Archive for unemployed

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.


Blog #45 – The Meet/Cute Gone Completely Awry…

Posted in college, relationships, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

As I mentioned previously, I moved to New York right after I graduated from college*, and I was staying with Stacy, a friend who lived in Brooklyn.

“You ever heard of Fifth Avenue Personnel?” I asked Stacy, plopping down on our comfy couch when I returned from my disastrous interview at Pratt & Pratt**. I took a can of Heineken out of a bag from A & P where I stopped to buy a couple of things on the way home. I offered the beer to Stacy.

“Yeah, thanks,” she said, opening the beer. “Fifth Avenue is one of the biggest employment agencies in Manhattan. I temped for them a couple of times. Why?” Stacy asked, taking a sip of her beer.

I took another beer from my bag, popped it open, then recapped how I met Tom Blazell, a recruiter from that agency**.

Stacy broke into convulsive laughter when I recalled how I thought Tom was looking for a prostitute. “I can see where you might’ve thought that, but we’ve got a labor shortage going on.”

I shook my head, “Wow, I can’t imagine that. I went to apply for a clerk’s position at the card shop in the mall back home last year, and there was a line of about 500 people there, most of whom were out in the mall. They ran out of applications before I got inside.”

“Yeah, it was the same way in Kentucky,” Stacy said nodding. She’s from Ashland, Kentucky, about 20 minutes away from my hometown in WV.

The next day, I decided to call The Fifth Avenue Guy as well as a several other staffing agencies. And the next time I emerged from the subway in Midtown, it was a sizzling hot summer day, a double deodorant kind of day as one of my BFF’s from high school used to say. I still had an umbrella just in case…not gonna make that mistake again.**

A block or so later, a section of the sidewalk was surrounded by orange and white barricades where three very large and sweaty men in orange vests were using jackhammers and such to repair the sidewalk. A tall man with intense B.O. rushed past me, knocking me into the edge of a hole in the sidewalk surrounded by the barriers. I lost my balance, wobbled sideways, but, thankfully, I didn’t fall. All the while, the early morning commuters  meandered around me, completely oblivious.  I collected myself and went on to the infamous Fifth Avenue Personnel, which was in a 30-story building next to an elegant Italian Restaurant.

An overweight security guard told me that the staffing agency was on the 19th floor, and he directed me to the elevators. “Make sure you go to the second set of elevators. The first bank only goes to the 15th floor,” he said.

“Thanks,” I said, wondering if I have NEWCOMER stamped on my forehead since most EVERYONE in New York talked to me like I’m retarded. But as much as I try to abolish the WV twang, I guess you can’t completely eliminate it from your speech no matter how dutifully you remove the ya’lls and those long I’s (i.e. like Paula Dean  might say, I really like PIE…emphasis on the “I”)…

I stepped into the elevator, turned around with my back to the wall, and five seconds later, a REALLY hot-looking guy walked in.  Late 20s, dark hair, about 6 foot 3, at least, slightly broad shoulders and sparkling blue eyes.

“What floor?” he asked with a smile that would light up Vegas.

“Nineteen, thanks.”

“Fifth Avenue Personnel?”

“Yeah?” I said, slightly surprised. “How’d you know?”

“They have the whole floor.”

“Oh,” I said, my face reddening, that Newcomer tattoo now beaming in NEON lights.

“What kind of job are you looking for?”

“Hopefully, something in publishing.”

He nodded, “Where are you from?”

“West Virginia,” I replied.

“Wow, that must’ve been some serious culture shock when you first moved here?” he asked grinning.

“Not exactly. I had been here several times in college,” I said as the elevator stopped on the 12th Floor to pick up two more passengers, a black woman, late 50s, in a red suit, her glasses dangling on a rather worn-looking chain and an older man, in a wrinkled suit who REEKED of cigar smoke.

I stepped sideways, a little closer to Mr. Handsome to get away from the cigar fumes that were already starting to make my eyes burn and water.

“So, what about you?” I asked.

“I’m from Jersey. I’m interviewing for a paralegal position at Rodgers & Ficklestein on 41st.  I’m Kevin, by the way,” he said, extending his hand.

I nodded, shaking his hand, “Kennedy, Kennedy Smith.”

He flashed that dazzling smile again, and I felt the temperature in my face rise a little. Dammit! Don’t go all school girl now

When the elevator doors opened onto the 19th floor, I started to walk out when Kevin said, “Well, it was nice meeting you.”

“You too,” I said smiling over my shoulder when I noticed an odd look cross his face. He was looking down, presumably at my behind.  I started to ask him what the hell he was looking at when the black lady in the red suit came up to me and mumbled, “Honey, the whole back of your skirt is split in two.”

“Oh, my God, thank you,” I gushed to the older woman, my face flushing crimson as Kevin sped past me, with an embarrassed nod and wave.

I nodded, looking down, totally wishing a moon-sized crater would indeed swallow up me up! Or aliens would decide I had to be the next probing victim, ANYTHING, to get me OUT of this moment in time! 🙂

“Follow me. I have a sewing kit in my desk,” said the lady in the red suit.

“Thank you!” I said. But…FUCK! When I almost fell in the hole, my skirt ripped, and I didn’t hear the telltale RIPPING sound because of the noise of the construction workers. Jesus, H, can I NOT go to ONE interview without some sort of freakish calamity occurring?

After thanking the very nice lady in the red suit THREE times, I scurried into the ladies room. I sat on the toilet in one of the stalls sewing up the back of my skirt. THANK YOU, Mom for teaching me to sew!!. After meeting Tom, I took a typing test, and went on about my day.

I never ran into Kevin/Mr. Handsome again, but that was best. Just KNOWING he’d seen me walking around without a care in the world while exposing my pantyhose-covered ass to all of New York City was enough to make my cheeks burn when the memory involuntarily surfaced while all alone. If I actually saw him again, I’m sure the fire in my facial epidermis would likely make me faint, which heaven forbid, he might take as a swoon, and then I’d have yet ANOTHER humiliating scene to suppress! 🙂

Upon leaving Tom’s office with my haphazardly sewn skirt, I was accosted by not ONE but TWO recruiters from rival agencies…sorry, guys…I’m already registered with SIX staffing firms…take a hike… 🙂

TA for now…


*See Blog #42 – The Fifth Avenue Guy

** Again refer to the aforementioned Blog #42