Archive for financial hardship

Post #69 The brooding Nana vs. the world of it’s all fine…

Posted in Family, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

For those who wish to read about my crackhead brother who stole Nana’s life savings, go to:

Otherwise, for my regulars..I have an update on Nana and her hoarding and spending spree mentioned in the previous post:

The day after returning from vacation, I brought Nana’s morning meds to her, and she said, “Would you mail this to Cathy, please?” Handing me an envelope addressed to the infamous Cousin Cathy*, she continued, “It has a check in it for $25.” And her tone was so casual – as if the subject of giving money to the chronically unemployed Cathy hasn’t been a constant point of contention between us.

“Nana, you KNOW you CANNOT afford to give anyone any money.”

“I discussed it with Reverend Jim.”

“Reverend Jim is a good man, but he’s not managing your money. I am, at YOUR request. If you give Cathy money, you’ll run short on your bills and prescriptions, and I’ll have to pay for them and your groceries. And you won’t be able to get your hair done or -”

“Then, I won’t get my hair done.”

“I am not washing your hair for you. I don’t have time.”

Her scowl deepened, and she said, “And cancel my appointment with Dr. Raines tomorrow.”

“You can’t cancel again. They’ll charge you $25 because I’ve already rescheduled that appointment twice, and you need to go. You need to get your teeth fixed.”

So, we can STOP hearing about her broken teeth and how hard it is to chew everything, and so she can eat a larger repertoire of meat other than chicken that has been bludgeoned into a brie-ish pancake with a meat hammer or frozen Salisbury steaks.

Nana sighed. “But it’ll cost me money to see Dr. Raines, won’t it?”

“Yes, $15, but I budgeted for that. What I didn’t budget for was you spending almost $200 while I was gone.”

“Well, it wasn’t on me.”

“It doesn’t matter WHAT you spent it on. I gave you $80 out of your account, because you didn’t want to use your debit card. Instead, you spent $40 on two gift cards for Cathy -”

Nana scowled,

“Yes, Sarah** told me about the Walmart cards.”

Nana brightened momentarily asking, “What about Ben***? Did he send me anything?”

“Yes, and you spent every dime of that $150, that was earmarked for your BILLS and your prescriptions, not to buy Cathy clothes at the Thrift Store.”

“Just $12 for pants and a blouse.”

“Yes, I know,” I said acidly, “Cathy needs to buy her own damned clothes, and the rest of the charges were to Burger King and Golden Corral, and I don’t remember where else. But the point is, I’ve already put over $6,000 on my credit card in the last year from two trips to Georgia to clean out your house and to buy your prescriptions and your health insurance and everything else when you run short, and I can’t afford to-”

“I know all that.”

“Then, why in God’s name are you asking me to send Cathy money?”

She just looked at me, eyes blaring wide. “She has nothing to eat.”

“Bullshit. She’s going to spend it on cigarettes and beer and-”

“She doesn’t drink, and she wouldn’t do that!”

“How do you know? Are you going to be there when she goes shopping?!”

And remember…Cathy lives in West Virginia about 200 miles from me and Nana in Ohio.

Nana’s pale face blanches, and her chin starts to quiver, but not in sorrow over the truth finally seeping into her brain…no, in anger at me. “She’ll buy food with it. I trust her!”

“Well, you shouldn’t. You trusted Danny, and look how THAT turned out.”

“She’s not Danny. She’s a good Christian.”

I nodded my head. “Uh, uh, and Danny said he found God right before he emptied your bank account.”

A stalemate of stares ensues between us, and I end it with, “This,” I said, shaking the envelope at her, “is the last time you give Cathy any money as long as I’m managing your finances.” I stood up and moved toward the door of Nana’s room. “If Cathy needs money, she can get a damned job!” I yelled. “And if you give her any money, you can just pack your shit and move in with her because I am so DONE,” I shouted, slamming the door behind me.

I sat staring at the envelope to Cathy for the longest time. I REALLY had to fight the urge to rip it open, tear up that check and use those gift cards to buy Depends for Nana (and those frickin’ things are expensive!) and her medication, and that fucking PREGO spaghetti sauce she likes instead of my homemade sauce (yes, from scratch…go figure) and her fucking “sweets” she requires daily like Krispie Kreme donuts, and I could enumerate quite a few items for the $65 she wanted me to throw away on the leech known as Cousin Cathy.

But I didn’t. I typed a note to Cathy explaining that Nana is flat-busted broke, and this is the LAST time she’ll receive money from Nana Maude, and to PLEASE stop blathering about her financial problems since it only upsets my Grandmother knowing she CAN’T help her. And I made no mention that I think she’s a worthless, lazy liar. I then put Nana’s envelope in a bigger, brown envelope and slipped my note inside and mailed it to Cathy.

I was rather flat-toned, bordering on surly for the next day or so with Nana, but every time I walked into Nana’s room, she was all sunshine and smiles. I couldn’t tell if it was an act, or in her schizophrenic/alzheimer-ish way, she didn’t remember our verbal altercation.

However, whenever my husband talked to her, she was quiet and her voice took on this moaning quality as if she were suffering from the flu or something. He didn’t go for her ruse though and ask her what was wrong. He just feigned not noticing.

Then, when Charlie told her that dinner was ready a mere 6 hours after our confrontation, she said, “Do you want me to stay in here and eat?” And she’d been in her room ALL day…

Yeah, as if she weren’t welcome at the dinner table… 🙂 …she joined us, and was very chatty as usual as if she hadn’t a care in the world.

Funny thing…two days later, Cathy called saying she’d gotten the gift cards and everything, but she had to go to the Post Office to get the package because they were holding it for POSTAGE DUE! She had to pay $1.06 for her ill-gotten gain. When Nana told me, I CACKLED with laughter.

“What’s so funny?” Nana asked, rather confused.

“Nothing. I’ve gotta finish a project that’s due in a couple of hours.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I took Cathy’s package to the Post Office and weighed it, and the postal meter said it would cost $.74 cents. I stuck two stamps on it and tossed it in the outgoing mailbox!

After that, things were calm until…I found out what she said to Sarah when they went grocery shopping…

STAY tuned, boys and girls, if you wanna hear about the INSULTS she levied against me and Charlie (you know, the husband)…

Over and out from the fires of GERIATRIC HELL…

TenaciousBITCH and company…

* Cathy’s backstory and her conniving aplenty are mentioned in

**Sarah is my mother-in-law who takes care of Nana when I’m out of town.

*** Ben is my older brother who lives in California, who has helped out a lot since Nana moved in with us.