Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Grass Is Never Greener

I love my brother to death and am so excited that he’s able to come home for a quick visit thanks very much to the generosity of our Mom. He arrives home tomorrow evening and will be spending a week in Ontario before he has to return to work down east in Nova Scotia. This time though his family will be following him a week later as they all finally are able to make this permanent move. He found a nice four bedroom semi-detached house to rent which he says is pretty reasonable etc. This is a tremendous relief to him as he has spent the past year stressed out to the max drowning in an every increasing debt load with no apparent relief in sight. I guess after spending the past ten months or so trying in vain to convince his wife that they were in an incredible mess financially, she has finally accepted this most unpleasant fact. Of course, only since her father sat  her down to talk to her a week ago does she believe any of this. WTF? After listening to some of the things that my brother has recently told me, plus some of the things that she has been saying, I now strongly feel that their living well beyond their means is something much more serious than an inability to stick to a budget. She seems to have an addiction of sorts, an illness it would seem.

Besides the $200 000 mortgage that they have, she has managed to accumulate close to $150 000 in personal debt alone. How is this even possible? They’ve got three lines of credit alone that total almost $103 000, plus about a dozen or so credit cards all maxed right out to their limit. They may own more for all I know as these were the numbers that my bro quickly rattled off to me the other night while we were on the phone. I kind of have the feeling that this is but just the tip of the iceberg. This almost seems worse than a drug addiction. She obviously is incapable of practicing any sort of self control either. He says that all she ever worries about is what her friends or neighbours would think if they didn’t have this or that or whatever…

I knew that she was the type of individual that always seemed envious of what others had. She rarely seemed satisfied with her lot in life nor was she shy in letting others around her know  how she felt. I also knew how very important it was to keep up with those proverbial JONES, apparently at any cost. I knew that she was concerned with appearances but I had no clue the depth of this behaviour. I know my bro has spent the past 15 years providing for his family like few other men would be able to, and yet, she continues to find criticism in what he does.

She was the one that made him take this job out of province. She applied for this job on his behalf, sent out his resume to the company that he now works for as well as arranging his interviews, etc. Like the obedient husband he is, off he went to a strange province with no benefit of any sort of family or real support, and for the past four months  has worked and lived like a dog with nary a word of complaint. Literally every penny he makes is sent back home, and how is he rewarded? Every night, he has to listen to her sob and cry and carry on about how hard it has been since he left, how she has to do all of the housework and gets no break at all from the kids. I guess she berates him and goodness knows what else – this according to my Mom who has been told all of this directly from the horse’s mouth herself! Apparently, she says a whole lot worse stuff but I’ve not got the stomach right now for all of that garbage.

Nor do I think any of this mess has really registered with her properly as just the other day she was telling my Mom that there was no way that she would live in a rental less than $3000/month, nor would she live in anything but an immaculately maintained home – this from someone who hasn’t a clue how to even do housework! She said that she wouldn’t take anywhere that already had carpet as she didn’t want anyone else’s dirt near her. Only hard wood or laminate would do. No townhouse or apt either. Goodness gracious. Wonder how she’s going to react when she sees the $1200 beauty her husband has rented for her? And, who is she kidding? The only reason she is accepting anything right now is she has run out of time. She is literally getting out of Dodge the day before the bank seizes her home, vehicle and then shuts down all of the utilities - this will happen when you fail to pay any of these bills for months at a time!

Karma. It’s a bitch. Not saying that she deserves it this bad but she did make this mess pretty much all on her own. Again, its my bro and nieces and nephew that don’t deserve any of this and yet, they’re the ones that end up suffering over and over. It is really so very, very sad.  

1 comment:

Nellie said...

Some people are just like that, they have no self-control when it comes to shopping. My mom is the same way, it drives me crazy. She buys the silliest things that she doesn't need and then complains day in and day out about having no money to pay the bills. I don't even bother trying to give her advice anymore because she doesn't heed it, and it just stresses me out. I do feel bad for your brother but he's the only one who can put a stop to it. It sounds like he's taking a good step by renting a less expensive place and talking about it at least. I hope it gets better. Maybe she'll realize now that she has to downgrade.