart.” It made me so sad, because I know he is thinking of Mom, and how she was truly the glue that held us all together. He asked me to call Barb and talk to her, so even though I really don’t want to get into the middle of it all, I will. For him, I will. Here’s what the story is:

My sisters, Barb and Bev, are twins. They have always been very close, but neither one has cared at all for the men the other has chosen to marry. So far, between them, they have married/lived with six men, so perhaps their instincts are correct. For the other twin, anyway.

The problem started when Barb’s current husband, Doug, wanted to take a vacation over Christmas. That vacation meant that Barb would not get to see her two nephews that were home on leave from the Marines, my son and Bev’s son, who is about to deploy. Bev thought this was cruel of Doug, and negligent of Barb. She thinks Barb is a doormat, and should have asked Doug to delay the trip by just a day, so she could come to our family Christmas.

In addition to missing Christmas, Barb’s trip meant that she left her 20-year-old son, Nick, more or less on his own. Fair enough, Nick is an adult. Technically, anyway. Nick had been looking for an apartment when his mom and stepdad left town. Nick is not a responsible kid. He has flunked out of two colleges in as many years and is trying hard to keep a full-time job at Lowe’s. Nick needs a co-signer on his apartment lease. Afraid to approach his mom and stepdad, Nick asks his Auntie Bev to cosign for him.

Bev is still recovering from being mad about Christmas, so now she is also mad that Barb left Nick in this dilemma. In a fit of self-righteousness, she agrees to cosign for Nick, and does not ask Barb or even tell her what she did. She tells Nick that this is just a signature, that she will not ever pay his rent or give him any money. Uh-huh.

Of course, the inevitable happens and last week Bev receives a letter that says Nick is being evicted and that he owes back rent of $1300. This means that he did not pay rent for both January and February, the first two months of his lease. You might be saying, gee, what will NIck do now? Pay his back rent, so he and his girlfriend Lauren can keep living there? Why would he do that?  Nick decided that he needed to come home and live with Mom and Psycho Stepdad.

Bev is upset because Nick defaulted on his lease and left her holding the bag. She is upset at Doug, because he called her and yelled at her. She is upset at Barb for marrying Doug in the first place. Doug and Barb are both upset at Nick and Bev, for arranging this whole mess without their consent. Lauren is upset to suddenly be homeless. Lauren’s dad is upset, but says he’ll pay the back rent. My dad is upset, because he thinks his family is falling apart.

The story is already too long to add more details. I am planning on calling Barb, but I don’t know if she’ll talk to me. I know what I think about it all…that Bev should not have interfered, basically. But I can see her point. I need to see Barb’s, too.

What I really need is to not be involved. But it’s family, and I will do it for my Dad. It will be like sticking my hand in between Pearl and Max when there is hissing going on. At least I know that deep down, Barb and Bev love each other. Our family is sturdy enough to weather this, even though Mom isn’t around to help…if I need to be the substitute Mom, I will try my best.


One thought on “Substitute Moms

  1. Pingback: Seeds of Obedience | marsocmom

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