"Your words have no power to alter the truth. Your perception does not affect any reality but your own... it is your words and deeds that cast your reflection. "

~Luna Jade, musician

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Additional memories of Randolph heading into Cross Creek Drive

So here we were, in this big beautiful house. Four bedrooms, 2.5 baths and an actual garage. Something we should have been able to afford easily *IF* things had gone as planned. Which of course they didnt. I was working the morning care, parttime in the office and afterschool care. Basically I was gopher and not making a helluva lot at it , but it was something different so I didnt complain much. We never seemed to have enough money for anything that year. Alot went into the rent for the house and top things off we had to purchase a few things to make life easier.... namely a 'frige because the house didnt come with one. So here Im working all these hours for every penny I can get because Im hourly, right? We dont have enough money so what's the first thing you think to do? The one with the set hours should find a second job...even if it's just parttime to help out right? He worked 7am-3pm M-F. So who should be the one to get the second job? The school's in walking distance from the house so there isnt any transport issues in this case. No excuses. I offered to get a second job working weekends and some nights and he tells me no that he should be moking the money for the household. Well then get off your lazy ass and make more money. Ohhh no. He insisted at staying at the school until I was off so he could "get the next days lessons done and grade papers". Ok, so why in hell am I typing up all these tests, quizzes n stuff and still having to help grade papers after I get home and WHY am I having to keep his gradebook for him?? OK in his defense he had HORRID handwriting and couldnt keep a legible gradebook if he tried. He also could ever keep the grading straight either so I give you one guess who ended up in charge of figuring out the grades every 3 weeks for the interrim reports AND filling them out. This last bit wasnt just him asking me to it was the heads of the school begging me for it because my handwriting looked more professional (remember this word for a later entry).

For several weeks into the year, he had no problem bringing me to the laundrymat to get the clothes cleaned. When he realized it was going to be a 2 hour trip every week and all there was for him to do was sit and read....that's when the complaining started happening on that. I gave him the option of just leaving me there and I'd call when I was done, but ohhh no we couldnt have that. What he was hating was I wasnt slaving at home cooking or typing while we were there doing the wash. Within a coule months it was all of a sudden an inconvenience to go around the corner to do this every week and why dont we save money by doing them in the tub? So yet another chore was added of manually doing the laundry in the tub. Once in a great while he'd help by setting a batch to soak and manage to say he was doing a favor. Yeah right....setting them to soak and leaving them for me to rinse out and hang was some great favor. My poor hands were so chapped it was pathetic.

That first summer and it was OMG....no money coming in for me because I was hourly. No money for him either because of his contract. We had some put away for the lean months but not nearly enough because he was always skimming into the account for one reason or another. Loose change didnt last long with him as he was constantly sending a kid out of class to get him his diet coke and if he didnt have change he'd send them to me to get some. Yeah real productive there buddy. All that loose change could have paid for a week or two worth of groceries in the summer. It got to be a 6pack at LEAST of soda per day on work days. Anyhow, because I knew no money was going to be coming in, I went and got a job at one of the temp agencies. I could have gotten a permenant job through them but I had already made a commitment to go back to the school the following year. Unfortunately, all the jobs for the temp agency were in the business district across river. I ended up with a 3 day job at one company and a 2 week stint at another one. He'd bitch about driving me and the bitching got worse when the car started acting up. Damn thing would overheat in the Louisiana temps and there wasnt a blessed thing we could do about it. Yet it seemed to be all my fault. Yeah we had to drive but at least we had some funding coming in! After that the jobs dried up. There was one offer to work at this other place (and this one would have hired me as permenant if thngs went well) but it wasnt in a good section of town and Jim refused to take me there. Yep, yet again he cost me a chance at a job (and it would have paid well too!).

When school started up again in August, I was taken off the hourly payrate and shoved onto a contract. I would be making a little more than what I got the year before but that's only because I would be getting paid during the holidays as well now. Of course with the contract meant more work. I had all the jobs from before plus attendance AND I was designated to be Coach Greener's (Hap's) assistant. This was the year he was the disciplinarian for the highschool kids. Again the excuse was that my handwriting was more legible and therefore more professional. Very quickly it went from just handwriting the notices and giving them to him to deal with to actually having to make rounds and deliver them myself because he was conveniently "unavailable". Coaching was more important to him than this extra duty he'd been given. As a result, other duties of mine got pushed aside and yeah I got in trouble for not getting everything done. *sigh* With the task of delivering the notices came doing the detention listing as well.

A couple months into the new year, we discovered there was no way in hell we could keep up with the house lease payments. When we'd gotten it, it had been listed in the ads as a $700 a month payment. When we'd called we found out it was a typo and should have read $750. However, the landlord honored the typo and we'd gotten it for the $700 with advance notice that it would go up to $775 the next year. We realized there was no way we could handle that extra a month so we decided to move. Unfortunately, with all the money going out on rent, utilities and insurance for the car....we had nothing to fall back on (thank you idiot for not pulling a summer job). This meant no first and last months rent for an apartment. Our only choice would be to see if we could go to a month to month lease (which the landlord said no to) or move out to the streets. Thankfully, we had a friend in the school that kept her eyes out for us. She is about 3 months younger than my mom so it was an easy attachment for me. To this day I call he my southern momma. She took pity on us (or maybe it was just me...I dunno) and told us we could move in with her for awhile until we were on our feet. Thank you Lord for angels on earth. She lived in a 2 bedroom townhome at the time with her hubby, her pregnant daughter and her hubby (never thought I'd find someone worse than Jim but this one was it) and eventually one of her sons came back to live with his wife....and Jim and me in the mix. The son was never home because he worked on a boat on the river and so showed up only now n then. His wife was moved in because their apartment got broken into while she and her child had been home (her kid is southern momma's favorite grandkid) and "momma" said hell no bring em here. The daughter worked now and then for the school and her husband.....well he was as lazy if not lazier than Jim. We took and sold what we could from our house and stored the rest. The only money going out should have been the rent on the storage place right? I dont know how it was managed but it took us several months to come up with just the first payment (first and last month's rent). In the time that we were there, southern momma developed allergies because of our cats (particularly my long haired tuxedo girl named Fizzgig ). Needless to say, we ended up having to get a big cage and set them outside while we stayed. I'll tell you that was enough incentive for me to want out of there. I loved "momma" dearly but I couldnt have her suffering and damned if I was going to let my cats suffer for her allergy.


ChicagoLady said...

Sounds like you had such a nice place to start with. Too bad you couldn't stay there.

LadyStyx said...

Yes it was a shame. Two story house, and a beautiful fenced in back yard. *sigh* I'd love to move into a place like that again although I dont believe either my knees or hubby's could handle that staircase anymore...