Post #68 – The attempted CON of Ms. Cranky Pants…

As most of you know, my 95-year-old Grandmother/ aka Ms. Cranky Pants (aka Nana Maude), moved in with me, my husband, Charlie, and my son, Max, 18 very LONG months ago. For the 411 on Nana, go to Post #1 – https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/ regarding her migration from Georgia to living with us (in Ohio) after my brother, Danny, fleeced her for approximately $50K.

Otherwise…read on. This week Charlie and I are on vacation…i.e. the photo below of my feet and I soaking up some sunny respite yesterday…

The joy of lounging at our timeshare in Vegas…or are we at the resort in Aruba? Sorry, Merlot-muddled brain isn’t functioning at top capacity… :)..have to ask the husband later…

A couple of weeks prior to our joyous departure, Nana asked me to withdraw some money from her bank account EVERY single time I left the house. First, to buy a few lottery tickets, so I retrieved $20, but she only bought $10 worth.

And the 2nd time, she said, “I want some money to go shopping at the cheap store. Forty dollars, I guess.”

The “cheap store” refers to our favorite thrift store, about a mile from my house. “But they take debit cards,” I reminded her, hoping to save myself another trip to the ATM. I already had a pretty full slate that day, i.e.:  mailing a manuscript back to a client, returning a book to the library, getting a prescription for Nana, and buying a long list of groceries.

“I know, but…” she said, followed by a pregnant pause, as if she were struggling for words. “Cash is just easier.”

I sighed in annoyance. Even though she does have arthritis, Nana has NO TROUBLE whipping out her bank card at Kmart or Walmart.  Why the hell is it suddenly so difficult to pay via debit card at the Thrift Store?

I did as she asked, so she’d quit bugging me, and, big surprise! She bought NOTHING at the “cheap store” during our next visit.

As I was leaving for a doctor’s appointment a few days later…she asked:

“Would you get $20 out for me-?”

“Nana, you’ve got $50. Why do you need more than that?” I asked, once again feeling my blood pressure rising to crimson levels in my face.  I really didn’t want to make another stop since going to the doctor was going to consume half my day as it was, nor did I get this sudden need for greenbacks!

“I wanna take Sarah to lunch at Bob Evans.,” Nana answered.

Sarah is my saint of a mother-in-law who always takes care of Nana in my absence.

“You could buy lunch there for you, Sarah and half the neighborhood for $50. Use your debit card.”

She just looked at me, her eyebrows furrowed. “But I wanna go to the Cheap Store too, while Sarah’s here.”

I groaned. Too fatigued to squabble anymore, I groaned and said, “Okay.”

Her guilt must’ve sprung a leak because she said, “Well, if you have time. I know it’s a long drive to the doctor’s office.”

YES, you demanding old bat, it’s a 50-minute drive round-trip that I have to make because of YOU. I had a huge patch of psoriasis festering on my shin from Nana-induced stress, hence the trip to the dermatologist…

However, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe she wanted to do some Christmas shopping while I was gone. Last year, she complained about having trouble buying anything for me because I always took her shopping, so she gave me a check for $50, which is FINE by me. I’d prefer she save her money for emergencies like long-term medical care, but I wasn’t going to bring that up NOW.

You’d THINK after obtaining $30 more, that’d be the end of Nana’s cash obsession, but you’d be SO wrong. The next day, I didn’t wanna deal with the nightmare of cooking her midday cuisine*, so I decided to go get KFC for her. After I hollered good-bye, Nana called out, “Don’t forget to get some cash out for me. I wanna take Sara to Bob Evans.”

For fuck’s sake? SERIOUSLY? “Nana, you’ve got $80 already.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do,” I snapped. My temper was definitely ready to detonate. Aside from packing, I had a lot of cleaning and such before vacation. Arguing with Ms. Cranky Pants was NOT on my list of action items (and if you don’t know what “action items” are, for Chrissakes, go watch FIGHT CLUB already :)).

I marched into Nana’s room, snatched her purse and handed it to her. “See for yourself.”

She opened up her wallet, which contained ONLY $20. YES TWENTY DOLLARS!

“Nana, where’s rest of that money?” I inquired, somewhat panicked.

“What money?” She asked, flat-eyed, and seemingly unconcerned.

“You had EIGHTY dollars yesterday. Remember? I went to the ATM after I saw Dr. Spender. What’d you do with it?”

“Oh, that’s right. I forgot. I don’t know . It’s in a drawer in there somewhere,” she replied with a shrug.

I trotted back into her room, rifled through every drawer and the closet, to no avail. Nothing under the bed and in her hamper either.

“Well, don’t worry about it. I’ll find it later,” she replied, smiling, as if losing $60 was no big deal.

WTF? Last Christmas, she misplaced a $50 gift from her friend, Margaret. She kept saying she’d given me the check to cash for her, but I knew she hadn’t because I couldn’t have cashed it since my name wasn’t on it, which I explained NUMEROUS times.

She fretted about that check for weeks. She finally found it buried in her dresser somewhere in March. But THIS TIME she’d misplaced $60, and she wasn’t upset, AT ALL.

Her attitude completely invalidated my Christmas shopping theory. I assumed that Nana had finally succumbed to the treacherous wasteland of Alzheimer’s, or there was a rat squirming around that ancient brain of hers…

Turns out, it’s the latter. She told Sarah yesterday that she didn’t lose that $60. No, no, no Nana’s been HOARDING money to give to Cousin Cathy, who lives in West Virginia.

Cathy is my 2nd or 3rd cousin, whom I’ve only met once. She doesn’t work, and she milks some mysterious and seemingly nonexistent medical issues as a means to convince everyone, including her shrink, that she can’t work.

However, when I’ve asked about Cathy’s health, her answer is always the same, “Oh, I’ve got all kinds of things wrong with me.”

She’s NEVER more specific than that. The only medical maladies she’s actually talked about is being constipated or having insomnia. And last I checked, neither of those prevent full-time or part-time employment.

Additionally, during a brief period of sobriety, when my brother Danny, lived with Nana, he mentioned Nana giving Cathy a lot of money, including $600 for dental bills, then another $400 while I just happened to be visiting in March of 2010 also supposedly for dental work.

When Cathy called the day before I left Nana’s, I asked, “Are you feeling okay? Nana said you’d been to the dentist?”

“Yeah, I, uh, had a filling replaced.”

EXCUSE ME? “Why would that cost $400?”

“Oh, and I fell on the ice a few weeks ago too and broke a tooth.”

“Good Lord, Cathy, I’d change dentists.That’s way too much for that-”

“Well, um, that’s what he charged.” And it was quite obvious by her tone that she was LYING.

“If your co-pay was over $1000, why bother with dental insurance, which Nana said you have, right?”

“Um, well, can I talk to Maude? I don’t have much time before church.”

But she told Nana she doesn’t go to church, that she hasn’t found a minister that she really likes…

Aside from that, Cathy and her husband, Bobby, are always on the verge of starvation though Bobby has a decent job repairing bulldozers and such for a construction company.

However, one day last fall Cathy told Nana about having only $200 for groceries for an entire month. A week later, a round of violent thunderstorms took out electric service for 50,000 homes, including theirs. Too dumb to put their food in coolers or merely move a lot of it into the freezer, covered in ice, they allegedly lost everything after 36 hours. We lost power for two days once and only lost a couple frozen pizzas…After a lengthy call to Cathy after these storms last October, Nana said, “Oh, my God, I’m so worried about Cathy, I don’t know what to do.”

“Why is that, Nana?”

“She hasn’t eaten in two weeks. I have to send her some money.”

I almost laughed. “No, you don’t. She told you last week she’d spent $200 at Kroger, so she just voluntarily stopped eating PRIOR to the power outage? And if she hadn’t eaten in two weeks, she’d be dead or in the hospital.”

“Well, I don’t know about the dates, but they lost everything.”

“Nana, she just wants you to send her some money.”

“She’s never asked me for any money.”

“Yet, you sent her more than $2,000 last year.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I went through all your bank statements, remember? So, I could figure out how much Danny had stolen from you. I added up the checks to Cathy. I’ll be glad to show you-”

“Well, that may be, but they’re always hard up. Bobby doesn’t make that much money, and they don’t have a thing to eat until he gets paid next week.”

“And that’s their problem that would be solved if Cathy would get a job.”

“Oh, she can’t work.” And Nana says this with SUCH conviction!

“If she can spend for two hours making you peanut butter fudge like that batch she sent last month, and vacuum and mop and all that, cleaning her house top-to bottom like she’s always telling you. Then, she can work as a nurse again, or SOMETHING.”

“Well, I don’t know about that. I don’t know what her doctors have told her.”

“It’s all bullshit, Nana. She just doesn’t wanna work. And you cannot afford to give ANYONE any money. Your Social Security check is only $875 a month, which barely covers your expenses, not to mention all those bills Danny never paid when he was managing your finances, like that $300 phone bill.”

Nana stopped asking to send Cathy money until my mother-in-law assumed the helm. Nana thought she could covertly send Cathy some cash for more food allegedly spoiled during a power outage from the thunderstorms 2-3 weeks ago in Ohio and West Virginia.

But Sarah is privy to the scourge of Cathy’s half truths and imaginary hardships. And Nana actually told Sarah that poor Cousin Cathy hadn’t eaten in MONTHS!  GOOD GOD almighty! I can’t believe that my Grandmother who was the Credit Manager for a HOSPITAL in the 80s – is actually believing this load of CA CA.

Thankfully, Nana doesn’t have any stamps, and there’s no way Sarah will mail anything to Cathy.  Nana will likely assume Cathy’s windfall was lost in the mail…

Does it make me EVIL to smile about the END of the cons, both Nana’s and Cathy’s? 🙂 At least for now.

Charlie said it best. “Your Grandmother didn’t learn a thing from her experience with Danny.”

SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT! Not only did Ms. Cranky pants lie about the allegedly lost $60, but she also lied about the need for cash.

I might bad mouth the old curmudgeon, but I ALWAYS pay her bills. I don’t con her into giving me money, and she eats like a Queen, no matter how much she HATES our healthy food with our brown rice and broiled fish and the occasional meal of STEAK and POTATOES… 🙂

TA for now!

Tenacious BITCH and…………………….                                                         her band of soothsaying bullshit QUASHERS!

* To read all about how delightful it is to cook for Nana, see post #66, BALONEY PORN or is it Bologna Porn, or Post #18 – The Oatmeal Incident… 🙂

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3 Responses to “Post #68 – The attempted CON of Ms. Cranky Pants…”

  1. Danielle Says:

    I love these posts!

    • THANKS, Danielle! And get this, not only did Nana write out a CHECK to send Cathy for $25, she bought not one but TWO giftcards for Walmart totaling $40. She gave me the card this morning. If I send it out, she may not have enough to pay for her prescriptions for the rest of the month…EGAD…

  2. […] Post #68 – The attempted CON of Ms. Cranky Pants… (tenaciousbitch.com) […]

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